Zodiac reveals dip in aircraft systems business

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Declining aircraft systems business was responsible for a fall in Zodiac Aerospace's total revenues in the financial year ending 31 August.

The French group blames conditions in the business jet and regional airliner markets for a 14.8% drop in sales of aircraft systems, which dragged total revenues down by 2.5% to €2.15 billion ($2.82 billion) as it outweighed gains in other segments.

Zodiac's cabin interiors business grew 2.2% to €1.16 billion and its aerosafety and technology revenues edged up 0.6% to €509 million.

The aircraft systems business, which totalled €480 million over the year, showed signs of recovery as the financial year wore on. Its fourth quarter revenues were up 10.4%.

In the same quarter, Zodiac moved to strengthen both its cabin interiors and its aerosafety and technology businesses, acquiring German galleys manufacturer Sell and Canadian wiring protection specialist Cantwell Cullen.

It expects to report an operating margin of 11% for the latest financial year when it reveals full financial results on 23 November, with net income "close to the previous year's level excluding exceptional items".

With currency hedges in place for two-thirds of its net transaction exposure for the next fiscal year, the company says it "is ideally positioned to benefit from the impending recovery of current aircraft programmes and the ramp-up of new programmes".

Zodiac is a supplier to the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 XWB widebody programmes. In July, it rejected a merger proposal from Safran Group.