Airbus ends 2019 with $1.4 billion loss after corruption charges

Airbus pledges profit gain after bribery settlement hit

Airbus reports 2019 net loss of 1.36 bn euros in 2019 after being hit by a 3.6-billion-euro fine over a bribery scandal and extra development costs for the A400M transport aircraft.

The long-delayed A400M programme a year ago delivered 14 planes on schedule, but is now hampered by "increasingly challenging" obstacles including repeated extensions to a German export ban on Saudi Arabia, Airbus said. The company said Thursday it would propose a dividend of 1.80 euros per share, up 9% from 2017.

Airbus turned in a "strong underlying financial performance driven mainly by our commercial aircraft deliveries", chief executive Guillaume Faury said in the company statement.

The weaker-than-predicted sales of the state-of-the-art military transport plane have resulted in a charge of €1.21 billion, with predictions that it will keep affecting the company for years to come.

Excluding corruption fines and other one-time losses, the operating income has increased by 19%, with estimates indicating a possible increase to €7.5 billion in 2020, while revenues have risen by 11%.

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Asked how much Airbus had benefited from Boeing's troubles, he said that "it might look like a paradox, but in the short term we do not benefit from the situation with a competitor". "This is one of the things we all have in common".

Airbus saw deliveries of 863 commercial aircraft, up from 800 in the year before. Boeing's next-generation airliner, 737 MAX, was shamefully grounded, following two fatal crashes.

Airbus had agreed to fines of €3.6 billion after being subject to bribery and corruption investigations related to dealings in France, Britain, and the U.S. between 2004 and 2016.

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

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