Anybody one talks to in the aerospace industry today seems to agree that the civil aviation boom that started in the mid-2000s has years to run. The financial crisis of 2008-2009 caused a wobble, for sure, but even a recession worse than any since the 1930s and high oil prices have failed to prevent a strong rebound in sales and profits, and the resumption of steady growth that outstrips world GDP. In short, aerospace has never had it so good.
As shown by our annual Top 100 report – compiled, as ever, by the aerospace experts at PwC – revenue growth has averaged 5.6% yearly since 2005, and was more than 5% in 2013, the year examined in detail here.
Notable movements at the top of the table are few: GE Aviation (7) and Finmeccanica (8) swapped places, and Dassault moved into the top 20, replacing Thales, which slipped four places on minimal growth.
The ongoing clampdown on defence spending in Western countries has not led to any meltdowns. Companies focussed on military aerospace have tended to fall back in sales terms, but are generally holding their ground on the profits front. And, it is still early days in their push into the cybersecurity market – and into civil aerospace.
A contrarian view would note growing economic storm clouds and rising geopolitical tension in Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific. But, for an industry that has thrived despite the greatest financial meltdown of modern times, there is plenty of cause to expect more good years like the 2013 charted in this year’s Top 100.
Source: Flight International