Airbus Helicopters recorded a drop in orders and deliveries in 2019, but growth in its support and services division resulted in little revenue change from the previous year.
Speaking Feb. 13 at Airbus’s annual press conference in Toulouse, Frane, Airbus Group CEO Guillaume Faury described the helicopter division’s performance as “strong, especially given the weak market.” Airbus Helicopters has increased its market share despite adverse conditions, he said. The company delivered 332 rotorcraft in 2019, representing 54 percent of the market in units, Airbus claimed.
The company received a net 310 orders, which was a decline of 19 percent from the previous year. The book-to-bill ratio was above 1:1 in value, despite the weaker orders. In average, higher-value helicopters were ordered, including 25 H225M Super Pumas, 23 NH90s (Airbus is a partner in the program) and 10 of the upcoming medium H160.
The H125 and H145 remain at the top in units ordered, with 130 and 91 orders in 2019, respectively. The H175 super medium twin, despite being the newest design in Airbus Helicopters’ range of certified aircraft, received a mere four orders.
“The increased contribution from support and services and key wins in the military sector in 2019 underline the importance of our robust business model,” said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters, in a press release announcing the results. He characterized the civil and parapublic market as “challenging.” Faury emphasizes “good prospects in defense” and also wants to “capture growth in services” in 2020.
In 2019, military revenues were dominant, at 55 percent. Services contributed 43 percent to the company’s total revenues. On the civil side, for instance, HCare contracts were signed for an additional 250 helicopters.
As of Dec. 31, 2019, the backlog stood at 695, almost stable from one year before. Revenues slightly improved, at €6 billion ($6.6 billion). The profit margin, calculated from adjusted earnings before interest and taxes, reached seven percent.