Airbus has managed to keep its finances in fairly good shape throughout the pandemic, but the 2021 results mark a strong comeback for the aircraft manufacturer, which has also laid out an ambitious plan to increase build rates beyond the pre-Covid levels in the years to come. “Thanks to the resilience and efforts of our teams, customers and suppliers, we have achieved remarkable annual results,” CEO Guillaume Faury said in the statement.
As business improves, the challenges have shifted to supply strains and rising labor and material costs. The manufacturer is looking to hire more employees and win over suppliers to the ramp-up, even as it demands price cuts in the future. As a flight recovery takes hold in Europe and the United States, key markets in Asia continue to be held back by borders, including in China, where Faury has warned of a potential slowdown in sales. .
Other issues facing Airbus include the threat of a strike at British factories and a legal row with one of its biggest customers, Qatar Airways, over peeling paint on the widebody A350. Fourth-quarter earnings before interest and tax fell 18% to 1.5 billion euros from the prior year period, while revenue fell 14% to 17 billion euros, said Airbus.