High in 1994

FOKKER SANK TO record losses in 1994 as the group struggled to cope with plummeting aircraft sales and "cut-throat" competition.

Nearly DFl 1.4 billion ($790 million) were wiped off the Netherlands manufacturer's sales over the year, as the number of aircraft deliveries were cut from 74 to 47.

This year the production rate is scheduled to rise marginally, to 50 aircraft, as deliveries of the new Fokker 70 will increase regional-jet output to 40, up from only 30 in 1995.

Falling sales, combined with the cost of revaluing its lease-book, left Fokker showing its worst-ever operating loss of DFl622 million. Fokker still believes that it can return to the black by 1996.

"We've taken all the blows in a single year," the company says.

The group launched a radical restructuring programme earlier this year, including, a new round of job cuts and plant closures (Flight International, 8-14 March). Employment is due to fall from 10,400 down to 8,770 over 1994 and is set to fall again, to 6,700, over the next two years.

The cost of redundancies resulted in a charge of DFl 150 million for 1994, although this was more than offset by the DFl 427 million gain from a complex technology lease-back deal carried out with the Radobank. Including this gain, Fokker was able to trim its net loss slightly to DFl 449 million.

At the same time as announcing its results, the group confirmed that it has agreed to sell a two-thirds stake in its Fokker Space and Systems Subsidiary. It was confirmed that the unit would be floated off when Daimler-Benz Aerospace, which has its own space interests, took control of Fokker in 1993.

The stake has been taken, by the Ultra Centrifuge Nederland group, which, is already a supplier to Fokker.

Source: Flight International