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27 Feb 07. GKN lifted full-year profits 8 per cent despite flat sales, sending its shares nearly 10 per cent higher in early trading in a falling London market. The UK-based engineering group said its restructuring programmes was in its final phase, leaving it centred on four core businesses, Driveline, powder metallurgy and off-highway – all of which sell to automotive manufacturers – and aerospace. Revenue declined slightly to £3.63bn but underlying pre-tax profits were 8 per cent up at £221m, topping an analysts’ consensus of around £206m. On an IFRS basis, pre-tax earnings rose almost 150 per cent to £182m. Kevin Smith, chief executive, said GKN had entered 2007 “in great shape and well-positioned to drive growth”. He pointed to the return to profit of US Sinter – part of the metallurgy operation – as well as a stronger position in aerospace titanium structures, increased exposure to civil aviation, entry into off-road vehicles in China, and a greater presence in the construction sector. Analysts at UBS said the results were impressive and reflected the benefits of restructuring and the turnround of the powder metals business. However, automotive activities, which make up more than 70 per cent of group sales, saw turnover fall £100m. Of that, £23m was accounted for by currency movements and the rest by divestments, acquisitions and changes of status. But GKN also noted weakening demand in the Americas and Europe in the third quarter, stretching into the fourth quarter in North America. Static agricultural markets in North America and Europe meant offhighway sales were slightly weaker. (Source: FT.com)
GKN Aerospace’s activities in the rotary wing sector cover almost every area of this fast-growing business. GKN Aerospace flexible fuel systems and fuel bladders have a worldwide reputation with products qualified for over 40 types of aircraft, missiles and UAV’s. In the rotary-wing market, the Company’s fuel bladders equip the EH101, the Apache, the Lynx, the EC135 and EC145 helicopters and for four decades the Company has maintained and updated the supply of fuel pods for the UK RAF Chinook. The Company also designs, manufactures and installs the emergency flotation systems for many civil and military helicopters including the Hindustan ALH, the Sikorsky S-92, the EH101, the Westland Sea King and Lynx, the MIL8/17, the Bell 212, UH-1H and 427 and the Boeing CH-46 ‘Sea Knight’. Most recently, the Company has been awarded the contract to develop and supply the extended flotation system for the Sikorsky S-92 a system which will enable the helicopter to operate in the extreme Sea State 6 conditions which occur in the North Sea. GKN Aerospace’s metallic and composite assemblies are critical to the airframe of many helicopters. The complete fuselage for the AgustaWestland Lynx is supplied by GKN Aerospace and, in 2006, the Company also gained the contract for the complete assembled airframe for 70 new UK RAF and RN SuperLynx helicopters. In transparencies, where GKN Aerospace has a market lead, the Company supplies the windows and windscreens for many helicopters including the AH-64 Apache, the H-60 Black Hawk and the Westland Lynx. GKN Aerospace is a world leader in thin film coatings including low observability (RF screening), solar / ultraviolet filters, transparent erosion protection and transparent scratch resistant coatings, and electrical de-icing and de-misting. In addition, the Company’s growing electrical de-icing systems business has been selected for every major electrical de-icing contract awarded to date, and forms the advanced ice protection system for the rotor blades of the EH101. (Source: ASD Network)

26 Feb 07. The EADS Board of Directors unanimously approved the Power8 plan for the transformation of Airbus to be discussed with the Airbus’ European Works Council on 28 February 2007 and then with the other relevant employee representation bodies. Following this presentation of the Power8 plan to the employe

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