Airbus reports financial results of first nine months of 2018

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  • Focus on deliveries and securing production ramp-up
  • 9m financials reflect A350 XWB performance and aircraft delivery profile
  • Revenues € 40 billion; EBIT Adjusted € 2.7 billion; Free Cash Flow Before M&A and Customer Financing € -4.2 billion
  • EBIT (reported) € 2.7 billion; EPS (reported) € 1.88
  • 2018 guidance updated to reflect latest delivery outlook

Airbus SE today reported Nine-Month (9m) 2018 consolidated financial results and provided updated full-year guidance.

The nine-month results mainly reflect the good performance on the A350 and the aircraft delivery profile. Even though we delivered more aircraft than a year earlier, we still have a lot to do to meet our commitments,” said Airbus Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders. “On the A400M, we are progressing with the military capabilities, deliveries and retrofit. The contract amendment discussions are advancing, but a bit slower than planned. Our primary operational focus remains on commercial aircraft deliveries and securing the A320neo ramp-up.

As of 1 July 2018, the A220 aircraft programme has been consolidated into Airbus.

Net commercial aircraft orders totalled 256 (9m 2017: 271 aircraft) with gross orders of 311 aircraft including 58 A350 XWBs. Industry fundamentals remain solid with the Airbus order backlog totalling 7,383 commercial aircraft as of 30 September 2018(3).  Net helicopter orders increased to 230 units (9m 2017: 210 units), including 6 Super Puma Family and 36 H145s in the third quarter alone. Airbus Defence and Space’s 9m 2018 order intake of around € 5.0 billion included the contract for Heron TP drones from Germany.

Consolidated revenues increased to € 40.4 billion (9m 2017: € 38.0 billion), mainly driven by Airbus and including the perimeter changes. At Airbus, a total of 503 commercial aircraft were delivered (9m 2017: 454 aircraft), comprising 8 A220s, 395 A320 Family, 31 A330s, 61 A350 XWBs and 8 A380s. Airbus Helicopters delivered 218 units (9m 2017: 266 units) with revenues stable on a comparable basis. On a reported basis, Helicopters’ revenues reflected the perimeter change from the sale of Vector Aerospace in late 2017. Revenues at Airbus Defence and Space reflected a stable core business and the perimeter change mainly related to the divestment of Defence Electronics in February 2017 and Airbus DS Communications, Inc. in March 2018.

Consolidated EBIT Adjusted – an alternative performance measure and key indicator capturing the underlying business margin by excluding material charges or profits caused by movements in provisions related to programmes, restructuring or foreign exchange impacts as well as capital gains/losses from the disposal and acquisition of businesses – totalled € 2,738 million (9m 2017: € 1,208 million).

Airbus’ EBIT Adjusted of € 2,340 million (9m 2017: € 806 million) was driven by the A350 performance and higher deliveries, particularly for the A320neo.

On the A320neo programme, a total of 222 aircraft were delivered compared to 90 in the first nine months of 2017. On the A330neo programme, the A330-900 received Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency in September with the first delivery expected shortly. Meanwhile, the A350 programme is progressing well, with the targeted monthly production rate of 10 aircraft expected by the end of 2018. Good progress continues to be made on A350 programme recurring cost with the A350-1000 benefitting from the A350-900 learning curve.

Airbus Helicopters’ EBIT Adjusted increased to € 202 million (9m 2017: € 161 million), reflecting solid underlying programme execution which compensated for the lower deliveries.

Airbus Defence and Space’s EBIT Adjusted totalled € 409 million (9m 2017: € 397 million), reflecting the stable core business and solid programme execution. On a comparable basis, the Division’s EBIT Adjusted was broadly stable.

On the A400M programme, Airbus is progressing on the military capabilities and with the delivery and retrofit plan. Airbus is delivering against the objectives set in February 2018 as part of the Declaration of Intent (DoI) framework which was agreed with OCCAR and the Nations, but progress to convert the DoI into a contract amendment is a bit slower than planned. Risks remain, in particular on the development of technical capabilities, securing sufficient exports on time, on aircraft operational reliability in particular with regard to engines, and on cost reductions as per the revised baseline.

Consolidated self-financed R&D expenses totalled € 2,103 million (9m 2017: € 1,918 million).

Consolidated EBIT (reported) amounted to € 2,683 million (9m 2017: € 1,673 million), including Adjustments totalling a net € -55 million and largely unchanged from 30 June, 2018. These Adjustments comprised:

·         A € 105 million A400M provision update mainly reflecting price escalation, up by € 7 milllion compared to the € 98 million provision for the first-half of 2018;

·         A negative € 23 million resulting from the first H160 helicopters;

·         A negative € 109 million related to compliance and other costs;

·         A positive impact of € 26 million from the dollar pre-delivery payment mismatch and balance sheet revaluation;

·         A net capital gain of € 156 million from divestments at Airbus Defence and Space.

Consolidated net income of € 1,453 million (9m 2017: € 1,398 million) and earnings per share of € 1.88 (9m 2017: € 1.81) included a negative impact from the foreign exchange revaluation of financial instruments partly offset by the positive revaluation of certain equity investments. The finance result was € -413 million (9m 2017: € +101 million). Net income also reflects a higher effective tax rate from the reassessment of tax assets and liabilities.

Consolidated free cash flow before M&A and customer financing amounted to € -4,169 million (9m 2017: € -3,344 million) and now includes the A220. It reflects progress on aircraft deliveries but also the on-going ramp-up and some finished aircraft. Consolidated free cash flow of € -3,928 million (9m 2017: € -3,208 million) included around € 0.4 billion of net proceeds from divestments at Airbus Defence and Space. Cash flow for aircraft financing was limited.

The consolidated net cash position on 30 September 2018 was € 7.2 billion (year-end 2017: € 13.4 billion) after pension funding of € 1.0 billion in the third quarter. The gross cash position was € 18.3 billion (year-end 2017: € 24.6 billion).

With regard to full-year deliveries, the A320neo ramp-up is ongoing but the level of disruption resulting from the late availability of engines in the first half of 2018 as well as some internal industrial challenges make the full-year 2018 target a greater stretch. A lot remains to be done before the end of the year to fulfill commitments. The A330neo delivery schedule has been adjusted to reflect the engine partner’s latest 2018 outlook. Furthermore, Airbus is actively working to resolve certain commercial challenges on the A330ceo and A380 programmes that are targeted for completion by the year-end.

Outlook

As the basis for its 2018 guidance, the Company expects the world economy and air traffic to grow in line with prevailing independent forecasts, which assume no major disruptions.

The 2018 earnings and guidance are prepared under IFRS 15.

The 2018 earnings and Free Cash Flow guidance is before M&A. It now includes the A220 integration.

·         Airbus targets to deliver around 800 commercial aircraft in 2018, now including around 18 A220 aircraft and the updated commercial aircraft delivery schedule.

·         On that basis:

  • Before M&A, the Company maintains expected EBIT Adjusted of approximately   € 5 billion in 2018. This includes a lower expected reduction in EBIT Adjusted from the A220 than estimated in H1 2018.
  • Airbus expects Free Cash Flow before M&A and Customer Financing to be lower than the 2017 level of € 2.95 billion. This also reflects an expected reduction of approximately € -0.3 billion from the A220.

In 2018, the Company expects the net cash impact of the A220 integration to be    largely covered by the funding arrangement as laid out in the terms             of the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership, meaning limited cash dilution.

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