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Airbus faces ‘gravest crisis in aerospace industry’, racks up €481m loss

Airbus

European planemaker Airbus reported a loss of €481m for the first quarter with its boss adding the firm was “facing the gravest crisis in the aerospace industry has ever known”.

Airbus was unable to deliver 60 planned planes in the quarter as airlines asked it for delays, and said it expected the same problem to continue in the second quarter.

The group’s loss compares to a €40m profit for the same period a year earlier, and adjusted earnings before interest and taxes fell 49 per cent to €281m. Consolidated revenues slipped 15% year on year to €10.6bn.

Airbus chief executive officer Guillaume Faury (pictured) said: “We saw a solid start to the year both commercially and industrially but we are quickly seeing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic coming through in the numbers. We are now in the midst of the gravest crisis the aerospace industry has ever known.”

An employee works on a section of fuselage inside the new Airbus SE A320 passenger aircraft family assembly line hangar in Hamburg, Germany, on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. An escalating battle over aircraft subsidies between the U.S. and the European Union threatens to damage both sides, said Airbus Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

The stock trading performance of the European giant remained bearish over the last two months; the shares of planemaker plunged close to 60% year to date, as has the stock of its US rival Boeing.

The company has already furloughed around 6,200 positions in France and the UK out of its 133,000 workforce but the chief executive has warned about the more tough decisions in the coming days to protect the financial health and to reduce the cash burn rate.

Airbus

Its free cash flow stood around negative €8bn in the first quarter, meaning that the company has been using external sources like debts to meet its cash requirements. The planemaker ended the March quarter with a net cash position of €3.6bn, down substantially from €12.5bn at the beginning of this year. In order to enhance the liquidity position, Airbus has secured €15bn of credit facility and raised €2.5bn by issuing bonds.

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Based in Saudi Arabia, Siraj has a strong understanding of and passion for accounting and finance. He has worked for international clients for many years on several projects related to the stock market, equity research and other business, accounting and finance related projects. Siraj is a published financial analyst on the world's leading websites including SeekingAlpha, TheStreet, MSN, and others.