Eurocopter-Bilanz 2008Eurocopter raises production 20 per cent in 2008, sees downturn in orders

Last year, the European manufacturer delivered 588 helicopters and had a strong order intake with contracts for 715 aircraft booked.

In 2008, Eurocopter once again secured its position as the world's No. 1 manufacturer of civil and parapublic helicopter. Turnover increased 7,5 per cent to 4.5 billion Euros. 55 percent of the company’s turnover achieved in 2008 was related to serial helicopters (equalling 2.48 billion Euros), 32 percent (1.45 billion Euros) derived out of support and services, whereas 13 percent (0.56 billion Euros) were realized from development and other activities. While 55 percent of the turnover derived from civil and parapublic sales, 45 percent was related to Eurocopter’s military products. The company thereby retained its healthy balance between the civil and military markets. The export share is 65 percent, with 35 percent achieved in the company’s domestic markets (i.e., France, Germany, Spain).

The company’s total order backlog by the end of December 2008 was over 14 billion Euros or the equivalent of 1,550 helicopters. Thus Eurocopter is confident that this backlog and unique business model should be major assets in retaining its solidity through 2009 and beyond. 2009 economic trends are unpredictable and will see cancellations, it was said at the annual press conference in Paris, and order intake could be down 30 per cent.

2008 orders were placed for 715 production helicopters as follows: 85 units of EC120 Colibri, 340 units of the AS350/355 Ecureuil/Fennec/EC130 family,  123 units of EC135, 81 units of EC145, 39 units of the Dauphin/Panther/EC155 family, 35 units of the Super Puma/CougarEC225/EC725 family, 12 NH90.

In 2008, Eurocopter kept on investing in Research & Development, having increased its self funded expenditure by 40 percent in 2008 as compared to 2007. ne of the focal points of the company’s R&D efforts are in the field of environmental compatibility. Eurocopter participates in several pan-European programmes leading up to a “Green Helicopter”, such as Friendcopter, Clean Sky, REACH, the installation of a diesel engine on a light helicopter. n addition, Eurocopter carried out first flights with an unmanned helicopter and is preparing the next generation of helicopters.

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