EADS is predicting a "softer" commercial environment for its Eurocopter division for the remainder of the year and into 2014, leading to a buildup of excess inventory thanks to previous moves to increase production.

Speaking on a conference call detailing its nine-month results, chief financial officer Harald Wilhelm said Eurocopter's current sales outlook is "a bit softer, however, than at the beginning of the year".

He says: "Last year a production ramp-up was strongly engaged. One of the first measures [new Eurocopter chief executive] Guillaume Faury took very quickly when arriving in the summer was to review that and take adjustments." However, excess inventory will take time to work through, he adds.

Faury is also "working hard" to "step up customer satisfaction", says Wilhelm, noting that this is a "key emphasis" in the light of issues with the company's EC225.

Those problems – which saw a large proportion of the global fleet grounded due to a serious gearbox fault – have largely been resolved, and around 60% of the affected aircraft have now returned to service, he says.

Although deliveries of the type have now resumed, the "pace of the return to service" will determine the level of handovers this year.

Eurocopter took bookings for 109 aircraft in the last quarter, including 17 EC225s. Its backlog now stands at 1,034 helicopters worth €13 billion ($18 billion).

Source: FlightGlobal.com