French plane manufacturer swings to quarterly loss as coronavirus takes toll on sector

Airbus’s chief executive said the coronavirus pandemic had led to the “gravest crisis” the industry has known as the aircraft manufacturer reported a net loss in the first quarter.
Airbus reported a consolidated net loss of €481m, against a €40m profit for the same period a year earlier, and adjusted earnings before interest and taxes fell 49 per cent to €281m. Consolidated revenues slipped 15 per cent year on year to €10.6bn, reflecting 40 fewer aircraft delivered in the first quarter, the plane maker said.
“We saw a solid start to the year both commercially and industrially but we are quickly seeing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic coming through in the numbers,” said chief executive Guillaume Faury. “We are now in the midst of the gravest crisis the aerospace industry has ever known.”
The manufacturer did not give new guidance because of what it described as “limited visibility”.
The global aviation industry has been particularly badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic as travellers stay home and countries introduced strict entry restrictions, forcing airlines to ground fleets and delay or cancel orders of new aircraft.
The group reported negative cash flow of €8.03bn, which included a €3.6bn fine paid to regulators in France, the UK and the US over a bribery scheme.
This month Mr Faury told the workforce of 133,000 that the company was “bleeding cash”, which threatened the existence of the company.
Airbus also said this month that it would cut aircraft production by a third, slashing production of the A320 single-aisle jet from 60 to 40 a month, reducing the output of A350s to six a month from 10 previously and produce just two A330 jets a month from expectations of 40 a year.