August 13, 2008

Top 100 aerospace manufacturers: as good as it gets (not like right after 9/11)

By Murdo Morrison

[This is a pretty good article. I think people would find it very interesting. I do have some articles archived in emails about this industry following 9/11. That sure was a different story back then. You may remember the airline manufacturing crisis that occured.

I've put here enough to whet your appetite - and if it does, follow this link .. - V]

Last year could be as good as it gets for an aerospace industry giddy at its own success - for a while at least. A torrent of orders - particularly in the commercial aircraft sector - saw the world's largest 100 manufacturers continue to grow their businesses during 2007: revenues increased by 13% and profits by a massive 26% (after restatements and including acquisitions). This compares with equivalent growth rates of 12% and 8% respectively in 2006, and 8% and 17% the previous year.

That is according to the latest Flight annual Top 100 survey, compiled in association with PricewaterhouseCoopers and based on company returns for the previous financial year.

The survey also found that average operating margins of almost 9.4% in 2007 were the highest they have been since the previous peak in 2000, just before the World Trade Center attacks sent the airline and business aviation sectors into tailspin. By 2003, operating margins had sunk as low as 6.9%. They have been climbing more or less steadily since.

Commercial aircraft sales

The reason for the upswing in revenues has been bulging orderbooks, with original equipment manufacturers and their supply chains enjoying near-unprecedented demand for their end products, particularly narrowbody airliners, but also widebodies such as the Boeing 787 and business jets, and the technologies and systems deployed on them. However, with manufacturers struggling to hit some of their delivery schedules last year, there were signs that the wheels on a seemingly unstoppable aerospace wagon were starting to wobble.


Capacity constraints, either through an inability or an unwillingness to ramp up too quickly, have almost certainly been the biggest brake on growth figures being even more impressive. OEMs and suppliers simply have not been in a position to recruit the skilled staff or add production infrastructure quickly enough without compromising quality. Bottlenecks in the supply chain have been the main cause of delays to a number of programmes, most notably the 787.

And these are the other sections you can read at that link ..




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