Airbus has announced its highest profit in history and a return to dividend payments to shareholders, in a sign of the rapid recovery of the aerospace industry after the Covid pandemic.
The European aircraft manufacturer reported a record net profit in 2021 of 4.2 billion euros (3.5 billion pounds), which contrasts sharply with the sharp A loss of 1.1 billion euros in 2020when the pandemic first struck. The company, headquartered in Toulouse (France), received 52 billion euros compared to 50 billion euros in 2020.
The aerospace industry has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic as travel restrictions have led to falling incomes for airline customers. Orders for new aircraft were among the first that they canceled.
Airbus cut 15,000 jobs in June 2020, including at its UK-based factory in North Wales, which produces wings, in response to what its CEO Guillaume Faure described as an industry. “The most serious crisis”.
Its rival with U.S. Boeing cut 30,000, partly reflecting the global validity of its previous bestseller, the 737 Max, after two deadly crashes.
On Thursday, Faure praised the company’s “excellent” results for the entire year and said its spending cuts paid off as he planned the first payout to shareholders in two years. He also highlighted the defense, space and helicopter businesses, which proved more resilient during the pandemic blockade.
“2021 was a transitional year when our focus shifted from pandemic navigation to recovery and growth,” he said. “The good financial situation reflects the large supply of commercial aircraft, the good performance of our helicopters and the defense and space business, as well as our efforts to contain costs and competitiveness.”
During the year Airbus delivered 611 aircraft, ahead of the target of 600, mostly due to 483 deliveries of its single-pass A320, its rival Boeing 737.
During the year Boeing received 340, although in January 2022 it delivered slightly more than Airbus, seeking to resume its previously close rivalry.
Airbus has said it expects to increase production over 2022 to 720 aircraft in a forecast that “does not predict further disruptions in the global economy, air travel” or domestic failures. This is not the case raise the A320 production target above 65, announced earlier, but said it was talking to its suppliers about raising rates.
Allegra Doves, a senior analyst at investment group Third Bridge, said she expects Airbus to “dominate a critical narrow market in the coming years, as the 737 Max is inferior to Airbus’s offerings both in terms of capabilities and orders.”
She added: “Investors will monitor the progress that Airbus has made in achieving its ambitious goals of increasing production in the coming years. The company has urged suppliers to prepare for the production of 70 A320 aircraft per month by 2024. This will be a serious problem for the weakened supply chain. “
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/feb/17/airbus-restore-dividend-profits-record-high Airbus will resume dividends as profits soar to record highs Airbus