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Airbus Helicopters saw a significant drop in orders over the first half of 2020, but its relatively stable revenues were about the one bright light in its parent company’s first-half financial results.
The helicopter OEM’s parent company recorded a net loss of €1.9 billion (US$2.2 billion) in the first half of the year, as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on global travel hit it predictably hard.
Airbus’s commercial fixed-wing aircraft business clearly suffered, with the manufacturer delivering half the number of aircraft in the first half of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019. Revenues for the commercial aircraft business were also down about 50 percent.
While Airbus Helicopters did see fewer deliveries (104 aircraft versus 143 aircraft delivered in the first half of 2019), this was “partially compensated” by more revenue from support and services, the OEM said. This result was only a slight drop in revenue, from €2.37 billion in the first half of 2019 to €2.33 billion in the first half of 2020.
The helicopter manufacturer took orders for 75 aircraft over the same period, including three H145s, one H225 Super Puma, and one H160 in the second quarter. This represented a drop of 39 percent from the 123 aircraft orders it received in the first half of 2019. Today, the company’s order book stands at 666 aircraft.
Airbus Helicopters’ earnings before interest and taxes (adjusted) increased to €152 million in the first half of 2020, from 2019’s figure of €125 million. The company said this reflected good results from military and support and services, offset by lower deliveries.
“We have calibrated the business to face the new market environment on an industrial basis and the supply chain is now working in line with the new plan,” said Airbus chief executive officer Guillaume Faury. “We face a difficult situation with uncertainty ahead, but with the decisions we have taken, we believe we are adequately positioned to navigate these challenging times in our industry.”