Eurocopter Predicts 30-percent Drop in Orders

 - January 20, 2009, 10:00 AM

After receiving net orders for 715 helicopters last year–its second best year ever–Eurocopter expects to sell only 450 helicopters this year, CEO Lutz Bertling predicted today at the company’s annual press conference in Paris. The forecast was shaped by luxury yacht sales and the used rotorcraft market. Last year there were approximately 30 order cancellations, Bertling acknowledged, adding that the commercial market slowed in the second half of the year. The segment that is suffering the most is U.S. tourism and corporate sales. Nevertheless, Eurocopter’s best seller was the Ecureuil/EC 130 series, with orders for 340 civil and military machines. Of the total €4.9 billion ($6.9 billion) in bookings, 64 percent was for civil and parapublic activities, with the remainder being military sales. Deliveries last year at Eurocopter jumped by 20 percent, to a record 588 helicopters. Civil and parapublic activities accounted for 55 percent of the €4.5 billion ($6.3 billion) revenue. Eurocopter’s record year in terms of sales was 2007, with orders for 802 helicopters.