Paris, Feb 18 (efe-epa).- Airbus lost 1.1 million euros ($1.3 billion) last year, shaken by the coronavirus crisis that is affecting the aviation sector in particular, although that result was better than the 1.3 billion-euro loss in 2019.
The European group’s losses in 2020 include, in particular, a negative financial result of 620 million euros, as well as the costs of a loan from OneWeb, the company said in a statement Thursday.
The net operating result (Ebit) also presented a negative balance of 510 million euros last year, compared to the positive 1.3 billion of the previous year.
The Ebit reflects the evolution of the different businesses of the group. In the commercial aircraft division, which is by far the most important, it fell to the red with 1.33 billion euros, compared with 1.7 billion surplus in 2019.
In defense and space, it rose to 408 million euros in 2020 after having suffered a net operating loss of 881 million the previous year; and in helicopters it rose 10 percent to 455 million.
Turnover was similar and as a whole was reduced by 29 percent to 49.9 billion euros. Revenues for commercial aircraft plunged 37 percent to € 34.3 billion. The fall was very limited in defense and space activity (-4 percent to 10.4 billion euros) and in helicopters the turnover even increased by 4 percent to 6.3 million.
The explanation for all this is, in the first place, that as a result of the stoppage of the entire airline sector due to the coronavirus, its aircraft deliveries were reduced by 34 percent to 566 units.
Even more, net orders obtained decreased, staying at 268 aircraft, compared to 768 in 2019.
The helicopter business was supported by a series of government and defense orders in a very special way because Germany signed in November the purchase of 38 Eurofighter fighters.
The commercial situation is reflected in the value that Airbus attributes to its pending orders, which as of Dec. 31 was 373 billion euros, compared to 471 billion a year earlier.
In this change, the fact that new aircraft orders in 2020 were much lower than those for deliveries, but also the depreciation of the dollar (it is the currency in which almost all transactions in the sector are made) with respect to the single European currency and the revaluation of the entire portfolio under the new circumstances.
Unlike what had happened in previous years, Airbus did not consider it necessary to establish a new provision for its A400M military transport aircraft.
Nor did it consider it appropriate to make new production and staff adjustments, such as those it announced last year after the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis.
Airbus warned that “given the global business environment,” this year it will not pay dividends, a decision that justifies to strengthen the financial resilience of the company by avoiding cash outflow and “support its ability to adapt as the situation evolves.”
Regarding the outlook, and based on the assumption that there will be no new disruptions neither in the global economy, nor in air traffic, nor in its internal operations, its objective for 2021 is to deliver the same number of commercial aircraft as in 2020 and an adjusted net income of 2 billion euros.
That is to say, above the 1,7 billion euros of last year, but well below the 6.9 billion obtained in 2019. EFE-EPA