Airbus SE (stock exchange symbol: AIR) reported First Quarter (Q1) 2019 consolidated financial results(1) and maintained its guidance for the full-year.
“The first quarter underlying financials mainly reflect our commercial aircraft ramp-up and delivery phasing,” said Airbus Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury. “The commercial aircraft market remains robust and we continue to see good prospects in the helicopters and defence and space businesses. The new management team is in place and focused on delivering on our commitments.”
Gross commercial aircraft orders totalled 62 (Q1 2018: 68 aircraft) and included 38 A350 XWBs. Net commercial aircraft orders of -58 (Q1 2018: 45 aircraft) after 120 cancellations mainly reflect the winding down of the A380 programme and the commercial agreement with Etihad as communicated in the Full-Year 2018 disclosure. The commercial aircraft backlog stood at 7,357 aircraft as of 31 March 2019. Net helicopter orders of 66 units (Q1 2018: 104 units) included 20 Super Puma Family and 16 H145s. Airbus Defence and Space’s order intake by value totalled € 1.1 billion.
Consolidated revenues increased to € 12.5 billion (Q1 2018: € 10.1 billion), mainly reflecting the higher commercial aircraft deliveries as the production ramp-up continued. At Airbus, a total of 162 commercial aircraft were delivered (Q1 2018: 121 aircraft), comprising 8 A220s, 126 A320 Family, 5 A330s, 22 A350s and 1 A380. Airbus Helicopters delivered 46 units (Q1 2018: 52 units) with increased revenues reflecting the higher volume in services. Revenues at Airbus Defence and Space reflected the overall stable business performance.
Consolidated EBIT Adjusted – an alternative performance measure and key indicator capturing the underlying business margin by excluding material charges or profits caused by movements in provisions related to programmes, restructurings or foreign exchange impacts as well as capital gains/losses from the disposal and acquisition of businesses – increased strongly to € 549 million (Q1 2018: € 14 million), driven by Airbus.
Airbus’ EBIT Adjusted improved to € 536 million (Q1 2018: € -41 million), mainly reflecting the A320neo ramp-up and premium as well as further progress on the A350 financial performance.
A total of 96 A320neo Family aircraft were delivered in the quarter. The ramp-up of the Airbus Cabin Flex version of the A321 continued in Q1 but remains challenging. Airbus is working to improve execution in its internal industrial systems and monitoring engine performance. The overall A320 Family programme is on track to reach 60 aircraft per month by mid-2019 and preparing for rate 63 in 2021. On the A330 programme, 5 aircraft were delivered in the first quarter, including 3 NEOs. A330neo deliveries continue to ramp-up and Airbus is working closely with its engine partner and suppliers to deliver in line with customer commitments. The flight test campaign of the A330-800 variant is progressing.
Airbus Helicopters’ EBIT Adjusted totalled € 15 million (Q1 2018: € -3 million), reflecting lower deliveries and higher volume in services.
Airbus Defence and Space’s EBIT Adjusted of € 101 million (Q1 2018: € 112 million) reflected the Division’s overall stable business performance.
One A400M military transport aircraft was delivered in the first quarter, bringing the in-service fleet to 75 aircraft. Development activities continued as agreed in the revised capability roadmap, with certification flights successfully completed for the Cargo Hold Tanks refuelling unit in the first quarter. A400M retrofit activities are progressing in line with the customer agreed plan. The approval process of the Contract Amendment is progressing.
Consolidated self-financed R&D expenses totalled € 654 million (Q1 2018: € 616 million).
Consolidated EBIT (reported) amounted to € 181 million (Q1 2018: € 199 million), including Adjustments totalling a net € -368 million. These Adjustments mainly comprised:
- A negative € -190 million as a consequence of the prolonged suspension of defence export licences to Saudi Arabia by the German government;
- A negative impact of € -83 million relating to the dollar pre-delivery payment mismatch and balance sheet revaluation;
- A negative € -61 million related to A380 programme cost.
Consolidated reported earnings per share of € 0.05 (Q1 2018: € 0.37) included a negative adjustment for foreign exchange hedges in the financial result corresponding to the prolonged suspension of defence export licences. The financial result was € -43 million (Q1 2018: € 39 million). The financial impacts recorded in the Q1 2019 Financial Statements relating to the prolonged suspension of defence export licences also impacted the effective tax rate. Consolidated net income(2) was € 40 million (Q1 2018: € 283 million).
Consolidated free cash flow before M&A and customer financing of € -4,341 million (Q1 2018: € -3,839 million), mainly reflected the inventory build to support the production ramp-up, improved engine delivery stream and other changes in working capital. Consolidated free cash flow was € -4,448 million (Q1 2018: € -3,656 million).
On 1 January 2019, the Company adopted the IFRS 16 ‘Leases’ accounting standard, whereby most operating leases must now be recorded on the balance sheet. The corresponding commitments are booked as financing liabilities, which being part of the Company’s definition of net cash, means the net cash position is mechanically reduced by around € 1.4 billion. The consolidated net cash position was € 7.5 billion on 31 March 2019 (year-end 2018: € 13.3 billion) with a gross cash position of € 18.5 billion (year-end 2018: € 22.2 billion).
As the basis for its 2019 guidance, the Company expects the world economy and air traffic to grow in line with prevailing independent forecasts, which assume no major disruptions.
The 2019 earnings and Free Cash Flow guidance is before M&A.
- Airbus targets 880 to 890 commercial aircraft deliveries in 2019.
- On that basis:
Airbus expects to deliver an increase in EBIT Adjusted of approximately +15% compared to 2018 and FCF before M&A and Customer Financing of approximately € 4 billion.