France-based European plane maker Airbus on Thursday reported a net loss of 1.36 billion euros (1.47 billion U.S. dollars) in 2019 after paying billions of euros of provision to settle a past bribery and corruption case related to jetliner sales.
The company’s loss was mainly due to a provision of 3.6 billion euros to cover the settlement of a suspected jet sales corruption case dating back over a decade.
It also attributed the negative performance to an “increasingly challenging” outlook of its A400M military transport aircraft, which had led to a loss of 1.2 billion euros. Meanwhile, the suspension of defence export licences to Saudi Arabia by the German government, prolonged to March 2020, had cost the planemaker 221 million euros.
Adjusted operating income, excluding the charges and other one-offs, was 6.95 billion euros in 2019, up from 5.38 billion euros recorded a year earlier, the company said.
Revenues increased by 10.7 percent to 70.48 billion euros, “mainly driven by the higher commercial aircraft deliveries and a favourable mix at Airbus, and to a lesser extent the favourable exchange rate development.”
Airbus said it had delivered “a record 863 commercial aircraft” last year against 800 aircraft in 2018. Helicopter deliveries inched up by one percent “supported by growth in services, which offset lower deliveries of rotorcraft.”
“We achieved a great deal in 2019. We delivered a strong underlying financial performance driven mainly by our commercial aircraft deliveries,” said Airbus Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury.
“The reported earnings also reflect the final agreements with the authorities resolving the compliance investigations and a charge related to revised export assumptions for the A400M. The level of confidence in our ability to continue to deliver sustainable growth going forward has led to a dividend proposal of 1.80 euro per share,” he added.
“Our focus in 2020 will be on reinforcing our company culture, improving operationally, and adjusting our cost structure to strengthen the financial performance and prepare for the future,” he pledged.
In 2020, Airbus targets around 880 commercial aircraft deliveries and aims to accelerate its operating income to 7.5 billion euros. (1 euro = 1.08 U.S. dollar)