German engine and maintenance firm MTU Aero Engines is expecting to maintain its revenues in 2009, with its military business providing stability as the commercial market stagnates.

MTU is labelling 2008 as the most successful year in its 75-year history. Revenues were 6% up at €2.7 billion ($3.7 billion), boosted by an 11% hike in its commercial maintenance revenues. This helped MTU beat its upwardly revised €2.6 billion forecast, although without adverse dollar exchange effects revenue growth would have hit 12%.

Operating profits rose by 3% to €405.7 million, exceeding MTU's €400 million forecast, and net income was on target at €179.7 million, showing 17% growth.

MTU Aero Engines CEO Egon Behle says: "2008 was a record year for MTU in many respects. As well as more than meeting our quantitative targets, we have also taken strategic measures that point MTU towards an even better future."

Despite the anticipated cargo and passenger downturn in 2009, impacting new aircraft deliveries and after-market engine sales, MTU is expecting to maintain its revenues at around €2.8 billion. It is basing the forecast on stability in the military engine business.

But it adds: "MTU expects to see a significant decrease in sales of engine components and spare parts for business jets, and does not expect revenues from engines for commercial airliners, in any category, to grow with respect to 2008."

MTU is anticipating lower revenues from its spare parts business, but it is forecasting stability in its commercial maintenance activities after adjustments for dollar exchange rates.

It is aiming to achieve a 10% EBIT margin, down from 12% in 2008, saying the dip will be driven by market risk, a decline in the spare parts business, new engine programme start-up costs and investment in a new manufacturing site in Poland. Net income is therefore expected to drop to approximately €140 million.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news