© Airbus SAS 2014 - Bengt Lange
Summarized overview of the activity of LISI AEROSPACE:
- Volumes stable before the strong build-up of the new programs expected for 2017
- Sales revenue sustained by the very positive contribution of the strengthening of the dollar against the euro (+€38.1 million)
- Free cash flow1 largely positive, despite a record investment plan (+€69 million). Very satisfactory functioning of the Fasteners activity
- Creation of LISI AEROSPACE Additive Manufacturing, 60% held by LISI AEROSPACE and 40% by Poly-Shape, dedicated to the design and production of mechanical parts using 3D printing
Visibility in the commercial aircraft sector remains excellent, with orders recorded for the year again exceeding production rates, which increased in 2015. The other market segments served by LISI AEROSPACE had varied fortunes, in particular helicopters where the distribution in the USA showed significant decline. While Airbus remains behind Boeing in the number of aircraft deliveries (635 aircraft compared to 762 for Boeing), it is leader in the number of net orders (1,036 compared to 768 for Boeing). Airbus deliveries increased by +8% between 2012 and 2015 but by +27% for Boeing. The effect of the increase in production (to 50 aircraft per month, then 60) for single-aisles and the A350 is expected for 2017.
|In millions of euros||2015||2014||Changes|
|Current operating profit (EBIT)||124.3||114.1||+8.9%|
|Operating cash flow||113.9||106.2||+7.3%|
|Free cash flow1||41.7||43.9||-€2.2M|
|Registered employees at period end||7,087||6,957||+1.9%|
|Average full time equivalent headcount2||7,614||6,800||+12.0%|
1 Free cash flow: operating cash flow minus net industrial CAPEX and changes in working capital requirements.
2 Including temporary employees.
LISI AEROSPACE continues to show dynamism with an 18.0% increase in sales revenue in 2015 (of which +5.0% in the fourth quarter). At €929.6 million, it is the result of the following elements:
- a very positive contribution of the strengthening of the dollar against the euro throughout the financial year (+€38.1 million), to which can be added the favorable effect of the Canadian dollar (+€1.3 million) and the British pound (+€5.7 million);
- the consolidation over the full financial year of Manoir Aerospace, which contributed €88.0 million in additional sales revenue compared to 2014.
At comparable scope and currencies, growth is brought to +2.0% (+1.8% during the last quarter).
In particular, sales for the Fasteners activity in Europe (+5.9% in 2015 and +5.2% for the last quarter 2015) benefited from the good production performance of Airbus. In the USA, sales revenue recorded an increase of +19.7% over 12 months and +17.4% over the last quarter, supported by a very significant dollar effect, and a volume effect, although much more limited (+1.5% over 2015, +2.6% over the last quarter). Lastly, the sales of the Structural components activity, which amounted to €336.8 million, showed a slight decrease before the build-up of the new programs expected for 2017.
Current operating profit reached €124.3 million (€114.1 million in 2014), an increase of almost €10.2 million thanks to the significant dollar effect in the Fasteners activity and the contribution of Manoir Aerospace over 12 months. While the contribution of Manoir Aerospace for the full year provided €2.6 million of current operating profit, it weighed on the operating margin for the division which went from 14.5% to 13.4%. High production enabled the absorption of the still significant development costs for new structural components.
The current operating profit takes into account the following elements:
- +€5.9 million of net favorable foreign exchange effect of hedging (average USD/Euro at around 1.18);
- -€13.3 million negative effect of the product mix and the implementation of "series compared to prototype" prices for developments;
- -€4.0 million of extra costs identified in the Structural components activity;
- -€2.4 million of non-recurring costs, in particular the qualification of the new Titanium plant in Canada;
- -€4.6 million increase in depreciation due to the investment plan.
In addition, it integrates €7.1 million of reversal of provisions consumed or not used for the financial year.
The financial structure was strengthened by the good level of operating cash flow (12.3% of sales revenue) at €113.9 million which largely finances a record investment plan of +€69 million. An increase of nearly 35% compared to 2014, these investments were mainly devoted to:
- the Fasteners activity in Europe (new Villefranche-de-Rouergue plant, preparation for the new Airbus contract in Rugby (UK) and Saint-Ouen-l'Aumône (Val d’Oise, France);
- in the USA: in California, new plants at City of Industry (special fasteners) and in Canada (large diameter titanium);
- the scope of LISI AEROSPACE Creuzet (development of new products, in particular in Marmande); and
- the modernization of Manoir Aerospace.
Inventories for the division increased by +€19.0 million for the financial year, corresponding to a reduction of two days in sales revenue.
Taking into account these elements and the decrease in other working capital requirements, the free cash flow remains largely positive at +€41.7 million (4.5% of sales revenue).
Headcount stabilized over the financial year at 7,087 employees (6,957 in December 2014).
The Aerospace division should benefit from increased production only from the end of 2016. In this outlook, it will continue to modernize its production equipments, as well as industrializing new products. It is also investing in long-term projects such as the development of the "Optiblind®" assembly system, the implementation of a robotization project, and the creation of LISI AEROSPACE Additive Manufacturing with the Poly-Shape company, European leader in additive production with whom the Group signed an agreement on December 17, 2015 to create a common company: LISI AEROSPACE Additive Manufacturing. 60% held by LISI AEROSPACE and 40% by Poly-Shape, its aim is to provide aerospace customers with a response that integrates additive technologies into the design and production of 3D printed mechanical parts.
The division as a whole will benefit from the solidity of the market for commercial aircraft with over 100 seats and to a lesser extent, the relaunch of the Rafale program. The recent renewal of most of the major sales contracts testifies to LISI AEROSPACE's capability of meeting the increasing demands of its clients in terms of innovation, development and productivity.
It is in this spirit that LISI AEROSPACE should succeed the industrialization of new products, used in programs such as the A350, and the Leap and GE9X engines. On the industrial side, the division will benefit from the unprecedented efforts of previous years to maintain its current efficiency level. The start-up of the Villefranche-de-Rouergue and Saint-Ouen-l'Aumône plants, and the ramp-up of those of Marmande and Dorval (Canada) will impose a new industrial standard in the Group's businesses. In 2016, the "Forge 2020" installation project concerning the plant currently located in Bologne (Haute Marne) will enter a concrete work phase.
There are, therefore, numerous industrial challenges to be faced, and the creation of LISI AEROSPACE Additive Manufacturing will open exciting new technical territories that will meet global aerospace's requirements for excellence. Combined with the efforts in product innovation, these development focuses consolidate LISI AEROSPACE's position for the future.
As the division's major customers do not plan to increase their production before the end of the year, 2016 is expected to be a consolidation year before a new increase expected in 2017.