Amid harsh economic realities, Airbus delivers 142 airplanes, revenues up by 13% Q1 2024

Airbus’ gross commercial aircraft delivered in Q1 2024 rose to 142. This is coming against the backdrop of an operating environment that shows no sign of improvement.

The company also reported consolidated financial results for its First Quarter (Q1) ended March 31, 2024.

“We delivered first quarter 2024 results against the backdrop of an operating environment that shows no sign of improvement. Geopolitical and supply chain tensions continue. In that context, we delivered 142 commercial aircraft,” said Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury.

“We started 2024 with a solid order intake across our businesses. The strong momentum on widebody aircraft underpins our decision to increase the production rate for the A350 to 12 aircraft a month in 2028. Our ramp-up plans are continuing, supported by the investments in our production system while relying on our core pillars of safety, quality, integrity, compliance and security.”

Gross commercial aircraft orders totalled 170 (Q1 2023: 156 aircraft) with the same number of net orders due to no cancellations (Q1 2023 net orders: 142 aircraft).

The order backlog amounted to 8,626 commercial aircraft at the end of March 2024. Airbus Helicopters registered 63 net orders (Q1 2023: 39 units), mainly in the light and medium segments. Airbus Defence and Space’s order intake by value was € 2.0 billion (Q1 2023: € 2.5 billion).

Consolidated revenues increased 9 per cent year-on-year to € 12.8 billion (Q1 2023: € 11.8 billion). A total of 142 commercial aircraft were delivered (Q1 2023: 127 aircraft), comprising 12 A220s, 116 A320 Family, 7 A330s and 7 A350s.

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Revenues generated by Airbus’ commercial aircraft activities increased 13 per cent, mainly reflecting the higher number of deliveries. Airbus Helicopters deliveries totalled 50 units (Q1 2023: 71 units) while its revenues decreased 9 per cent, reflecting the lower volume of deliveries, partially offset by services.

Revenues at Airbus Defence and Space increased 4 per cent mainly driven by the Air Power business, partly offset by a less favourable phasing in Space Systems. One A400M military airlifter was delivered in the quarter.

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 – was € 577 million (Q1 2023: € 773 million).

It includes the planned impact linked to the increased Airbus Employee Share Ownership Plan, which saw record participation among employees and resulted in a year-on-year expense increase of slightly above € 0.1 billion.

EBIT Adjusted related to Airbus’ commercial aircraft activities decreased to € 507 million (Q1 2023: € 580 million), with the positive impact from higher deliveries being offset by a slightly less favourable hedge rate as well as investments for preparing the future.

The A220 ramp-up continues towards a monthly production rate of 14 aircraft in 2026, with a focus on the programme’s industrial maturity and financial performance. On the A320 Family programme, the Company is making progress towards the rate of 75 aircraft per month in 2026.

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Entry-into-service of the A321XLR continues to be expected in Q3 2024. On wide-body aircraft, the Company has decided to increase the production rate for the A350 to 12 aircraft a month in 2028 and continues to target rate 4 for the A330 in 2024.

Airbus Helicopters’ EBIT Adjusted decreased to € 71 million (Q1 2023: € 156 million), from a particularly strong first quarter in 2023 and reflecting the lower deliveries.

EBIT Adjusted at Airbus Defence and Space decreased to € -9 million (Q1 2023: € 36 million), mainly reflecting the lower volume and profitability of Space Systems, notably linked to the Estimates at Completion updates performed in the second half of 2023.

On the A400M programme, development activities continue towards achieving the revised capability roadmap. Retrofit activities are progressing in close alignment with the customer. No net material impact was recognised in the first quarter of 2024. Risks remain on the qualification of technical capabilities and associated costs, on aircraft operational reliability, on cost reductions and on securing overall volume as per the revised baseline.

Consolidated self-financed R&D expenses totalled € 743 million (Q1 2023: € 683 million).

Consolidated EBIT (reported) amounted to € 609 million (Q1 2023: € 390 million), including net Adjustments of € +32 million.

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These Adjustments comprised:

  • € -13 million related to the dollar working capital mismatch and balance sheet revaluation. This mainly reflects the phasing impact arising from the difference between transaction date and delivery date;
  • € +51 million related to the gain on Airbus OneWeb Satellites, linked to the recent acquisition of the remaining 50% of the joint venture;
  • € -6 million of other costs including compliance costs.

The financial result was € 229 million (Q1 2023: € 149 million), mainly reflecting a positive impact from the revaluation of certain equity investments. Consolidated net income was € 595 million (Q1 2023: € 466 million) with consolidated reported earnings per share of € 0.76 (Q1 2023: € 0.59).

Consolidated free cash flow before customer financing was € -1,791 million (Q1 2023: € -876 million), mainly reflecting the planned inventory build-up resulting from the execution of the ramp-up across programmes. Consolidated free cash flow was € -1,799 million (Q1 2023: € -873 million). The gross cash position stood at € 23.4 billion at the end of March 2024 (year-end 2023: € 25.3 billion), with a consolidated net cash position of € 8.7 billion (year-end 2023: € 10.7 billion).

Wole Shadare

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