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Airbus slumps to £1.2bn loss – but there is good news for aerospace workers

Airbus has slumped to a €1.4bn (£1.17bn) annual loss after receiving record fines for bribery – but plans to increase production levels as order numbers soar.

Operating earnings without the one-time burdens rose 19% to €6.9 billion (£5.79 billion).

Revenues rose 11% to €70.5 billion (£59.1 billion) as the company ramped up production of its A320 twinjet.

But the European aerospace giant that employs 6,000 workers at Broughton had to set aside €3.6bn last month to cover settlements with authorities in the United States, France and Britain after admitting that it had paid huge bribes on an “endemic” basis to secure contracts in 20 countries.

Beluga XL at Broughton filmed by drone
(Image: Airbus)

They also lost €1.2bn last year due to problems with its A400M military transport programme.

The company said it would propose a dividend of 1.80 euros per share, up 9% from 2017.

There was good news for workers with production rates set to increase.

Airbus is discussing further ramp-up potential for the A320 programme beyond 63 per month with the supply chain, and already sees a clear path to further increase the monthly production rate by one or two for each of the two years after 2021.

The breakeven target for the A350 was achieved in 2019.

Airbus A350 wing assembly building at Broughton in Flintshire
(Image: Daily Post Wales)

Given overall customer demand for widebody aircraft, Airbus expects A330 deliveries of approximately 40 aircraft per year beginning in 2020 and the A350 to stay between a monthly rate of 9 and 10 aircraft.

“We achieved a great deal in 2019. We delivered a strong underlying financial performance driven mainly by our commercial aircraft deliveries,” said Airbus Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury.

“The reported earnings also reflect the final agreements with the authorities resolving the compliance investigations and a charge related to revised export assumptions for the A400M.

“The level of confidence in our ability to continue to deliver sustainable growth going forward has led to a dividend proposal of €1.80 per share.

“Our focus in 2020 will be on reinforcing our company culture, improving operationally, and adjusting our cost structure to strengthen the financial performance and prepare for the future.”

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