Airbus reported higher revenues, earnings, and commercial aircraft and helicopter deliveries in the first half of 2019 compared to the year-ago period, but a sharp decline in orders. “The half-year financial performance mainly reflects the ramp-up in production of A320 family aircraft and transition to the more efficient Neo version, as well as further progress on the A350 financial performance,” said Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury.
Airbus delivered 389 commercial aircraft and 143 helicopters in this year's first half compared with 303 and 141, respectively, in the same period last year, but new orders for both plunged for the period from the year-ago period: 213 commercial aircraft gross orders compared to 261 and 88 net orders compared to 206. Airbus tallied 123 helicopter orders compared to 143 in H1 2018. A320neo family aircraft continue to dominate but new aircraft deliveries and orders, comprising 234 of the 294 A320 aircraft delivered in H1 2019. Minus the A320 deliveries in H1 2019, Airbus delivered 21 A220s, 17 A330s, 53 A350s and 4 A380s. Helicopter orders included 23 NH90 military helicopters for Spain and 11 H145 twins. Nevertheless, despite the order drop, Airbus’s backlog stands at a healthy 7,276 aircraft as of June 30.
Earnings per share more than doubled to $1.71 from $0.71. The company reported that consolidated revenues increased to $34.4 billion (H1 2018: $27.8 billion), mainly reflecting higher commercial aircraft deliveries and favorable foreign exchange, while earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose to $2.82 billion (H1 2018: $1.29 billion). Unwinding the A380 program continues to account for charges to the bottom line, some $151 million to date of which $83.5 million were booked in the 1H 2019. Other profit drags included a $231.5 million charge related to the suspension of German export licenses to Saudi Arabia, of which $20 million was booked in Q2 2019. Earnings from the company’s helicopter and defense units also declined for the period, helicopters dropping to $139 million from $150 million and space and defense falling to $248 million from $344 million. R&D spending increased slightly to $1.59 billion from $1.56 billion.