Eurocopter hastens transformation and increases investments

Facing a slow recovery of the civil helicopter market and an increasingly challenging competitive environment, Eurocopter has decided to intensify and accelerate the SHAPE improvement program.

In addition to various programs already implemented with the goal of improving Eurocopter’s efficiency – such as reducing inventories – new initiatives will be put in place, including an optimized span of control for managers within the entire company and the reduction of layers of management, in order to develop empowerment and speed-up decision processes.

A major reduction of cost in supporting functions, aiming at a 200M€ annual saving, will be accompanied by the redundancy of 400 positions in total in France and Germany. The company will try to redeploy the corresponding employees, whenever possible, to operational functions within Eurocopter or inside the EADS group. Additionally, voluntary departure schemes will be offered up to April 2011, in cases where redeployment will not be feasible.

Eurocopter has decided to accelerate its SHAPE improvement program. The company intends to invest between 2010 and 2014 more than 1.3 Billion € in self-funded Research & Development, after having doubled its annual self-funded research and development budget between 2007 and 2010. These investments will fund new helicopter programs and an enhanced worldwide support and services offer.

On the same period Eurocopter plans to spend in addition 1 Billion € in various investments to sustain the company’s competitiveness and to continue expanding its worldwide presence and extending top-quality customer support and services around the globe. This considerable investment is expected to generate a need for about 400 additional positions in France and Germany for engineers and technicians over the next years.

The opening of a new, integrated engineering-centre is planned for 2012 at Eurocopter’s Donauwörth, Germany, facility. Donauwörth thus will become Eurocopter’s German Helicopter System House for development, production and support of civil and military helicopters, integrating activities today located at Donauwörth and Ottobrunn and thus generating additional synergies.

Eurocopter is additionally studying a relocation of its Rotorblade factory and sales activities based at La Courneuve to a new site at Le Bourget Airport, depending on conditions granted by French authorities.

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