Finmeccanica, the Italian aerospace giant, has confirmed it may look to the equity markets in order to keep its acquisitive drive for growth on track.

Speaking yesterday, Giorgio Zappa, chairman and CEO, says: “Where we think it necessary and useful for business development, we will raise capital on the equity market. The ultimate objective of our strategy is to constantly improve our ability to create value, in order to ensure an adequate return on invested capital.”

Zappa adds that any move to the markets would be attractive for investors as, from 2002, Earnings Before Interest & Tax (EBIT) had more than doubled – with the margin rising from 5.7% to 8.1%.

“Our target is to reach 10% by 2010. Also, since 2003 we have increased the dividends paid to shareholders by 20% per year, while the value of our shares have grown by 56%,” he says, before admitting the last few months have not been as stellar for shares, in line with the rest of the world’s economy.

Zappa’s announcement comes off the back of US investment company, Capital Group, doubling its stake to more than 5% this month, becoming the largest non-state investor. The Italian state holds just under 34% in Finmeccanica, which has a market capitalisation of about €7bn ($11bn).

Source: Flight International