Latécoère turnover up despite A380 delays

Sales French aerostructures manufacturer Latécoère has overcome Airbus A380 delays to surpass its objective of a 20% growth in sales for 2006 (see graph). The company says increased deliveries of Airbus A330s and A320s as well as Dassault and Embraer products offset the lower rate of production for the A380.


Goodrich aims for Czech production

Manufacturing US-based manufacturer Goodrich is considering producing around 360 undercarriages a year in the Czech Republic at a factory near Mosnov airport, in the north-east of the country. The company has not yet made a final decision, but is attracted to the Czech Republic by the prospect of low-cost labour. If it does go ahead with the project, its plant will employ over 300 local people. The company will establish a facility somewhere in Eastern Europe even if the Czech Republic is not selected.

PCC continues buying spree

Acquisition US-based Precision Castparts (PCC) is pushing ahead with its strategy of growth through acquisition, with the agreement to buy New Jersey-based component manufacturer McWilliams Forge. The "tuck-in" acquisition will fit into PCC unit Wyman-Gordon and completion of the deal is due by March, subject to regulatory approval. PCC chief executive Mark Donegan says that the deal will extend Wyman-Gordon's reach with manufacturers of smaller aircraft engines.

Aircastle plans IPO

Offering Lessor Aircastle is aiming to sell 13.5 million ordinary shares in an initial public offering (IPO). The proceeds of the sale will be used to pay off debt and for other corporate purposes, the company says. It has also granted the IPO underwriters the option to buy a further 2 million shares.

A380 and NH90 delays hit Stork's earnings

Results Netherlands-based Stork's full year earnings for 2006 slumped to €10.8 million ($14 million) compared with €62.3 million for 2005. The company was forced to make a €28 million provision in the fourth quarter "for the effects resulting from the delays and risks in the Airbus A380 and NH Industries NH90", it says. The company's aerospace activities as a whole posted a €19.5 million loss in the fourth quarter.

Airline premiums to fall further, says Aon

Insurance Airline insurance broker Aon is predicting a continuing decline in airline insurance premiums as low loss levels have led to intense competition. Lead premium levels fell by almost a quarter in December 2006, compared with December 2005, and by nearly 20% for the year as a whole, Aon says. But the broker warns: "Aviation insurance exists to ensure business continuity in the event of a serious incident, and the market needs to be in a position to respond in a balanced manner if the need arises."

Boeing commercial earnings soar

Revenues Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) has posted earnings of $2.7 billion for 2006, more than 90% higher than the previous year's figure, as the company as a whole reported full-year revenues up nearly 15% at $61.5 billion. Net earnings were 14% lower at $2.2 billion. Boeing delivered 398 commercial aircraft last year and secured record net orders, increasing its backlog by 40% to $174 billion. The manufacturer is forecasting 440-445 aircraft deliveries and revenues of $32.5-33 billion in 2007. Revenues at the company's Integrated Defence Systems business unit grew by 18% to a record level of $9.7 billion for 2006.

Source: Flight International