Airbus posted record net profit in 2021
Airbus, the major global aerospace and defense group based in Europe, published its annual results for 2021 on Thursday. It achieved a record net result of 4.2 billion euros during the year. Revenues totaled €52.1 billion, adjusted earnings before interest and tax (Ebit) were €4.9 billion and reported Ebit was €5.3 billion. The group had a free cash flow (before mergers and acquisitions and customer financing) of 3.5 billion euros and its net cash amounted to 7.6 billion euros.
The group delivered 611 commercial aircraft over the past year. Commercial aircraft gross orders in 2021 were 771 (equivalent figure in 2020 was 383), but after cancellations net orders were 507 (compared to 268 in 2020). Last year’s orders included the first for Airbus’ new dedicated A350F freighter, confirming market demand for the type. The group’s commercial aircraft order book stood at 7,082 as of December 31, 2021.
Commercial aircraft production was progressing in line with previously announced plans. For the A320 Family, the production ramp-up was on track to reach a monthly production rate of 65 aircraft (“rate 65”) by the northern summer of next year. The company was still evaluating, in cooperation with its suppliers, the possibility of subsequently increasing production above rate 65. Meanwhile, all of its production sites were prepared to be able to produce the A321 (the largest member of the A320 family). This was a risk reduction measure by the group.
Airbus Helicopters’ Adjusted Ebit last year was €535 million, compared to €471 million the previous year. This increase was largely driven by support and services, program delivery and a focus on cost. The rotorcraft subsidiary has secured net orders for 414 helicopters in 2021. Among them, the first batch of 30 H160Ms for the French armies. By comparison, net helicopter orders in 2020 were 268.
Airbus Defense and Space recorded an Adjusted Ebit of €696 million in 2021, compared to €660 million in 2020. This reflects cost containment measures. However, revenues were down 2% year-over-year, largely due to the military aircraft segment, although this was partially offset by the space segment. Eight A400M transport aircraft were delivered during the year.
“2021 has been a year of transition, where our focus has shifted from managing the pandemic to recovery and growth,” said the CEO of Airbus Group. Guillaume Faury. “Thanks to the resilience and efforts of our teams, customers and suppliers, we have achieved remarkable annual results. The financial strength reflects the increase in the number of commercial aircraft deliveries, the good performance of our Helicopters and Defense activities and space as well as our cost containment and competitiveness efforts. Record net profit and our efforts to strengthen the net cash position underpin our proposal to reintroduce dividend payments in the future. At the same time, we continue to invest in our strategic priorities and in the transformation of our business.