Airbus reports First Quarter (Q1) 2021 results

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Airbus has reported consolidated financial results for its First Quarter (Q1) ended 31 March 2021.

The good Q1 results mainly reflect our commercial aircraft delivery performance, cost, and cash containment, progress with the restructuring plan as well as positive contributions from our helicopter and defence and space activities,” said Airbus Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury. “The first quarter shows that the crisis is not yet over for our industry and that the market remains uncertain. We are investing in innovation and in the transformation of our Company to deliver on our long-term ambitions across the portfolio.”

Gross commercial aircraft orders totalled 39 (Q1 2020: 356 aircraft) and included 38 single-aisle aircraft. After cancellations, net commercial aircraft orders were -61 (Q1 2020: 290 aircraft) with the order backlog comprising 6,998 aircraft on 31 March 2021. Airbus Helicopters booked 40 net orders (Q1 2020: 54 units), including 2 Super Puma Family rotorcraft and 1 H160. Airbus Defence and Space’s order intake by value was € 2.0 billion (Q1 2020: € 1.7 billion) and included major contract wins in Space Systems and recurring services orders in Military Aircraft.

Consolidated revenues were broadly stable year-on-year at € 10.5 billion (Q1 2020: € 10.6 billion). A total of 125 commercial aircraft were delivered (Q1 2020: 122 aircraft), comprising 9 A220s, 105 A320 Family, 1 A330, and 10 A350s. Revenues generated by Airbus’ commercial aircraft activities decreased by 4 percent, mainly reflecting lower volume in services. Airbus Helicopters delivered 39 units (Q1 2020: 47 units) with revenues reflecting lower volume in civil helicopters, partly offset by growth in services. Revenues at Airbus Defence and Space were stable compared to a year earlier.

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, restructuring or foreign exchange impacts as well as capital gains/losses from the disposal and acquisition of businesses – increased to € 694 million (Q1 2020: € 281 million).

The EBIT Adjusted related to Airbus’ commercial aircraft activities increased to € 533 million (Q1 2020: € 191 million), mainly reflecting the focus on cost as well as a favourable mix. It also includes a positive impact from currency hedging.

Airbus Helicopters’ EBIT Adjusted increased to € 62 million (Q1 2020: € 53 million),  driven by services, programme execution, and lower spending on Research & Development (R&D) following the certifications of the H160 and five-bladed H145 in 2020.EBIT Adjusted at Airbus Defence and Space increased to € 59 million (Q1 2020: € 15 million), mainly reflecting continued cost containment and positive phasing in the quarter. One A400M military airlifted was delivered. Consolidated self-financed R&D expenses totalled € 620 million (Q1 2020: € 663 million).Consolidated EBIT (reported) amounted to € 462 million (Q1 2020: € 79 million), including Adjustments totalling a net € -232 million. 

These Adjustments comprised:€  -29 million related to A380 programme cost;
€ -177 million related to the dollar pre-delivery payment mismatch and balance sheet revaluation;€  -26 million of other costs, including compliance.   The financial result was € 59 million (Q1 2020: € -477 million). It mainly reflects the revaluation of financial instruments and the evolution of the US dollar as well as € 43 million from the revaluation of the Dassault Aviation equity stake, partly reduced by the net interest result of € -82 million. Consolidated net income(1) was € 362 million (Q1 2020 net loss: € -481 million) with consolidated reported earnings per share of € 0.46 (Q1 2020 loss per share: € -0.61).Consolidated free cash flow before M&A and customer financing amounted to € 1,202 million (Q1 2020: € -8,030 million), mainly driven by a strong positive phasing impact from working capital and reflects continued cash containment efforts. Consolidated free cash flow was € 1,164 million (Q1 2020: € -8,501 million). 

The consolidated net cash position was € 5.6 billion on 31 March 2021 (year-end 2020: € 4.3 billion) with a gross cash position of € 22.6 billion (year-end 2020: € 21.4 billion). The Company’s liquidity position remains strong. The maturity of the Supplemental Liquidity Line has been extended by 6 months, maintaining a high level of flexibility in the uncertain environment caused by COVID-19. 

OutlookThe guidance issued in February 2021 remains unchanged. As the basis for its 2021 guidance, the Company assumes no further disruptions to the world economy, air traffic, the Company’s internal operations, and its ability to deliver products and services. The Company’s 2021 guidance is before M&A.

On that basis, the Company targets to at least achieve in 2021:The same number of commercial aircraft deliveries as in 2020;EBIT Adjusted of € 2 billion;Breakeven free cash flow before M&A and customer financing. 

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