Airbus Q1 profit surges on strong order growth

Plane maker said gross commercial aircraft orders increased more than six times to 253 in the first three months

Airbus's first-quarter revenue surged 15 per cent year-on-year to $12.7 billion. Reuters
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Airbus reported a 237 per cent annual jump in first-quarter net profit driven by a solid performance in its commercial aircraft, helicopter and defence businesses.

The world's biggest civil plane maker earned a net profit of €1.2 billion ($1.3bn) in the three months ended on March 31, it said in a statement on Wednesday.

The company’s revenue surged 15 per cent year-on-year to €12bn.

“These Q1 results reflect a solid performance … Our 2022 guidance is unchanged, even though the risk profile for the rest of the year has become more challenging due to the complex geopolitical and economic environment,” said Guillaume Faury, chief executive of Airbus.

“Looking beyond 2022, we see continuing strong growth in commercial aircraft demand driven by the A320 family,” he added.

Airbus is working with its industry partners to increase A320 family production rates “to 75 aircraft a month in 2025" and the ramp-up is set to “benefit the aerospace industry’s global value chain”, Mr Faury said.

A total of 142 commercial aircraft were delivered in the quarter, comprising 11 A220s, 109 A320s, six A330s and 16 A350s.

The Toulouse-based company said its gross commercial aircraft orders increased more than six times to 253 in the last quarter with net orders of 83 aircraft after cancellations. The order backlog amounted to 7,023 commercial aircraft on March 31.

Airbus helicopters booked 56 net orders, up 40 per cent compared to the prior year period. Meanwhile, the company’s defence and space division’s order intake by value increased 60 per cent yearly to €3.2bn during the January-March period.

Revenue generated by Airbus’s commercial aircraft activities increased 17 per cent in the first quarter, mainly reflecting the “higher deliveries and favourable mix”.

The company’s helicopters unit delivered 39 units, with revenue growing 7 per cent, while the company’s defence and space division posted 16 per cent growth in income.

The company aims to achieve 720 commercial aircraft deliveries for the whole of this year, it said.

Airbus also said the commercial aircraft production for the A320 family is moving towards a monthly rate of 65 aircraft by next year.

“Following an analysis of global customer demand as well as an assessment of the industrial ecosystem’s readiness, the company is now working with its suppliers and partners to enable monthly production rates of 75 in 2025,” Airbus added.

“This production increase will benefit the entire global industrial value chain. Airbus will meet the higher production rates by increasing capacity at its existing industrial sites.”

The company also said Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the resulting export control restrictions and global sanctions against Moscow have disrupted its operations, data management and supply chain.

Airbus, which suspended the delivery of aircraft and support services to Russian customers in March, said the crisis has increased its “exposure to supply chain disruption risk”.

Updated: May 04, 2022, 7:25 PM