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3. Bombardier Aerospace

Vice-President and General Manager: Michael Ryan

Employment: 5,126

Turnover: £510m

Pre-tax profit: £0.1m

The company’s results for the fiscal year to January 31 2010 mirrored the difficult global economic conditions. It recorded a profit on ordinary activities before tax of $0.2m (0.0% of turnover), compared to the previous year’s $87.9m (8.4% of turnover).

Traditionally, the aerospace industry lags behind global economic recovery, so the challenging market conditions in both the commercial and business aircraft sectors have persisted for Bombardier for most of the past year.

Despite this, the Belfast company retained employees and recruited apprentices and graduates. Bombardier Belfast continued to invest in research and development and in new products and technologies, including its advanced composite wing development programme for Bombardier’s new CSeries commercial aircraft, as well as in training.

At more than £500m, Bombardier’s investment in the CSeries wing programme in Belfast is the largest ever single inward investment in Northern Ireland. Around 800 jobs will be generated during peak production years, with many more in the wider supply chain.

A number of local companies have already been engaged in the research and development phase of the wing programme. This has included the successful manufacture and assembly of a pre-production demonstrator wing, which is undergoing rigorous testing.

Local contractors are engaged in the design and build of the new 600,000 sq ft factory that will produce the wings, and a number of local companies are providing equipment for the facility, the first phase of which has been completed.

Towards the end of 2010, Bombardier also announced a further multi-million pound investment in its Belfast operation, to enable it to develop and produce advanced composite wing structures for the Learjet 85 business jet. These will also be manufactured in the new factory.

As 2011 progresses, further investment in research and development is under way, including the establishment of a new industry-led collaborative technology centre which, with the support of local universities, will enable companies from different sectors across Northern Ireland to develop new engineering and advanced composite technologies.

Bombardier believes that as the global economy gains strength, this will have a positive impact on the aviation industry. Its strategy of continued investment in new and current product platforms is focused on ensuring it is at the forefront of business and commercial aviation when world markets recover.

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