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Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post
Andrew Arthur

Airbus maintains ramped up production despite 'fragile' supply chain

Airbus bosses have said the aerospace giant is maintaining its ramped up commercial aircraft production targets, despite a supply chain left “fragile” by the war in Ukraine, Covid and energy issues.

The company, which employs thousands of people at its UK sites in Filton, South Gloucestershire, and Broughton, North Wales, reported €38.1bn (£32.9bn) revenue for the first nine months of this year - up from €35.1bn (£30.3bn) at the same point in 2021.

Adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) for the first three trading quarters of 2022 were up 3% from a year earlier at €3.5bn (£3bn).

The group posted a 27% rise in revenue in the third quarter to €13.3bn (£11.5bn), which it said reflected higher commercial aircraft deliveries, including higher contributions from its defence and helicopter divisions, and the strengthening of the US dollar.

Airbus said it had taken net orders for 647 commercial aircraft for the year so far, after cancellations, up from 133 a year earlier. It currently has an order backlog amounting to almost 7,300 aircraft as of September.

Production of the firm’s A320 family of aircraft is progressing towards a monthly rate of 65 aircraft in early 2024 and 75 in 2025.

In its outlook for the rest of the current financial year, the company's board said it was still targeting delivery of 700 commercial aircraft and around €5.5bn (£4.7bn) of adjusted EBIT in 2022.

Chief executive Guillaume Faury hailed Airbus' “solid” financial performance in a a “complex operating environment”.

Mr Faury said: “The supply chain remains fragile resulting from the cumulative impact of COVID, the war in Ukraine, energy supply issues and constrained labour markets. Our strong focus on cash flow and the favourable dollar/euro environment have enabled us to raise our free cash flow guidance for 2022.

“The commercial aircraft delivery and earnings targets are maintained. Our teams are focused on our key priorities and in particular, delivering the commercial aircraft ramp-up over the coming months and years.”

Consolidated free cash flow before M&A and customer financing was €2.9bn (£2.5bn), which Airbus said reflected the profit translated into cash, supported by a favourable foreign exchange environment.

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