Eurocopter recently reported its 2009 figures, and offered forecasts for 2010. While Robinson is far and away the leading global helicopter builder by numbers, Eurocopter is generally accepted as the #1 firm when measures include order value, competition across multiple major segments, etc. This makes their fate and forecasts an interesting bellwether for the sector.
In general, the global economic crisis has hammered the civil market for light helicopters, and the firm sees continuing weakness and further production scale-backs in 2010. On the other hand, the firm is seeing a significant uptick in military orders (48% of sales in 2009), thanks to the demands of counter-insurgency warfare, and the natural aging and replacement cycle drive new purchases around the world.
2009 civilian and military orders were placed for 344 production helicopters as follows:
A total of 4.6 million shares of common stock were sold at a price $13 per share. Of that amount, 3.0 million shares were sold by the company and 1.6 million shares were sold by unidentified stockholders. The company is listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol GTEC.
Part of British firm Global Strategies Group, Global Defense Technology & Systems provides IT and C4ISR systems and services for the US Department of Defense and other US national security agencies…
As Sukhoi’s SU-30 family of large, multi-role fighters has come to dominate Russian aircraft exports over the past decade, the positions of Sukhoi and MiG have reversed. Now MiG is the deeply secondary design bureau, and Sukhoi is the firm designing Russia’s flagship fighters. Russian weapons exports have risen sharply over the past 5 years, but the overall volume of orders for Russian manufacturers has plunged without the Soviet empire’s vast arms budget, network of dependent clients, and the global military tensions and warfare that accompanied its drive for expansion.
That has created serious trouble for RAC MiG. Their MiG 1.44 design lost to Sukhoi’s PAK-FA in the competition to become Russia’s future fighter, their MiG-AT lost the future trainer market to the Yakolev/Aermacchi Yak-130, and their flagship MiG-29 now struggles to find buyers on the international market, despite multi-role upgrades. India is buying about 45 MiG-29K aircraft for its aircraft carriers, and the omnidirectional thrust-vectoring MiG-29OVT/MiG-35 variant is a candidate in India’s 126-plane MMRCA competition, but sales elsewhere have been slow. Algeria’s cancellation of its $1.3 – 1.5 billion, 34 plane MiG-29 buy has hit the company hard on multiple fronts. Even Russia’s recent $615 million purchase of the 28 MiG-29SMT multi-role fighters from that deal will not solve the firm’s $1.5 billion in reported debts…
At the end of November 2007, engine maker Rolls-Royce employed around 39,500 people in 50 countries: around 23,300 are employed in the UK, 8,300 in North America, 2,300 in Germany, 3,400 in the Nordic countries, 680 in Asia with an additional 2,000 working in joint ventures, and about 1,500 in the rest of the world. One of their managerial foci is the metric of sales per employee, and this has underpinned their approach in a number of areas, including investments in process controls and IT systems.
The firm is now negotiating with its employees and their unions with the aim of reducing 2,300 staff and management positions (about 5.8% of their workforce), focusing on overhead and support functions. The Independent is reporting that most of the job losses are expected to be in Britain, where executives hope to use voluntary buyouts. The firm says that it does not intend to lay off manufacturing employees, though a separate union/political battle is being fought over the proposed closure of the Merseyside, UK plant and relocation of its production to Mount Vernon, OH, USA. Rolls-Royce’s release said that the firm “will continue to recruit graduates, apprentices and those required directly to deliver growth.”
While the firm cites “external headwinds” like increasing raw material costs and the weak US dollar, the reductions are expected to have no net impact on the Group’s 2007 or 2008 performance, once all costs are factored in. The most likely explanation, therefore, appears to be the straightforward one of a corporation creating a leaner support structure and managing to its key metrics like productivity and sales per employee. Rolls Royce release | Reuters report | UPI report.
By 2005, QinetiQ (pron. “kinetic”) was a vital UK defense research firm whose owners included the British government and The Carlyle Group. This was a transformation from its previous role as part of Britain’s DERA government research agency, but relations remain close and the firm is involved with a wide variety of UK defense projects. DID has covered a number of projects in which QinetiQ has been involved.
As a second step in line with the UK’s 1998 Strategic Review that pressed for the movement of defense research to the private sector, QinetiQ announced on January 12, 2006 that it was headed for an IPO. Each of the current owners would sell a part of their holding in connection with the Global Offer, which was originally expected to raise gross primary proceeds of about GBP 150 million for the MoD, plus significant secondary proceeds from the sales by the MOD and the Carlyle shareholders.
The IPO ended up raising over GBP 600 million from a partial sale of shares, but now a recent NAO report concerning has ignited sharp political controversy…
Boeing Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Jim McNerney said that “We are executing a balanced cash deployment strategy that’s serving Boeing and its shareholders well.” The next wave of share repurchases will be made on the open market or in privately negotiated transactions.
India Defence reports that Israeli firm Star Night Technologies Limited’s subsidiary, New Noga Light, has won a 100 million shekel (NIS, currently about $25 million) tender to supply more night vision equipment to 2 mountain divisions of the Indian Army. Star Night had already received an 38 million shekel (NIS) order from India’s army in November 2006, and its total 2006 sales amounted to NIS 57 million.
Israel’s business daily Globes added that the order will be supplied over a two-year period, the firm is currently negotiating with Indian authorities on a date for the start of deliveries. A Ha’aretz newspaper report, however, said that the Israeli company is to provide 35% of the contracted items by mid-2008. A toehold in this market may be significant over the longer term, if the right local partners can be found – those of watching US night-vision buys weren’t surprised when India Defence added:
“Though almost all the front line units and those engaged in counter-insurgency have been equipped with night vision devices, according to Army estimates such equipment worth over USD 500 million was still needed to arm the remaining units.”