Airbus reports net loss of 1.36bn euros for last year

AFP, PARIS

Fri, Feb 14, 2020 - Page 10

Airbus SE yesterday reported a net loss of 1.36 billion euros (US$1.48 billion) last year after being hit by a 3.6 billion euros fine over a bribery scandal and extra development costs for the A400M transport aircraft.

The Toulouse, France-based firm said operating profits rose to 6.95 billion euros, adding that it expected to deliver about 880 commercial planes this year against 863 last year.

Airbus’ plans to increase jetliner deliveries to an all-time high comes as it irons out production snags involving the A320 narrow-body model, while Boeing Co’s rival 737 MAX remains grounded.

“We achieved a great deal in 2019. We delivered a strong underlying financial performance driven mainly by our commercial aircraft deliveries,” Airbus chief executive officer Guillaume Faury said.

SETTLEMENT COSTS

“The reported earnings also reflect the final agreements with the authorities resolving the compliance investigations and a charge related to revised export assumptions for the A400M,” he added.

Airbus has agreed to pay 3.6 billion euros in fines to Britain, France and the US to settle corruption inquiries sparked by suspicious sales.

The company said commercial aircraft orders increased to 768 last year from 747 in 2018.

Airbus is targeting 7.5 billion euros in earnings this year, before the bribery probe settlement. It is also targeting free cash flow of 4 billion euros, a 500 million euros increase.

Airbus shares had gained 4.7 percent this year as of Wednesday’s close. That follows a 55 percent jump last year, when Boeing rose just 1 percent after two fatal crashes involving the 737 MAX tipped the US company into crisis.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg