That’s according to results published today by Airbus Group, the parent company of plane-maker Airbus which employs 4,000 people in Filton on the edge of Bristol.
The company, which also includes helicopter, defence and space divisions as well as making passenger planes, also revealed it will increase production of its smaller single aisle A320 aircraft to 50 every month in 2017. At the same time it will cut the number of A330 planes it makes to just six per month.
It also said it was “closely monitoring” the A400M military transport plane programme after delays and set backs in production. The plane is important locally because the wings are made at Filton, before being shipped to Spain for final assembly. The RAF’s recently took delivery of its first A400M, which it named City of Bristol.
The firm delivered 30 of the A380 super jumbos last year and the plane has a list price of $428 million (£278 million), which gives some idea of the level of investment involved.
Overall, Airbus Group enjoyed a record year in 2014. Group revenues increased five percent to a record € 60.7 billion (£44.2 billion), up from € 57.6 billion (£42 billion) in 2013.
Earnings before tax increased 54 percent to € 4 billion (£2.9 billion) up from € 2.6 billion (£1.9 billion).
Commercial Aircraft revenues rose seven percent, driven by the overall increase in deliveries to a record 629 aircraft (FY 2013: 626 deliveries) and a more favourable delivery mix including 30 A380s compared to 25 in 2013. In the fourth quarter, the first A350 XWB was delivered to Qatar Airways
And it has a backlog order book of 6,386 aircraft, providing solid platform for growth.
“We achieved a significant improvement in profitability and cash generation in 2014 thanks to a record order book and strong operational performance in most areas,” said Tom Enders, Airbus Group chief executive. “We delivered more commercial aircraft than ever before, including the first A350, and our net orders were, once again, more than twice the number of deliveries. Due to strong demand for single aisle aircraft we have decided to increase production of our A320 family to 50 aircraft per month from 2017 onwards.
“At the same time, we have decided to temporarily reduce A330 production to six aircraft per month in 2016. Most importantly, we confirm the A380 break-even for 2015. We are focused on tackling our various operational challenges, including the A350 and A400M ramp-up and costs, first A320neo deliveries, boosting helicopter sales, and continuing the reshaping of our defence and space portfolio.”
Looking ahead, the group expects its earning to grow slightly this year, delivering more commercial aircraft as global air traffic continues to rise.
Sourced from The Bristol Post