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Airbus shows loss for 2019 following bribery settlement

CEO Guillaume Faury called it ‘a strong underlying financial performance’.

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Airbus reported a loss in 2019 (Francois Mori/AP)

Airbus reported a loss in 2019 (Francois Mori/AP)

Airbus reported a loss in 2019 (Francois Mori/AP)

Commercial aircraft maker Airbus lost 1.36 billion euros (£1.14 billion) in 2019 because of a multibillion-euro bribery settlement with authorities in three countries, but otherwise saw a record year of aircraft deliveries and increased its dividend.

Operating earnings without one-time burdens rose 19% to 6.9 billion euros (£5.79 billion). The company said it would propose a dividend of 1.80 euros per share, up 9% from 2017.

Revenues rose 11% to 70.5 billion euros (£59.1 billion) as the company ramped up production of its A320 twinjet.

Guillaume Faury
Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury (Frederic Scheiber/AP)

CEO Guillaume Faury called it “a strong underlying financial performance” while acknowledging that “of course we cannot be satisfied” with the net loss.

Airbus saw deliveries of 863 commercial aircraft, up from 800 in the year before.

The company boosted orders to 768 as competitor Boeing stumbled because of the grounding of its 737 MAX jet after two crashes that killed 346 people.

Boeing’s net orders were negative because of cancellations and the bankruptcy of a large customer, India’s Jet Airways.

The large net loss reflected 3.6 billion euros (£3 billion) set aside to cover a criminal settlement with authorities in the US, France and Britain over past corrupt practices.

The company also lost 1.2 billion euros (£1 billion) because of troubles with its A400M military transport programme and 221 million euros (185 million) because the German government suspended export licences to Saudi Arabia through March.

Airbus is legally headquartered in the Netherlands but has its main base in Toulouse, France.

PA