Safran Sees Growth, Resolution to Silvercrest Issues

 - February 27, 2019, 3:56 PM

Safran has designed a fix for the high-pressure compressor section of its Silvercrest business jet turbofan, the company confirmed yesterday during a quarterly investor conference call. Problems plaguing the engine's compressor section eventually caused Dassault to cancel the Silvercrest-powered Falcon 5X in late 2017.

Textron Aviation selected the Silvercrest for its Citation Hemisphere in October 2016, but suspended this program in April last year until the engine's compressor issue could be fixed. First tests of the Silvercrest with the newly designed high-pressure compressor will commence in the second quarter to verify it resolves the issue, Safran said.

Overall, the French group saw revenue grow by 32 percent last year, to €21.05 billion ($23.96 billion). Its CFM56-to-Leap engine transition reached a symbolic turning point in 2018, with production of the Leap surpassing that of the CFM56. The company delivered 1,118 Leap engines last year versus 1,044 CFM56s. Combined, this was up 13.6 percent year-over-year.

Safran has also finalized the acquisition of the electromechanical systems business from Collins Aerospace, to reinforce its position on the more electric aircraft. This business primarily consists of actuators and pilot controls for aircraft, and generated sales of $159 million in 2018, with 575 employees at four facilities in North America, mainly in Irvine, California and in Mexicali, Mexico. This acquisition expands the electrical actuation and flight control business lines of Safran Electronic & Defense and Safran Aerosystems. In particular, the acquisition enables both Safran companies to reach critical mass in these sectors (around €500 million of sales).

Regarding the integration of Zodiac Aerospace, Safran is on track to meet the 2022 targeted synergies, which are now €250 million up to 2022. Safran expects FY2019 adjusted turnover to increase by 7 percent to 9 percent, while adjusted recurring operating income is expected to climb by 10 percent to 12 percent.