Provisional financial figures from major European and French aerospace companies show that revenues in 2002 were slightly down on those of 2001, but in line with forecasts. Official figures and comments from chief executives are due in the first half of March.

EADS, in line with predictions, turned in revenues last year of €29.9 billion ($32.4 billion), down almost €1 billion, or 3% compared with 2001. The group took in orders worth €31 billion. Complete revenue figures for 2002 will be released on 10 March.

Sagem's defence and security branch saw revenues increase 7% in 2002 to €998 million, generating a net operating profit of €78 million.

Dassault Aviation's 2002 turnover amounted to €3.4 billion, slightly down on the 2001 result of €3.5 billion. Dassault will release detailed figures on 12 March.

Although Airbus and the Aeronautics division were major contributors to EADS registering earnings of €1.4 billion for the year, slightly better than forecast, it was the drop in the number of Airbus aircraft delivered (303 in 2002 against 325 a year earlier) and the drop in the value of the dollar which were largely responsible for a 3% drop in revenue, the group says.

Strong Eurocopter results helped EADS's Aeronautics division improve its financial performance slightly in 2002. The group says its Civil and Defence Systems division "managed its recovery and even surpassed its break-even objective". However, "significant losses" occurred in the Space division, due largely to the end of the Ariane 4 launcher programme and the downturn in the civilian telecommunications satellite market.

Philippe Camus and Rainer Hertrich, co-chief executives of EADS, say that although 2002 was "a difficult year, EADS reached and even improved on its financial objectives". They add that they are "totally dedicated to maintaining solid margins" through restructuring and cost cutting.

Meanwhile, EADS's visibility in Europe's financial markets will increase from 24 March when it appears for the first time on a German stock exchange index, the MDAX, after the introduction of rules by the Deutsche B"rse opening the MDAX to non-German companies.

Source: Flight International