Helicopter orders down, revenues up, in Leonardo’s half-year results

Leonardo’s defence electronics registered strong performance in Q2 this year while the helicopter business segment saw an increase in revenues, as the company outlined its 2021 half-year results.

New orders stood at €6.7bn (US$7.8bn) representing a 9.5% year-on-year increase while revenues registered €6.3bn, a 7.9% year-on-year rise. Strong industrial performance saw earnings before income, tax and amortisation (EBITA) at €400m, all of which was noted by Leonardo as being H1 2021 “key performance indicators”.

The total requirement for the TH-73A programme is for 130 aircraft with delivery to continue through into 2024. Leonardo Helicopters

Leonardo stated that the helicopters business showed a downturn while in aeronautics the decline in the civil component continued. New orders for helicopters for the first half of the year was valued at just over €2bn, compared with €2.5bn for the same reporting period in 2020. However, helicopter segment did see a small increase in order backlog value of €16m with revenues up €197m.

New helicopter orders over the first six months of the year included the second contract for the supply of 36 TH-73A (AW119) helicopters for the US Navy and contracts concerning the supply of AW139 helicopters for the Saudi Royal Court.

The segment’s 2021 EBITA showed an increase of 6.5% to €148m mainly as a result of improved manufacturing efficiency, which was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic during the first half of 2020.

Aircraft performance over the half-year saw an 84.6% increase in orders to just over €1.2bn with a corresponding increase in revenues (14.9% to €1.2bn) and EBITA (23% to €150m). Production saw the delivery of 22 F-35 wings to Lockheed Martin this year, compared with 18 wings delivered in the same reporting period in 2020.

New orders in aircraft were higher in 2021 to the previous year due to the finalisation of a contract for the export of M-346 aircraft to an unnamed customer.

Of notable acquisitions this year in April Leonardo entered in an agreement to purchase a 25.1% stake in German sensor solutions and defence company Hensoldt. Completion of the transaction is subject to approvals by relevant authorities and is expected in the second half of 2021. It will entail an outlay of about €606m or €23 per share.