Strata raises revenue target to strengthen Abu Dhabi in aerospace

New target represents a 36 per cent rise from the Dh220m of revenues it reported for last year.

Employees walk past a model of a flap track fairing displayed in the Strata plant in Al Ain. Jumana El Heloueh / Reuters
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Strata Manufacturing yesterday said it plans to boost its revenue by Dh300 million this year, strengthening Abu Dhabi’s position in the global aerospace manufacturing industry.

The new target represents a 36 per cent rise from the Dh220m of revenues it reported for last year.

Strata, a state-owned unit of Abu-Dhabi’s Mubadala Development, is an advanced composite aerostructures manufacturing facility based in Al Ain. The company manufactures Boeing and Airbus aircraft parts. Established in 2010, Strata initially had a sole contract to provide Airbus with one component for its aircraft.

In November, Strata won deals with Airbus and Boeing worth US$5 billion to make parts of their aircraft – including Boeing’s proposed 777X.

Strata said it expects to produce 4,918 aerostructure components this year. It is also studying expanding its facility by 8,000 to 10,000 square metres to accommodate its expansion plans.

“Despite the relative complexity of these components, Strata received positive feedback from Airbus on the quality of the parts delivered so far,” Strata said.

“The performance demonstrated by Strata in delivering technologically advanced primary assembled structures on time, and in accordance to the quality requirements, has increased our credibility in the eyes of our customer, Airbus.”

Strata manufactures components for the Airbus superjumbo A380. It produced 1,193 parts last year, up 14.5 per cent from the 1,042 components produced in 2012.

It also decided to ship the A380 components via sea freight, which led to savings on the logistics side.

Strata increased its investments by 28 per cent last year to $320m, up from $250m in 2012.

“This includes an agreement with Dassault Systems to implement the product life cycle management system, and a 1,600 sq metres logistics facility that is in final stages of completion,” Strata said.

The company is a key element of Abu Dhabi’s 2030 vision to create a diverse and sustainable economy. The company said it was committed to have nationals make up half of its workforce by 2015. Emiratis represented 40 per cent of its total 620 employees last year.

“Abu Dhabi is definitely flourishing, and we want to see it turn into the next Seattle in terms of becoming an aerospace hub,” Badr Al Olama, the Strata chief executive said last week.

“This is going to be attracting lots of SMEs [small and medium enterprises], and [aerospace sector developments] could spin off and spin over into other industries.”

He added the aerospace industry was a major part of the emirate’s future.

“There are nine different pillars for the Abu Dhabi 2030 vision, six of which are met by the aerospace industry, which is very much knowledge-based.”

Mr Al Olam has previously said it makes sense to manufacture aircraft parts in the UAE, given that the country ranks sixth worldwide in terms of new aircraft orders and ranks third in terms of the value of the orders.

Etihad Airways, Emirates Airline and flydubai placed multibillion-dollar orders with Boeing and Airbus at the Dubai Airshow in November.

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