Has Finmeccanica turned the corner? At the risk of tempting fate, all the indicators say it’s time to drop the modifier “troubled” when referring to Italy’s aerospace champion and start talking about profits and growth – and the bold moves they might enable.

Nothing has come easily, but a sound course charted in response to a disastrous 2011 has been followed and refined, to the point that Finmeccanica is genuinely looking like a new company. Core businesses are in solid profit, the crippling India bribery scandal has been leveraged into a transformative blueprint for ­honest, effective corporate governance and the key AgustaWestland helicopters division might reasonably claim to be leading all rivals.

Debt remains stubbornly high – paying-down efforts are being offset by a deteriorating euro-dollar exchange rate – but cash generation expectations are strong so that cloud, too, is lifting.

Chief executive Mauro Moretti, appointed last year by a new Italian government determined to show steel when it comes to reform of state-controlled companies, owes much to the efforts of his predecessors Alessandro Pansa and Giuseppe Orsi. But Moretti deserves credit for completing a radical restructuring.

He knows that job isn’t finished, but he has made it clear that it is also time, finally, for Finmeccanica to start building its future.

Source: Flight International