Airbus Group (EPA: AIR) reported Wednesday that 2015 revenues increased by 6 percent, to €60.5 billion ($66 billion), of which €11.5 billion ($12.6 billion) came from the defense business. The group posted a net income of €2.7 billion ($3 billion) and an order intake of €1.006 trillion ($1.1 trillion), up 17 percent, of which €38.4 billion ($42.2 billion) involved defense (down 9 percent).
Revenues for Airbus commercial aircraft activities increased by 8 percent, to €45.9 billion ($50.5 billion), and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) and one-offs increased 10 percent, to €2.8 billion ($3.1 billion). Order intake totaled just over €139 billion ($153 billion), down 7 percent, though year-end backlog increased by 19 percent, to €952.5 billion ($1.047 trillion).
Airbus Helicopters increased its revenues 4 percent to €6.8 billion ($7.5 billion), with EBIT and one-offs up 3 percent at €427 million ($470 million). Order intake increased 13 percent, to €6.2 billion ($6.8 billion), with the order book declining by 4 percent, to €11.8 billion ($13 billion).
The group’s combined defense and space business logged unchanged revenues of €13.1 billion ($14.4 billion), with EBIT and one-offs of €1.1 billion ($1.2 billion). Defense and space order intake totaled €14.4 billion ($15.8 billion), up 15 percent, while year-end backlog was €42.9 billion ($47.2 billion), again unchanged from 12 months earlier.
Unveiling the results in London on Wednesday, group chief executive Tom Enders said that he does not plan to make another accounting provision this year against the A400M military-transport aircraft. The manufacturer took a 2015 second-quarter charge of €290 million ($319 million) after an earlier 2014 provision of €551 million ($606 million).
The program also took a hit from a flight-test accident last May involving the A400M military transport that set back qualification of enhanced military capabilities and scheduled deliveries. “The group is working with customers to agree a schedule of enhancement and deliveries, as well as reviewing the escalation formulae,” said Airbus, which wants to deliver more than 20 A400Ms this year, compared with 11 shipped in 2015.
On the commercial-aircraft side, Enders conceded that problems with Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM geared turbofan engines have led Airbus to invoke contingency plans that involve swapping A320Neo and Ceo production slots without disrupting final-assembly schedules. Once the company resolves the “issues,” it expects “much improved” engine deliveries from mid-year. “Then it will be a winner for customers,” said Enders.
This year Airbus expects to deliver “a similar number” of A380 very large aircraft to the 27 that joined customers last year. Having achieved break-even on the aircraft in 2015, Enders said the manufacturer needs to further reduce recurring and non-recurring costs. He included Iran among possible new customers currently the subject of sales campaigns.