- Airbus announced sales up 5% to 59.3 billion euros ($81.5B) and orders worth 218.7 billion euros (about $300B) for 2013. Defense sales grew by 4% to 12.1 billion euros ($16.6B) thanks to initial A400M deliveries. Their defense backlog is down 4.6% to 47.3 billion euros ($65B), but Airbus Defence and Space’s order intake is rebounding thanks to orders in civilian space. Total backlog is up 21% to more than $940B or 8+ years of production and about twice what it was 5 years ago.
- This performance raises the question of delivering, then renewing products to sustain the same volumes a few years from now. Other even bigger industrial companies such as General Electrics don’t have such huge backlogs because of shorter average lead times. Too much of a good thing might turn into a liability, and it is at least a risk they will have to manage.
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