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Leonardo Helped To Strong First Quarter By Impressive Military Performance

The Italian aerospace and defence group Leonardo has recorded a healthy increase in revenues for the first three months of this year, despite lower business in aerostructures.

A nearly 8% rise in revenues was recorded, at €2.79 billion ($3.36 billion), compared to the equivalent period in 2020, despite a slowdown in sales of ATR turboprops and Boeing 787 fuselages.

Profits, meanwhile, went up by 132% to €95 million. All in all, the figures demonstrate how aerospace manufacturers with a broad portfolio have been able to take advantage of the defence market to weather some of the coronavirus crisis’s adverse impacts on the airline sector.

What else do we learn from Leonardo’s latest numbers?

In a development of inevitable interest to many of those seeking aviation consulting for HR professionals, Leonardo revealed that revenues at its European defence electronics business and its US DRS subsidiary – which it had been trying to partly spin off, only to cancel an initial public offering in March – went up by about a tenth.

The European arm, however, saw an order bounce of nearly 80%, partly because of a contract for radars for Germany’s Eurofighter combat aircraft, as well as domestic deals in the cybersecurity and submarine sectors.

Leonardo’s aerostructures operations have been significantly hit by a major fall in the deliveries of civil aircraft since the second half of 2020 – the firm co-owns ATR with Airbus, and assembles the fuselages in Italy, in addition to being one of the 787 programme’s key suppliers.

Meanwhile, there was only a slight decline in revenues for the aeronautics division – the one-time Alenia Aeronautics – as a rise in deliveries for military programmes compensated for the aerostructures struggles. Leonardo supplies wings for the Lockheed Martin F-35, for example.

Furthermore, the division saw a year-on-year increase in new orders “thanks to the finalisation of a major contract for the export of M-346 aircraft.”

Revenues for helicopters also rose by 12.5%.

Leonardo CEO Alessandro Profumo said the results were in line with expectations, commenting: “Our solid military and governmental business offset the impact of the COVID pandemic on the civil side.”

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