February 17, 2022, © Leeham News: Airbus presented its results for 2021 today. The company announced record net profits of €4.3bn as it exits the COVID restraints of 2020 and first half 2021.
Airbus’ problem is no longer a depressed market but how to ramp the A320/321 production to capture the demand. It expects to know by mid-year if it can go beyond a planned 65 deliveries per month by 2024.
The strong result came from deliveries of 611 commercial aircraft compared with 566 last year. Guidance for 2022 is 720 airliner deliveries, an operating profit of €5.5bn, and a Free Cash Flow of €3.5bn.
Revenue for 2021 was €52.1bn (€49.9bn 2020), operating profit €4.3bn (called EBIT adjusted, -€1.4bn 2020), and net profit was €4.2bn (-€1.1bn). The results include a €1.1bn writeoff due to COVID impacts on the company. Airbus announced it will pay dividends to its chairholders again.
Free cash flow 2021 was €3.6bn (-€6.9bn including 3.6bn penalty), and the net cash position end 2021 was €7.6bn (2020 €4.3bn).
Guidance for 2021 is now:
Airbus will worldwide hire 6,000 people during 2022 to manage its production increases. In the analyst call, a net cash position of €10bn by the end of 2022 was seen as probable.
The division had 507 net orders during 2021, with a backlog now at 7,082 aircraft.
Of the 611 deliveries during 2022, 483 was A320/A321 (221 A321), 50 A220, 55 A350, 18 A330 and 5 A380.
Demand for the A320 series is coming back faster than anticipated, and Airbus’ problem is to ramp the production to keep pace. It’s in a dialog with the supply chain to see if it can go beyond 65 deliveries per month after 2023. It expects these talks to give clarity by mid-year.
Airbus is intensifying the work to prepare all FALs for A321 production. The new FAL in place of the A380 production in Toulouse will go live in 2023. The first A321XLR entered the FAL in November 2021 and will be used for flight testing and certification of the variant during 2022, with deliveries starting next year.
The A350 family is experiencing a strong pickup in A350F freighter orders, with Ethiad as the last customer singing an LOI for seven A350F this week.
The rate increase to 14 A220 (10 in Mirabel and four in Mobile) by mid-decade will bring the program to a cash positive position by then.
Helicopters had an order increase with 55% in a recovering market. Revenue increased 4% to €6.5bn (€6.3bn) and EBIT 18% to €0.54bn (€0.46bn).
Revenues were slightly down at €10.2bn (€10.5bn) with EBIT at €0.57bn (€0.41bn).
Eight A440M were delivered in 2021. The losses in the program are now in the low hundreds of millions, on the way down.