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30 Jun 16. Spain’s defence sector returned to growth in 2015. Spain’s defence industry saw combined sales return to growth last year with the sector achieving sales worth EUR4.95bn, following a dip to EUR4.8m in 2014. However, the figures remain below the run of EUR5bn or greater sales reported between 2009 and 2011 and the record EUR5.6bn achieved in 2013, according to data released on 29 June by TEDAE, the umbrella organisation for the defence, aeronautics and space industry. The association’s president, Adolfo Menendez, said defence exports were “slightly up” in 2015 but declined to give further details ahead of the Ministry of Industry releasing official figures. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
30 Jun 16. Safran to pay 750m euros to Airbus under space launch tie-up. France’s Safran will make a lump sum payment of 750m euros ($833m) to Airbus Group to obtain an equal stake in a space launchers venture as part of a deal to be formally closed on Thursday, the two companies said in a statement. Airbus Safran Launchers, employing 8,400 people in France and Germany, already manages their combined launcher programme activities and will now incorporate industrial assets and become fully operational, the companies said. Safran had previously been expected to pay 800m euros to Airbus Group to ensure an equal 50/50 ownership split in the new venture. (Source: Reuters)
30 Jun 16. Austal Suspends Trading to Review US Shipbuilder. The Australian parent company of shipbuilder Austal USA suspended trading of its ordinary shares Thursday to review the performance of the US company.
Austal Ltd., based in Perth, Australia, made the announcement in a market notice released June 30 Australian time, or Wednesday evening June 29 in the US.
Austal USA operates a modern shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, where it supplies ships to the US Navy, its sole customer. Austal is the prime contractor for the LCS 2 Independence-class of littoral combat ships and for the EPF 1 Spearhead-class fast expeditionary transports, formerly known as joint high speed vessels (JHSV).
Austal Ltd., in its notice to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), provided few details why trading is being suspended from June 30 until the opening of trade on July 4.
“The trading halt is requested to enable Austal to complete a review of its US performance and following completion of that review, make an announcement updating guidance on the company’s performance for 2016,” Austal Ltd. said in the statement.
An Austal USA official declined to comment on the situation, deferring to the corporate parent’s impending July 4 announcement.
The Austal USA official noted, however, that the Mobile shipyard remains open and the trading halt should not affect production.
The company is reaching the end of its fiscal year. But a clue to what might be behind the current trading pause might be in the mid-fiscal 2016 “US Shipbuilding Progress Update” released by the Australian parent company last Dec. 10, when the Austal pointed to “schedule and margin pressure” on the LCS program.
The company’s ability to apply lessons-learned to follow-on LCSs “has been more limited than anticipated,” it said Dec. 10. “As a result, FY2016 earnings from Austal’s US shipyard are expected to be lower than in FY2015.”
Both the LCS and EPF building programs are fixed-price arrangements with the US Navy. Most of Austal USA’s ships continue to be delivered some months behind schedule – costs which are borne by the builder, not the Navy.
Austal USA recently delivered one of each of its ships to the Navy. The LCS Montgomery was delivered on June 23 to become the fourth of its class in service, and the expeditionary fast transport Carson City was turned over to the Navy