Rivalta di Torino, 30 January 2012 – On the eve of the launch of Vega from the space centre in Kourou, French Guyana, aerospace technology specialist Avio Group has announced record revenues of more than €2 billion for 2011.
The maiden flight of the new-generation European space launcher is planned to take place in a time window starting on Thursday 9th February 2012. Vega is the first launcher that has been designed and developed in Italy and is part of a space programme jointly developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI).
The Avio Group – through its subsidiary ELV - has led Vega’s development from the very start. The project – which required cooperation from a wide range of institutions, universities and businesses – has involved 42 organisations from 12 different countries with over 1,000 engineers.
Francesco Caio, CEO of Avio Group, comments:
“With Vega, Italy joins the very small group of countries that can access space using their own technologies. Over the last 5 years, Avio Group has developed an innovative, new-generation space launch vehicle. Vega is the first launcher that is entirely made of carbon fibre, with advanced digital controls and high configuration flexibility that make it capable of launching satellites of different sizes and functionalities in the same mission”.
Avio has been active in space technologies for more than 20 years. The company is also part of the production process for the Arianne 5 rocket boosters that have to date operated with a 100 per cent reliability rate.
Vega is now fully assembled on the launch pad of the Kourou space centre. In the next few days, ESA and Arianne Space will take charge of the launcher for its maiden qualification flight. This marks the successful end of the first development phase and the beginning of the testing phase for all in-flight systems and components. As with all new launchers, a number of qualification flights will be needed to finalise the configuration of both the vehicle and the ground control systems. In the history of space missions, success rate for new launchers’ maiden flights is about 60% .
2011 Avio Group Results
The launch of Vega coincides with the closing of another year of strong growth for Avio. As reviewed by the Board of Directors in December, the expected results for 2011 indicate that the Group has achieved significant growth in margins and revenues.
Despite the difficult international market conditions characterised by the global economic crisis and strong volatility in the prices of raw materials, the Group recorded revenues of over €2 billion in 2011 (+14.5% against 2010), and adjusted EBITDA(1) of more than €380 million. Avio generates 84% of its revenues from civil\military aeroengines, 14% from space and 2% from civil MRO services.
Net financial debt(2) continued to decline (-4%), to €1.4 billion, despite the strengthening of the US dollar with respect to 2010, and investments of more than €170 million (+26% against 2010) in both R&D and industrial (CAPEX) activities, which included new industrial production plants abroad. Avio has also continued its progress in debt reduction during 2011; over the last five years its leverage ratio (net debt\EBITDA) has fallen from 6.6x in 2006 to 3.7x in 2011.
Francesco Caio continues:
“The 2011 results, in an extremely complex world scenario, confirmed the strength of Avio Group and our strategy. With an order book of over €6 billion we look ahead with confidence in our ability to respond to the challenges and opportunities over the next few years.
“In 2012 we will continue to work to meet the robust global demand for jet engines, to consolidate our technological leadership position in new programmes and to build on our presence in the rapidly growing markets of South America and China where we expect to complete a new manufacturing plant by the end of the year”.
Avio is an international group, leader in the aerospace sector, headquartered in Turin (Italy). Founded in 1908, it is present on four continents with commercial offices and 12 industrial sites. It has 5,200 employees, of which approximately 4,400 work in Italy. The Group operates in following business areas: Jet engine modules; Space; MRO and Services; Aeroderivative Gas Turbines for Marine and Industrial use; Control and Automation Systems, and Electrical Systems. It is active in the field of technological R&D through a network of laboratories located on Italian University campuses, and collaborates with 24 Italian and international universities and research centres.
(1) The Adjusted EBITDA is considered as a highly representative indicator for measuring the Group’s economical results as (besides not considering the effects of taxation variations), the amounts and typologies of the financing sources of the capital invested and the depreciation and amortisation policies (items not included in EBITDA), it also excludes those factors non-recurring or exceptional, so as the same results, over time, and increase their comparability.
(2) Net financial debt (calculated at nominal value) represents the effective debt position with respect to financing received from the banking system and is determined excluding from Group’s net financial debt the financial payable to Parent Company and the net liabilities related to the fair value of the derivative.
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