Hamburg, 17 January 2012 – EADS turned 2011 into a year of growth and remarkably improved performance: The Group reached a record order intake thanks to the strong commercial aircraft momentum – particularly due to the A320neo’s astounding market reception – and solid performance in Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter.
At a joint New Year’s press conference with Airbus, EADS CEO Louis Gallois said: “Our record order book and the strong net cash position are a testimony for the Group’s strength and visibility. EADS is a cash and growth machine. Now it’s time for growing profitability. Like in 2011, we once again plan to hire around 5,000 permanent employees and 4,000 temporary this year.” Yet, EADS continues to closely monitor the macroeconomic environment and further increases its global competitiveness by driving forward Group-wide optimisation programmes.
In support of Vision 2020, the Group realized important acquisitions in the services business in 2011. Airbus acquired the Danish company Satair A/S as well as US-based Metron Aviation, while Astrium acquired Vizada in France and Eurocopter purchased Canada-based Vector Aerospace. “These acquisitions have been significant steps to foster our internationalisation and particularly to increase our services business“, Gallois said.
Moreover, EADS continued on its dynamic innovation path. Throughout 2011, the A320neo evidenced Airbus’ capability to technologically advance a mature product in order to satisfy urgent market requirements. Eurocopter unveiled its new EC145 T2, achieved speed records with the X3, initiated flight tests of an AS350 hybrid helicopter demonstrator, and launched the X4 programme. In the space sector, ESA contracted Astrium to design, deliver and operate the European Data Relay System, making Astrium the company to offer the most advanced telecommunications highway in space. Furthermore, the second Automated Transfer Vehicle took to space, representing one of five successful Ariane 5 launches in 2011 and bringing the total number of consecutive launches to 46. In its Unmanned Aerial Systems business, Cassidian inked cooperation agreements on drones with Alenia Aeronautica and TAI and celebrated the roll-out of the transatlantic EuroHawk programme.
While the defence business saw the delivery of the 300th Eurofighter, the Group also expanded its global security business as exemplified by the Saudi Arabian Border Security programme.
Thanks to the Group’s strong performance, the EADS share price gained 38% between 1 January and 31 December 2011 – being the best performer of the CAC40 and secondbest of the MDAX indices.