FARNBOROUGH: International business drives UK aerospace industry

Farnborough
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The UK aerospace industry is confident about the future, despite the gloomy economic outlook at home and in Europe.

"Our industry performs well because it depends on international markets other than the UK," says Robin Southwell, president of the aerospace, defence, security and space sector association ADS (H1/B12a), who is also chief executive of EADS's UK branch. "But if we depended on Europe and the UK alone, then it would be tough."

Last year, total sales of the nation's aerospace companies were up by 4.7% to nearly £24.2 billion ($37.6bn) compared with 2010. But the order volume for new aircraft was down by 2.6% to £28.3bn. The decline was caused by a 12.4% fall in military aircraft, which could not be counterbalanced even by increasing commercial sales.

Nevertheless, the UK's aerospace workforce increased by around 4% to over 100,600 jobs.

Civil aerospace revenue was up by 5.1% in real terms. ADS says that three-quarters of this volume is export business, with the EU being the largest buyer of the UK's output.