Oct 09. BVT Surface Fleet Ltd: Transfer to BAE Systems. BAE Systems announced (30 Oct 09) that it had acquired VT Group’s 45% shareholding in BVT Surface Fleet Ltd (BVT). BVT is now wholly owned by BAE Systems and will be renamed BAE Systems Surface Ships Ltd. The Company has a 15-year Terms of Business Agreement with the MoD.
Comment: VT Group held a General Meeting on 19 Oct 09, when disposal of the 45% BVT shareholding was overwhelmingly approved. On 5 Oct 09, the Armed Forces’ Minister explained that the Terms of Business Agreement provided BVT “with a right of exclusivity in design, build and integration for future destroyers, frigates and minor warships”.(Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 10/41, 02 Nov 09)
22 Oct 09. Eurocopter announced Oct. 22 a company plan to slash 200m euros ($300m) of costs, boost productivity and continue to invest in future products in response to a plunge in the civil helicopter market.
The company, a division of EADS, will avoid compulsory layoffs but will look for cost reductions under the plan, dubbed Shape. “Eurocopter has to save money in the short term in order to get through the crisis period,” the company said in a statement. The cost reductions were intended to raise profitability and would include Eurocopter’s contribution to the Future EADS cost-cutting program, the company said. An analyst at a French brokerage said the market response was negative because although the statement confirmed previous news reports, it was not clear how
much of the 200 million euros in reductions would flow to EADS and how much would go to boost Eurocopter’s margins. A reduction of inventories and staff redeployments, while fostering competencies and motivation, were part of the short-term cost-saving drive. For the medium and long term, the company looks to improve internal processes to provide
sustainable revenues. The company would also continue to invest in new products to maintain long term competitiveness. (Source: Defense News)
02 Nov 09. Meggitt, the aircraft-parts supplier, said it was seeing signs of stabilisation in the civil aviation market and that solid military sales and extensive cost-cutting would help it to deliver earnings in line with expectations. Meggitt said in a statement covering the four months to the end of October that “most external commentators now expect air traffic in general to recover during 2010”. The Dorset-based company makes wheels and brakes and so depends on the wear caused by jet landings and take-offs to drive trade. Civil revenues have slipped as the airline industry has cut capacity in the face of the downturn. Although customers continued to destock, Meggitt said cost-cutting measures would support margins. Since 2008 it has cut 12 per cent of its workforce and expects £25m of savings in 2009 and £50m a year from 2010. Meggitt also noted the outlook for military products, which make up about 43 per cent of sales, was “healthy”. The company is involved in areas such as missile countermeasures and training solutions for military and police forces.
Meggitt’s finances have caused some concern but the management said it had significant headroom within its bank facilities and that debt had continued to fall. At the half year net debt stood at £895.1m. (Source: FT.com)
04 Nov 09. Quickstep Holdings fired a big shot this morning, with its shares soaring more than 70 per cent on the back of an agreement that could see it reap the rewards of up to $700m in fighter jet contracts. The Perth company today said it has signed a memorandum of understanding with global giants Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman Systems to
secure the potential contracts for the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) being manufactured in the US for global rollout. Quickstep said the federal government is planning to acquire up to 100 of the
advanced fighter jets. The company said it is looking to finalise the deal by March next year which could last between 20 and 30 year