Aribus profits triple despite charge on troubled A400M military plane

(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Thu, 15 Feb 2018) London, Uk – –

Aribus's profits took off last year, despite the aviation giant booking a “substantial” further €1.3bn (£1.15bn) charge on its troubled  A400M military transporter plane.

Net profit nearly tripled to €2.87bn in 2017 from €995m a year earlier, boosted by increased deliveries, windfall gains from divestments and favourable exchange rates.

Full-year sales held steady at €66.8bn.

“We overachieved on all our 2017 key performance indicators thanks to a very good operational performance, especially in the last quarter,” said chief executive Tom Enders.

“Despite persistent engine issues on the A320neo, we continued the production ramp-up and finally delivered a record number of aircraft.

A net capital gain of €604m resulting from the divestment of its defence electronics business and “a strong positive impact” from exchange rate developments also helped the group's bottom line.

But Airbus took a new one-off charge of €1.3bn against its A400M turboprop military transport, which has been plagued by delivery problems and technical problems.

“On A400M, we made progress on the industrial and capabilities front and agreed a re-baselining with government customers which will significantly reduce the remaining programme risks. This is reflected in a substantial one-off charge,” Mr Enders said.

Airbus had already booked a charge of €2.2bn on the A400M in 2016.

Nonetheless, given the “strength of our 2017 achievements”, Airbus would propose lifting its dividend to €1.50 per share for last year from €1.35 a year earlier, Mr Enders said.

“This also endorses our earnings and cash growth story for the future,” he said.