LISI AEROSPACE

Summary presentation of the LISI AEROSPACE activity:

  • Increase in the volumes relating to the build-up of the new programs and new products;
  • Free Cash Flow1 largely positive, after a CAPEX plan up by more than 19%;
  • Very satisfactory functioning of the “Fasteners Europe” activity;
  • Inauguration and qualification of the LISI AEROSPACE Additive Manufacturing site and a large number of strategic initiatives;
  • Sale of the “Floor covering – Interior design” activity.

Market

Visibility in the commercial aircraft sector remains very good. The other market segments served by LISI AEROSPACE had varied fortunes, in particular helicopters and certain segments such as regional aircraft, the military in the USA or business aircraft.

While Airbus remains behind Boeing in the number of aircraft deliveries (688 aircraft compared to 748 for Boeing), it is the leader in the number of net orders (731 compared to 668 for Boeing), i.e. an order book of 13,000 aircraft.

As expected, the effect of the delivery rates of single-aisles and the A350 will continue in 2017.

Activity

(in millions of euros) 2016 2015 Changes
Sales revenue 987.2 929.6 +6.2%
Current operating profit (EBIT) 122.9 124.3 (1.1%)
Operating cash flow 127.1 113.9 +11.5%
Net CAPEX (82.4) (69.0) +19.4%
Free Cash Flow1 32.3 41.7 (€9.4M)
Registered employees at period end 7,386 7,087 +4.2%
Average full time equivalent headcount2 8,011 7,614 +5,2%

1 Free Cash Flow : operating cash flow minus net capital expenditure and changes in working capital requirements.
2 Including temporary workers.

LISI AEROSPACE continues to show dynamism with sales revenue increasing by 6.2% to €987.2 million.

The retroactive consolidation at January 1, 2016 of the Indian company Ankit Fasteners contributed +€5.2 million to the division’s sales revenue. Furthermore, the net currency effects amounted to –€1.4 million.

At comparable scope and currency, growth of 5.9%, sustained by a very dynamic European market and a strong build-up of the new programs.

The “Fasteners – Europe” activity which benefited from the initial allocations from the A350 program (which corresponds to the constitution of the assembly line inventories prior to the long production run industrialization phase) is increasing by +14.3%. The “Fasteners North America” part saw an upturn in orders from Boeing during the last months of 2016, an initial improvement after several months of substantial decreases in sales revenue (€20 million) due to the re-organization of the aircraft manufacturer’s supply chain. The “Structural components” activity, whose products are primarily intended for European customers, also saw good growth of +7.0%, also driven by the build-up of the new programs (A350, engine LEAP, etc.).

Results

The current operating profit reached €122.9 million (€124.3 million in 2015). At +12.4%, the operating margin declined by 1 point compared to 2015.

However, the operation of the sites for the “Fasteners” activity benefited not only from the favorable volume effect in Europe, but also from productivity gains generated thanks to the implementation of the LEAP program (LISI Excellence Achievement Program). On the other hand, the improvement in the operating situation of the “Structural components” activity is still slowed down by the industrial difficulties in the new program’s strong build-up phase.

The current operating profit takes into account the following operating charges in particular:

  • €12.0 million of extra costs identified in the “Structural components” activity;
  • €3.9 million increase in depreciation due to the investment plan;
  • €2.3 million costs related to the development of the new programs.

The financial structure was strengthened by the good level of operating cash flow (12.9% of sales revenue) at €127.1 million which largely finances a record investment plan of +€82.4 million. An increase of nearly 19% compared to 2015, these investments were mainly devoted to:

  • the “Fasteners – Europe” activity particularly with the industrial reorganization of several major sites at Villefranche-de-Rouergue, Rugby (UK) and Saint-Ouen l’Aumône,
  • the scope of LISI AEROSPACE Creuzet (development of new products, in particular in Marmande),
  • the continuation of the modernization plan for Manoir Aerospace.

Inventories for the division decreased by €5.0 million for the financial year, corresponding to a reduction of 8 days in sales revenue.

Taking into account these elements and the good mastery of other working capital requirements, the free cash flow remains largely positive at +€32.3 million (3.3% of sales revenue).

The headcount increased over the financial year with 7,386 persons (7,087 in December 2015).

The sale of the “Floor covering - Interior design” activity (sales revenue of €8 million in 2015) was effective on August 1, and the sale of Précimétal Fonderie de Précision was finalized on February 2, 2017 (€14.6 million of sales revenue in 2016).

OUTLOOK

Visibility in the commercial aircraft sector remains robust, in particular with regard to the single-aisles and the new programs (A350, B787, etc.). Confirmation of the upturn in the Boeing order books still requires monitoring. This should make it possible to offset the probable slow down in the “Fasteners – Europe” activity following the peak caused by the initial allocation of the Airbus A350 program.

The other market segments served by LISI AEROSPACE experienced difficulties. This is particularly the case of helicopters, certain segments such as military and business aircraft in the USA as well as regional aircraft.

Even if the build ups have already been anticipated, the ambitious industrialization programs undertaken since 2016 have still to succeed. The costs, always significant, of non-quality and the industrialization of very complex technical parts specific to the new Airbus and Safran programs on various sites should be gradually brought down during the next quarters.

The aeronautical division moreover continues the modernization of its production resources, by investing in the long-term projects such as the development of the “Optiblind®” assembly system, the implementation of the “robotization” project or again the development of LISI AEROSPACE Additive Manufacturing. The LISI AEROSPACE Additive Manufacturing plant was inaugurated in October 2016 and was certified to produce parts in long production runs for the division’s major aeronautical customers. Nevertheless, the contribution of this site will remain negative in 2017.

In 2017, the Manoir Aerospace “Forge 2020” installation project concerning the plant currently located in Bologne (Haute-Marne) will enter a concrete work phase.

Other strategic initiatives (Villefranche-de-Rouergue, Dorval [Canada], Parthenay, Rugby [UK] and Saint-Ouen l’Aumône) will have their full effect in financial year 2017.