Dassault delivered 17 Falcons in the first half of this year, up from 15 in the same period a year ago. It also achieved a 0.9:1 book-to-bill ratio, logging net orders for 14 Falcons in the first six months.
(Photo: Dassault Falcon)
An increase in new and pre-owned Falcon business helped lead to a 23.5 percent jump in Dassault Aviation’s first-half results, from €1.66 billion ($1.94 billion) in 2016 to €2.05 billion ($2.40 billion) in 2017, the company reported.
Operating income was stable at €123 million ($144 million), while net profit rose 7.5 percent thanks to the contribution of Thales' half-year results. Total order intake reached €1.38 billion ($161 million), of which 83 percent involved exports.
Deliveries of Falcons increased from 15 to 17 year-over-year. And the pre-owned aircraft business was better, the company reported.
Net Falcon order intake was also positive, with 14 aircraft sold in the first half versus 11 in the same period last year. The orders included a fourth maritime surveillance Falcon 2000 ordered by the Japanese coast guard. Including new and pre-owned, the order intake for just Falcons amounted to €1.029 billion ($1.20 billion) in the first half, compared with €778 million ($909 million) a year ago.
“The market for business jets is still difficult,” said Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trappier, who noted that depressed prices in pre-owned business jets are still hampering new sales. “There are some positive signs on the pre-owned market. They are starting to sell a little better.”
Trappier confirmed Dassault's forecast for 2017: an increase in total sales, with an anticipated 45 Falcon deliveries and nine Rafale fighters.
“We are approaching the launch of a new Falcon,” he said, without specifying when the aircraft would be launched or any of its designcharacteristics.
Meanwhile, the Falcon 5X test campaign with temporary Silvercrest engines, manufactured by Safran, will allow Dassault to speed up the integration with the aircraft in the face of the four-year delay in the engine program, Trappier explained. The 5X flew for the first time on July 5 with “preliminary engines.”
Sales at the Defense division increased by 16.5 percent, to €943 million ($1.102 billion), thanks to the Rafale export support activities for Egypt and the Mirage 2000 for the French Air Force. On the other hand, Rafale deliveries dropped: Dassault delivered three Rafales to Egypt, unchanged from the year-ago period, and one Rafale to France versus four in the first half of 2016.
Trappier expressed interest in participating in the European MALE (medium-altitude long-endurance) drone, UCAV and Future Combat Aircraft System (FCAS) projects. The CEO reaffirmed its willingness to sell Rafales to Malaysia, even though the country has reportedly delayed the decision to buy new combat aircraft. “There is no cancellation of this project as far as we know,” Trappier said.
In India, the creation of a joint venture with the Indian group Reliance will support the policy of “Make in India” related to the sale of 36 Rafales there. But the aircraft manufacturer also wants to sell the marine version of the Rafale to India, with 57 aircraft currently in negotiation.
(Guillaume Lecompte-Boinet - AINOline News)