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Airbus Soars Back Out of the Red

This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Martin Armstrong

The airline giant Airbus was gaining impressive altitude in terms of net income up to 2018. That year, the French company posted record earnings of €3.1 billion. In 2019, however, the company finally saw the end of a drawn-out legal process involving French, British and U.S. authorities which concluded with a provision for a €3.6 billion fine being included in its FY2019 financial statements. According to Reuters reporting at the time: "The deal, believed by anti-corruption experts to be the largest ever in a bribery case, ends an almost four-year crisis that led to a sweeping management overhaul and delayed plans to redeploy the plane giant’s cash surplus."

That left Airbus with a net loss of €1.4 billion for the year. Then came the pandemic, which led to another fiscal year in the red, with a net loss of €1.1 billion being posted. As stated in Airbus' 2020 financial report: "The company’s business, results of operations and financial condition have been and will continue to be materially affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the company continues to face significant risks and uncertainties related to the Covid-19 pandemic and its resulting health and economic crisis."

The following year however has been described by CEO Guillaume Faury as one "of transition, where our attention shifted from navigating the pandemic towards recovery and growth." And as our infographic shows, that recovery and growth has been astounding. Net income soared to record heights in 2021: €4.2 billion. Going into more detail, Faury added: “The strong financials reflect the higher number of commercial aircraft deliveries, the good performance of our Helicopters and Defence and Space businesses as well as our efforts on cost containment and competitiveness. Record net income and our efforts to strengthen the net cash position underpin our proposal to reintroduce dividend payments going forward."

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