Eurocopter generated a record high annual turnover in 2011 as the company benefitted from long-term strategies of investing in innovation to keep its helicopter product line at the forefront, growing the international footprint, developing services businesses and optimizing internal operations.
The deliveries of 503 rotary-wing aircraft in 2011, along with Eurocopter’s enhanced support and services activities, generated a turnover of 5.4 billion euros – representing a growth of 12.5 percent from the previous year, and marking the first time Eurocopter’s annual turnover has surpassed the 5 billion euro volume.
Deliveries included the 1,000th Dauphin, which was received by Indian operator Pawan Hans; the 1,000th EC135, provided to the German ADAC automobile club – one of Eurocopter’s longest-standing customers; and the 100th EC225, accepted by the Bristow Group.
New helicopter orders also picked up last year, with the 457 net bookings representing a value of 4.7 billion euros, compared with the 346 helicopters sold in 2010. The year’s business included initial firm orders for the new EC175; major bookings for the EC225 from CHC Helicopter, CITIC Offshore Helicopter Co., Bristow Helicopters and RTE; the continuation of orders from the U.S. Army for the UH-72A Lakota; and the first large booking for Eurocopter’s enhanced EC145 T2 helicopter version from Germany’s DRF Luftrettung.
“We marked many key achievements during the past 12 months, which were the results of our company’s across-the-board strategy to invest, innovate and improve as we continue Eurocopter’s industry leadership,” said President & CEO Lutz Bertling. “As Eurocopter celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2012, we are well positioned for the future.”
Deliveries of new production helicopters represented 51 percent of Eurocopter’s 2011 consolidated turnover, while support and services continued its growth to account for 38 percent of the total. The remaining 11 percent was generated by development and other activities.
Export sales outside of Eurocopter’s home country nations remained the primary source of business, at 77 percent of total bookings in 2011. Civil contracts accounted for 68 percent of the order volume, with military sales representing the remaining 32 percent.
Bookings by product range
The strongest growth in 2011 sales was registered by Eurocopter’s Ecureuil / Fennec / EC130 Family and the EC145:
- EC120 Colibri: 13
- Ecureuil/Fennec/EC130 Family: 238
- EC135: 42
- EC145 (including the UH-72A Lakota): 104
- Dauphin/Panther/EC155 Family: 21
- EC175: 4
- Super Puma/Cougar EC225/EC725 Family: 35
For the EC175 and EC225, several multi-year contracts were signed, for which the customers’ bookings will be logged based on annual purchase orders.
Eurocopter marked numerous program, commercial and technical achievements during the past 12 months.
The company’s unveiling of its new EC145 T2 version and introduction of the enhanced “e” upgrades for the AS350, EC135, AS365 and AS332 were well received by the market.
Eurocopter’s emphasis on innovation was underscored by the initial public appearance of its X3 high-speed demonstrator aircraft at the Paris Air Show, and the start-up of pioneering flight testing for a hybrid helicopter concept combining an internal combustion engine and an electric motor.
The company’s worldwide presence increased with the most significant acquisition in its 20-year history: Vector Aerospace, a leading maintenance, repair and overhaul service provider headquartered in Canada. New subsidiaries and participations were created in 2011 with the Eurocopter Kazakhstan Engineering operation in Kazakhstan, and the Korea Aerospace Industries-Eurocopter joint venture to support the Korean Utility Helicopter’s marketing and export.
The inauguration of Eurocopter Global Logistics at Marignane, France marked an important step in enhancing the company’s logistics and industrial performance, while the investments in support and services activities were underscored by the opening of new training centers in Russia and China, along with a support and service center in Scotland – where a new EC225 full-flight simulator already has logged more than 1,000 training hours.
In 2011, Eurocopter advanced two programs to align and enhance its industrial capabilities: the Systemhaus project at the company’s Donauwörth, Germany site, which will concentrate all the resources, skills and equipment required to develop, manufacture, certify and maintain helicopters in one location; and the new facility to be built at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, which is to become a worldwide benchmark in the conception, manufacture, maintenance and overhaul of helicopter blades.
Last year, Eurocopter also completed the two-year SHAPE transformation effort, which strengthened its capabilities during the market downturn of the past several years.
2012 flight plan
Eurocopter’s ambitious innovation program, the growth of its international footprint and further expansion of the services offering will remain priorities for the coming year. This includes continued development of the X4 – which will introduce a revolution in helicopter operations for Eurocopter’s Dauphin successor; inauguration of the EC725 assembly line in Brazil and the phase-in of a production facility for aerostructures and components in Mexico; as well as the broadening of support, services and MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) business for Eurocopter and non-Eurocopter helicopters.
The next-generation EC175 will enter service in 2012, incorporating significantly increased range and payload capacity – making it the first seven metric ton-category helicopter delivered with such capabilities.
Eurocopter also will focus on production ramp-up activity to meet a strengthening international marketplace, which includes increasing the output for its Super Puma family, the EC145 T2, the Ecureuil family, along with the NH90 and Tiger military helicopters.
Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace and defense-related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approximately 20,000 people. In 2011, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s number one helicopter manufacturer with a turnover of 5.4 billion Euros, orders for 457 new helicopters and a 43 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group’s helicopters account for 33 percent of the worldwide civil and parapublic fleet. Eurocopter’s strong international presence is ensured by its subsidiaries and participations in 21 countries.
Eurocopter’s worldwide network of service centers, training facilities, distributors and certified agents supports some 2,900 customers. There are currently more than 11,300 Eurocopter helicopters in service in 149 countries. Eurocopter offers the most comprehensive civil and military helicopter range in the world and is fully committed to safety as the most important aspect of its business.