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Airbus expects aircraft deliveries to be stable after 2020 losses

File image of the Airbus logo at the company's headquarters near Toulouse, France, Nov. 15, 2019. REUTERS / Regis Duvignau File image of the Airbus logo at the company’s headquarters near Toulouse, France, Nov. 15, 2019. REUTERS / Regis Duvignau

PARIS, Feb 18 (.) – European aircraft maker Airbus reset key business targets after generating cash in the fourth quarter but withheld dividend payments as it posted losses in 2020 from the pandemic amid the “deepest crisis. challenging “of the sector.

Airbus, which has overtaken its competitor Boeing to become the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer after the United States had to immobilize the Boeing 737 MAX for 20 months, predicted flat deliveries for 2021 and an adjusted operating profit of € 2 billion. ($ 2.4 billion).

Airbus reported 566 commercial deliveries for 2020 last month and said Thursday that it was aiming for stability in 2021. However, it also said it aims to increase underlying production this year, albeit at a slower pace than previously anticipated.

“We have issued guidance to provide some visibility in a volatile environment,” CEO Guillaume Faury said in a statement, adding that many uncertainties remain for 2021.

The French-based manufacturer of aircraft and helicopters recorded an operating loss of 510 million euros for the year as a whole, due to expenses recorded in previous quarters, especially due to restructuring due to the coronavirus pandemic and the closure of the deficit program of the A380.

In adjusted terms, Airbus remained in the red, but its operating profit fell by 75% to 1.7 billion euros, as falling demand from airlines drove revenue by 29% to 49.9 billion euros. .

A steeper-than-expected increase in aircraft deliveries in the fourth quarter helped Airbus generate € 4.9 billion of cash flow before M&A and customer financing, exceeding the quarterly breakeven target.

For the year as a whole, Airbus consumed € 6.9 billion, as the impact of the coronavirus crisis added to a record € 3.6 billion bribery fine agreed in early 2020. Airbus said it expected to break even. of cash flow in 2021.

(1 dollar = 0.8304 euros)

(Information from Tim Hepher; edited by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Gerry Doyle, translated by Michael Susin in the Gdansk newsroom)