07 Mar 08. Thales reports sound results. Business growth of 20%, driven by acquisitions and solid organic performance:
• Revenues increased by 20% overall, and by 6.4% with constant scope and exchange rates
• New orders rose 19%, with further growth in the diversified base of recurring orders
Financial performance improved significantly*:
• Income from operations increased by 24% to €936m, boosting operating margin to 7.6% of revenues compared with 7.3% in 2006.
• EBIT (Income from operations after restructuring costs) increased by 53% to €858m, driving
Ebit margin substantially higher to 7.0% compared with 5.5% in 2006, due to a sharp decrease in restructuring costs.
• Net income, Group share, stood at €1,009m compared with €388m in 2006, an increase of
160%, as a result of both improved financial performance as well as net capital gains of €432m.
Higher internal resources limited net debt at yearend to €291m:
• Operating cash flows before WCR rose by 16% to €1,101m.
• Free operating cash flow rose by 23% to €549m.
Proposed dividend of €1 euro, compared with €0.87 for the previous financial year, an increase of 15%.
The Thales Group completed a large scale reconfiguration of its business portfolio in 2007 with the finalisation of the major strategic operations initiated the previous year. These included the acquisition of AlcatelLucent’s transportation and security businesses and space businesses (consolidated as from 1 January and 1 April 2007 respectively) and the sale to DCNS of Thales’s surface naval businesses in France (deconsolidated as from end March
2007). With respect to this second operation, Thales’s 25% interest in DCNS is accounted for under the equity method and is therefore not included in Thales revenue figures. The Thales Group’s scope of consolidation was also affected by the divestment of its interests in the propulsion businesses of Protac and Bayern Chemie (deconsolidated as from 1 July 2007), the divestment of its interest in FACEO (deconsolidated as from 1 October 2007) and the fullyear impact of the sale of its GPS positioning and navigation equipment activities inmid2006.
09 Mar 08. Staff at EADS have been told the European aerospace group will identify two acquisitions this year in defence, security or services including at least one in the United States, according to a memo seen by Reuters.
The aim is part of a set of targets distributed internally as the aerospace group faces a backlash in Congress over a deal to supply the U.S. Air Force, and days before annual losses are expected to highlight the group’s exposure to a weak dollar. In the memo, Chief Executive Louis Gallois makes delivering on financial promises and beefing up industrial reliability the group’s number one priorities for 2008 as its Airbus civil planemaker unit reels from costly delays to its A380 superjumbo. Also high on his 10-point list of priorities for 2008 is a call to finalise the full or partial sale of half a dozen Airbus factories, opposed by French and German unions, and to ensure the A380 is delivered according to its revised production plan. (Source: Reuters)
11 Mar 08. JCB warned of a “flat” year ahead because of weakening demand in the US and parts of Europe, after announcing yesterday that pre-tax profits last year rose more than 20 per cent compared with 2006. John Patterson, the chief executive of Britain’s biggest maker of construction equipment, said he was cautious about 2008. There were increasing signs that the credit squeeze would affect demand for JCB’s products, used widely in housing and road construction in the US and important parts of western Europe including the UK. But the privately owned company also highlighted good prospects in many regions outside the main industrialised nations, particularly in India, Russia, South America and the Middle East. “The growth in these places is likely to offset what could be a downturn elsewhere,” Mr Patterson said.” “If we end u