Airbus has announced its 2019 financial results. While the year was a record-breaking one for the European conglomerate in terms of aircraft deliveries and orders, the manufacturer had to take several charges throughout the year, which put the final line in the company’s financial statement in the red.

Overall, Airbus delivered 863 commercial aircraft through the year and ended 2019 with 768 net orders (after cancelations). As a result, the commercial aircraft unit brought in $59.4 billion (€54.7 billion) of revenue and as of December 31, 2019, Airbus’ order book is now worth more than $512 billion (€471 billion), with customers signing up for 7,482 aircraft.

Despite the record-breaking results, 2019 also had a bittersweet taste to it: Airbus was forced to take $6 billion (€5.6 billion) worth of charges, including a $3.8 billion (€3.5 billion) charge related to its multi-state corruption probe truce, resulting in a $1.4 billion (€1.3 billion) net loss for the company.

Airbus has confirmed that it has reached a breakthrough in some of the many fraud scandals that the aerospace company has been facing for over a decade now. The European manufacturer said it reached an agreement in principle with French, United Kingdom and the United States authorities, which were investigating suspected bribery, corruption, as well as, in the United States’ case, alleged violations of export controls allegations. 

Further financial penalties include a $1.3 billion (€1.2 billion) charge related to the persistent issues with the A400M military transport program, including the German military refusing to take the deliveries of the transport aircraft due to safety concerns and a $219 million (€202 million) charge related to the cancelation of the A380 production.

Updated. Airbus has officially confirmed the end of A380. Because of the lack of airline demand, the superjumbo production is to cease in 2021.

Ramping up deliveries

Despite short-term disruptions to global air travel due to the coronavirus outbreak, including Airbus closing its Tianjin, China Final Assembly Line (FAL), the manufacturer expects the global passenger numbers to grow. The company’s own goal for 2020 will be to deliver 880 commercial aircraft, as Airbus ramps up production of its aircraft, especially the A220 and A320 families of jets. As a result, Airbus predicts Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) to be $8.1 billion (€7.5 billion) in 2020, an increase of 8.6% compared to the current EBIT result of $7.5 billion (€6.9 billion).

Bombardier sold its remaining share in Airbus Canada to Airbus and the Quebec government. The European manufacturer now owns 75% of the A220 program, with the remaining 25% in the hands of Quebec.