Belfast Telegraph

Company Snapshot: Short Brothers plc

An international name in full flight

By John Simpson

Short Brothers plc now trades as Bombardier Aerospace in Northern Ireland. To match the reporting convention of its parent company, the registered accounts are in US dollars but have been converted, here, to sterling at £1= $1.60.

Shorts has now prepared its accounts on a calendar year basis to December 31 which means that, for comparative purposes, the 11-month figures have been annualised.

In a major change to the format of the accounts, consistent with a change in the Bombardier group, Shorts now prepares accounts using the international financial reporting standards (IFRS) rather than the UK generally accepted accounting practice (UK GAAP). This has caused a number of revisions through new conceptual rules and the earlier figures for 2009-10 are not readily compared in some respects with later years.

The annualised trading results in 2011 show an increase in turnover of 6% and a much improved level of profitability when compared to the previous year. The chairman, Sir George Quigley, described the results as an excellent achievement confirming that the transformation programme to drive improved business performance was having a significant impact. The chairman also emphasised the achievement of recognised quality standards under the AS9100 categories.

The company reports with satisfaction on the expansion of its aftermarket support business for different types of Bombardier aircraft and the progress in the new CSeries and Learjet 85 wing manufacturing programmes, including the completion of the new assembly facility.

A new development has been an agreement with the Moroccan Government to establish a wholly owned manufacturing facility in Morocco which will reduce the reliance on third parties for structural aircraft components. Another major development has been the participation of the company in the development of the Northern Ireland Advanced Composites and Engineering Centre which will contribute to advanced research and development in this sector.

Average employment increased slightly during the year by 0.4% to an overall average of 4,975.

The inherited actuarial deficit on the company defined benefit pension funds increased at the year-end by $201m because of an estimated increase of $220m in the value of the scheme liabilities.