Leonardo's 2020 Helicopter Deliveries Fall 29 Percent
Although unit deliveries plunged 29 percent last year, Leonardo Helicopters posted a 1.3 percent revenue decline and 11.1 percent reduction in earnings—to $4.75 billion and $455 million, respectively—versus 2019. Leonardo attributed the results to its continued strong military and government programs, which accounted for nearly two-thirds of its revenues in both 2020 and 2019. Driving revenue was large contracts for its TH-73A U.S. Navy trainer and NH90 from Germany and Qatar.
For the year, Leonardo delivered 111 helicopters, compared with 156 in 2019. Delivery declines in 2020 versus 2019 were widespread across all models including the company’s line of medium to super-medium twins. Deliveries of intermediate-twin AW139s fell from 69 to 48, medium-twin AW169s dropped from 30 to 14, and super-medium-twin AW189s plunged from 10 to just four. Deliveries of the company’s light singles and twins fared somewhat better, declining from 34 to 25.
Orders last year fell by 3.2 percent, to $5.34 billion, but posted their sharpest decline in the fourth quarter, dropping 44.3 percent year-over-year, to $1.59 billion. While acknowledging that “2020 was an incredibly difficult year” due to conditions brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, Leonardo CEO Alessandro Profumo said on a conference call with analysts this week that overall 2021 guidance was “robust” and that the company’s helicopter division would continue to perform well due to its ongoing military programs and improving customer support activities.
While the company forecasted that both the military and customer support market will grow modestly through 2025, it acknowledged that the civil helicopter market is unlikely to return to pre-pandemic activity levels for several years.