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Guarguaglini: "We have a special role in the UK"
Finmeccanica believes the UK will eventually become its single biggest aviation and defence (A&D) market in the near future, with Italy relegated to second place.

This statement was made yesterday by Pier Franceso Guarguaglini, chairman and CEO of Finmeccanica group. “We have a special role in the UK. In the first half of 2006 we strengthened our position through several programme acquisitions and it is now the second domestic market for Finmeccanica,” says Guarguaglini.

“The Defence Industrial Strategy (DIS) came at an opportune moment and validates our investments in the UK A&D sector. If trends continue, the UK will become the single most important market to us.”

Guarguaglini is also critical at the lack of backing from the firm’s national government. “Italian ministers have caused us some problems. If the Italian government invested more, we would be even more successful,” he says.

Figures released by Finmeccanica showed that in 2004 the Italian customer base was 81% of its sales with the UK at 6%, however, projections see Italy moving to 38% and the UK increasing to 17% by 2008.

Giorgio Zappa, COO of Finmeccanica, adds that aeronautics will continue to be a major growth area with products such as Eurofighter Typhoon, Future Lynx, C-27J and M 346, all winning orders or gathering interest. “The EURO1.4 billion contract with the UK’s MoD for the Future Lynx was the first contract under the Strategic Partnership Agreement. We hope to continue with this relationship and use this as a platform to look at new opportunities in the Middle East and Far East.”

Zappa says that outside of continue to grow its three biggest markets – Italy, UK and USA – the company will be looking to increase its interests in China and Japan over the next two years. “China and Japan are two major growth areas over the next couple of years. There are difficulties with China, such as visa and licence issues surrounding helicopters but I’m sure we will be able to overcome these challenges.”


Source: Flight Daily News