Beginning next year, the helicopter manufacturer Eurocopter will be rebranded as Airbus Helicopters, part of a wider rebranding effort by parent company EADS.
EADS — originally European Aeronautic, Defense and Space Company — announced on July 31 that it would be restructuring the group and abandoning the EADS name in favor of its globally recognized Airbus brand. The group’s Airbus division will remain responsible for commercial airplane activities, while a new Airbus Defence & Space division will consolidate its Airbus Military, Astrium and Cassidian brands. Eurocopter will be rebranded as Airbus Helicopters and will continue to oversee the group’s commercial and military helicopter activities.
Implementation is planned to start on Jan. 1, 2014, with completion in the second half of 2014. EADS said it will communicate further details in the fourth quarter of 2013.
“What we are unveiling today is an evolution, not a revolution. It’s the next logical step in the development of our company,” said EADS CEO Tom Enders. “We affirm the predominance of commercial aeronautics in our group and we restructure and focus our defense and space activities to take costs out, increase profitability and improve our market position. The renaming simply gathers the entire company under the best brand we have, one that stands for internationalization, innovation and integration — and also for some two thirds of our revenues. It reinforces the message that ‘we make things fly.’”
The announcement came as EADS shared its half-year financial results, which were buoyed by strong performance at Airbus. Airbus’ consolidated revenues increased to € 18,924 million (compared to € 17,525 million in the first half of 2012) amid increased commercial and military aircraft deliveries. In the first six months of 2013, Airbus Commercial recorded 722 net aircraft orders, dramatically higher than the 230 net orders recorded in the first half of 2012.
The strong performance at Airbus offset declines at Eurocopter, where revenues fell by 7 percent to € 2,584 million (compared to € 2,771 million in the first half of 2012) as deliveries declined to 190 helicopters (down from 198 in the first half of 2012). The division’s Earnings Before Interest and Tax declined by 35 percent to € 128 million (from € 198 million in the first half of 2012).
EADS said that flight restrictions for the EC225 Super Puma weighed strongly on Eurocopter’s operational performance in the first half of 2013, as expected. However, the outlook for the Super Puma is improving now that the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Civil Aviation Authorities of the UK and Norway have officially approved the prevention and detection solutions developed by Eurocopter to prevent a recurrence of the bevel gear vertical shaft cracking that caused two EC225s to ditch in the North Sea in October 2012. Eurocopter is currently supporting helicopter operators in returning their fleets back to service.
In the first six months of 2013, Eurocopter booked 167 net orders (down from 195 net orders in the first half of 2012). At the end of June 2013, the division’s order book was worth € 12.8 billion comprising 1,047 helicopters, down slightly from the 1,070 helicopters on the order book at the end of 2012.