Q3 Earnings: Hexcel’s Composites Rides The OEM Production Rate Ramp Up Wave, But Margins Pressures Persist

By Chris Sloan

Oct. 25, 2023, © Leeham News  – Hexcel Corporation, a tier four carbon fiber supplier best known for its significant contributions to all-composite Boeing 787 and Airbus A350s, reported substantial overall Q3 revenues despite inflationary and production efficiency pressures. While active in other industrial programs like space and defense, industrial applications, and carbon fiber auto wheels; commercial airspace accounts for the bulk of Hexcel’s total sales. Overall, third-quarter revenue increased by 19.2% to $251.9m year-over-year.

“Hexcel continues to benefit from the post-pandemic travel recovery and from the growing pull for newer, more fuel-efficient lightweight aircraft to meet that demand and to replace aging fleets,” commented Hexcel Chief Executive Officer and President Nick Stanage during the Q3 earnings call. The company perceives itself as well positioned to supply the combined Airbus and Boeing backlog currently tallying at a record 13,775 aircraft.

The company maintains that over the next three years, build rates for narrowbody aircraft are expected to increase by nearly 50%, and build rates for widebody aircraft are expected to almost double. Stanage insists the OEMs won’t be waiting on Hexcel, like they are at others at all supply chain tiers. “This is both a challenge and a great opportunity, and Hexcel is determined to be ready to ensure our products are produced efficiently and delivered on time to our customers,” maintains Stanage. The CEO further bullishly adds, “This is truly a great time to be in the business of manufacturing lightweight composite materials.”

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Hexcel reports increased demand for aerospace composites as industry rebounds

By Bryan Corliss

Jan. 27, 2023, © Leeham News: Composites materials supplier Hexcel Corp. reported that its fourth-quarter sales were up 29% over the same period last year, driven by increased demand from all across the aerospace industry.

“Virtually every platform from narrowbody to widebody to business jets is growing, and the customers continue to ramp as fast as the supply chain allows,” CEO Nick Stanage said.

As international air travel recovers, airlines are seeking more widebody jets, which is good for Hexcel, because newer widebodies have higher percentages of composite materials, Hexcel executives told investment analysts. However, new business jet and military aircraft models also incorporate higher percentages of composites.

Stanage and Hexcel CFO Patrick Winterlich noted that their company is not immune from the inflation and labor issues facing most manufacturers, but said they’re coping.

“You can’t give someone five years, three years, of experience in six months or nine months,” Stanage said. “We are working as hard and are focused as hard as we can on training and accelerating it.”


  • Hexcel profits beat Wall Street expectations
  • Analysts: Can Hexcel match Boeing ramp-up?
  • CEO: Commercial aerospace can withstand recession

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HOTR: Hexcel gives glimpse at 2030 airplane

By the Leeham News Team

July 28, 2022, © Leeham News: Hexcel, a major supplier of composites to Airbus and Boeing, gave a hint of things to come when the next generation narrowbody airplane is developed for late this decade or early next decade.

In its 2Q2022 earnings call, Hexcel forecast that the next-gen airplane may be comprised of more than 60% of composites and thermoplastics. (Figure 1.) This compares with about 50% for the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787. It compares with about 5% of the narrow- and widebody airplanes of the 1970s and 1980s.

Upping composite content in single-aisle airplanes and achieving economic operating gains is more difficult than the gains for widebody aircraft. The weight savings and stage lengths simply don’t match the benefits achieved on widebodies.

Nevertheless, Hexcel’s presentation presents an intriguing look into the future.

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