Snecma's chief executive Jean-Paul Béchat has dismissed the idea of mergers with other European engine makers, including Rolls-Royce, following its partial privatisation on 2 June.

He reveals, however, that in the military sector, Snecma and R-Rare "ready to broaden their partnerships".

Béchat says Snecma's principal objective is to continue development of the CFM56 civil engine produced in a 50:50 relationship with General Electric. In a speech to the French parliamentary defence commission following the government's decision to release 35% of the manufacturer to the public sector, he claimed it was the group's "robust economic model" which had enabled it to turn a profit over the past two years despite the financial problems of some of its major clients such as Air Canada, Swiss, United Airlines and US Airways.

Snecma registered net profits of €106 million ($130 million) in 2002 and €182 million in 2003 and this, Béchat says, is what encouraged the French government to relaunch the privatisation process after it had been interrupted in September 2002.

He also cites the 8% rise in the value of EADS shares since the beginning of the year as an indication that investors' confidence in the aerospace sector appears to have returned.

The CFM56 now accounts for about 35% of Snecma's turnover, Béchat says.



Source: Flight International