Airbus’s commercial aircraft earnings improved over the first quarter, despite a 4% fall in revenues for the division.

The airframer turned in EBIT earnings of €343 million ($416 million) for the three months to 31 March, on revenues of €7.27 billion.

Its adjusted EBIT reached €533 million, compared with the figure of €191 million recorded in the first quarter of 2020.

Airbus says this mainly reflects “focus on cost” as well as a “favourable” mix of deliveries, adding that it benefited from positive currency hedging effects.

The airframer delivered 125 commercial aircraft over the quarter – comprising 10 A350s, one A330, 105 A320-family jets and nine A220s – slightly higher than the 122 achieved last year.

Commercial aircraft revenues dipped mainly due to “lower volume in services”, says the airframer.

Airbus A350 at Oshkosh

Source: Airbus

Chief executive Guillaume Faury says the “good” quarterly performance for the company as a whole is the result not only of commercial aircraft activity but also cost and cash containment, progress with restructuring, and positive contributions from its helicopter, defence and space businesses.

“The first quarter shows that the crisis is not yet over for our industry,” he warns. “The market remains uncertain.

“We are investing in innovation and in the transformation of our company to deliver on our long-term ambitions across the portfolio.”

Although Airbus recorded 39 commercial aircraft orders over the quarter, cancellations meant it ended the period with a net order deficit of 61.

Financial adjustments of €232 million for the period included a €29 million charge relating to A380 programme costs and €177 million related to the dollar pre-delivery payment mismatch and balance sheet revaluation.

Airbus is aiming to achieve the same number of commercial aircraft deliveries this year as it managed in 2020.