THE IMPACT OF DELAYS to deliveries of its interactive in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems caught up with BE Aerospace (BEA) in 1995, leaving the group showing a net loss of $83 million.

BEA, which has been waiting to cash in on its growing backlog of IFE orders, announced in April that it planned to write off the up-front costs of developing systems for its customers.

Previously, BEA had planned to write off the engineering work as the systems were delivered, but, with shipments proving slower than expected, the group has decided to take the expenses as they take place.

The engineering provision, together with the costs of acquiring Burns Aerospace, wiped around $65 million from the group's profits for the full year to February 1996. Sales were also virtually static, at around the $230 million mark.

Despite the delays, BEA chairman Amin Khoury believes that the group's fortunes will begin to turn in the current quarter as IFE deliveries take place and airline recovery begins to lift the galley and seating businesses. He points to the group's record backlog of $475 million.

"The company now stands poised to benefit from its growing backlog and strong market shares in a marketplace which now shows robust fundamentals," says Khoury. "We believe that we are now in a turnaround quarter."

Source: Flight International