MIAMI – The half-year financial report by Airbus came out today, reporting that the manufacturer finds the commercial aircraft environment as “robust,” with consolidated revenues reaching the €30.9 billion mark.
“The half-year financial performance mainly reflects the ramp-up in production of A320 Family aircraft and transition to the more efficient NEO version, as well as further progress on the A350 financial performance,” noted Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO.
“We continue to see good demand for our competitive product portfolio, including the new A321XLR, as shown by the strong market endorsement at June’s Le Bourget airshow.”
Faury added that the group’s operational focus remains mainly on the A320neo Family ramp-up. “The second half of the year in terms of deliveries and in particular free cash flow continues to be challenging,” he said.
According to the report, EBIT Adjusted profits have increased exponentially from €867 million in the first half of 2018 to €2,338 million due to the ramp-up of A320 production, as well as transitions to the new engine options.
Other successes from this have emerged with the A350 reaching better financial performance and improvements in foreign exchange rates in the second quarter of the year.
Aircraft deliveries are also up compared to the same period last year, with a total of 389 units being delivered, consisting of 21 A220s, 294 A320 Family aircraft, 17 A330s, 53 A350s, and four A380s.
Out of the 294 A320 Family aircraft, 234 represented the new engine options (neo). However, Airbus explains that “given the recent commercial success of the A321 ACF and XLR as demonstrated at Le Bourget, Airbus is studying different options to increase the share of the A321 in current A320 Family production capacity.”
Overall, Airbus expects to deliver between 880 and 890 aircraft this year.
A330neo deliveries remain steady, totaling 13 in the half-year, but there is still a focus for production to increase going into the second half of the year.
The A350 is also seeing more positive news as Airbus states that “the program is on track to reach the breakeven target for the year.”
Airbus claims that progress has been made with the reduction of the A380 program’s production and is now focusing on the future through in-service support for customers using the aircraft into the end of the next decade.
The backlog, as of June 30, remains at 7,276 commercial aircraft, but orders are down at 213 units this year compared to 261 in the first half last year.
As a whole, Airbus has had a significantly strong half of the year. However, order numbers do need to improve going into the second half, with more momentum needed for other projects such as the A330neo and Airbus Cabin Flex variations.
The A220 is also seeing a good number of orders. Just recently, Air France placed an order for 60 units to replace its older A318 and A319 aircraft.
It will be interesting to see how the second-half holds for Airbus and whether we can continue to see its sales project boost from a slow half on that front.