Volvo Aero Delivers a Boost to GKN’s Engine Business

 - May 27, 2013, 10:25 AM
Increased activity in fan blade production is just one example of the way GKN’s acquisition of Volvo Aero has bolstered its engine structures business. (Photo: GKN)

GKN Aerospace’s acquisition of Volvo Aero is starting to bear fruit, giving the UK-based aerostructures group a significant boost in this growing market segment. This year, the addition of the Sweden-based engine systems manufacturer is expected to boost total revenues from GKN’s aerospace division by approximately $700 million, to $3.5 billion. Assuming GE’s planned acquisition of Italy’s Avio goes through, GKN is set to become the world number two in the engine systems market. Recent research by the Teal group has indicated that this sector is set to grow in value by 15 percent over the next five years, largely driven by increasing production rates of airliners and large business jets.

According to GKN Aerospace CEO Marcus Bryson, the acquisition of Volvo Aero has given it a significant position on the leading programs of the big three engine makers: GE/CFM, Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney. Much of the growth in revenues is expected to come from high production rates of CFM International’s Leap turbofan series, as well as from Pratt & Whitney’s rival Geared Turbofan products and Rolls-Royce’s Trent XWB. The group’s engine systems portfolio now spans nacelles and inlets; fan blades; compressor disks and blisks; fan cases; compressor rotors; combustor structures; compressor and turbine blades; LPT case; guide vanes; turbine structures; engine system design; and full engine maintenance, repair and overhaul.

Bryson told a recent press briefing in London that the addition of Volvo Aero to GKN’s Engine Structures division is particularly welcome at a time when the company’s fortunes will be more strongly tied to the civil aerospace sector. “We don’t see defense as a growth sector for the next four or five years,” he said, indicating that GKN expects its civil business to account for as much as 70 percent of revenues this year. “With the acquisition of Volvo Aero we got a prime contractor that is also a tier-one supplier, and we bought it for the engineering capability that allows it to design and build a complete jet engine,” said Bryson.