Safran expects its seats division's sales to be flat in 2019 but has emphasised that restructuring efforts within the former Zodiac Aerospace aircraft interiors business – which the French group acquired a year ago – are on track.

Finance chief Bernard Delpit said during a results briefing today that seat deliveries had declined 19% in 2018 while cabin equipment volumes increased 9%.

Aircraft interiors activities – comprising Safran's separate seats and cabin equipment divisions – generated revenue of €2.01 billion ($2.29 billion) and a recurring operating income of €20 million.

Meanwhile, aerosystems – another former Zodiac division – generated an €266 million recurring operating income on revenue of €1.79 billion.

Zodiac was acquired by Safran in February 2018, and the business subsequently restructured into three separate group divisions: seats, cabin equipment and aerosystems.

Safran seat production

Seat deliveries declined 19% in 2018


In 2018, Safran spent €40 million on restructuring efforts, €36 million of it in the seats and cabin equipment divisions.

The group says it has achieved planned savings and that organisational, functional and operational changes have progressed in line with a roadmap disclosed in late 2018.

Operational performance improvements in the seats division have until now mainly been concentrated on production facilities in France and the USA.

Next steps for the entire former Zodiac business will be an "optimisation of the industrial footprint", establishment of shared service centres, integration of certain activities from the aerosystems and aircraft interiors divisions, and realisation of additional "synergies" in research and technology efforts, Safran says.

It targets cost savings of €250 million by 2022. A previous savings target had been set at €200 million.

In regard to its seats division, Safran says that its "top priority" is to "address the remaining challenges and restore the trust of costumers".

Chief executive Philippe Petitcolin states that the seats division needs to "bring back quality and on-time deliveries".

He sees 2019 as a year of transition for the interiors business, and expresses confidence that Safran can restore the Zodiac market share of "before the crisis" and further grow the interiors business.