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FINANCIAL ROUNDUP: Airbus Net Profits Soar Reported 80% During First Quarter

April 30, 2015
Sony, Nokia, Fujitsu, Embraer and Continental are among the other companies announcing their first-quarter numbers.

PARIS — European aeronautics giant Airbus Group on Thursday reported an 80% increase in first-quarter net profits to 792 million euros ($887.7 million). The group said revenues of 12.1 billion euros ($13.6 million) about for the first three months of the year remained virtually stable compared to the same period in 2014.

“We had a good start into 2015, with a solid operational performance and improved cash generation, further supported by asset sales,” said Tom Enders, Airbus Group chief executive in a statement, adding that the builder of civilian and military aircraft was “on track to achieve our full-year targets.”

Airbus said Q1 orders of aircraft were also level on a year-to-year basis at 21 billion euros ($23.5 billion). But it noted that the total value of client orders rose by 11% to 954.5 billion euros, thanks in part to favorable impacts of the euro’s decline on exchange markets.   

EMBRAER: SAO PAULO — Aircraft manufacturer Embraer on Thursday booked a $58.9 million first-quarter net loss on higher tax costs exacerbated by a weakened real, which has lost a fifth of its value against the dollar this year.

Embraer, the world’s third-largest commercial plane maker behind Boeing and Airbus, made its second quarterly loss in the past three quarters. The firm had posted profits of $112.3 million in Q1 last year.

Embraer said the latest figures related to higher tax obligations stemming from dollar-denominated assets, delivering a $118 million hit compared with a $17.7 million benefit in the same period last year. Were it not for the deferred tax element and social contributions Embraer said it would have delivered a $48.3 million profit.

SONY: TOKYO — Sony on Thursday booked a $1.1 billion annual loss, but the struggling electronics giant said it expects to swing back to profitability in the current fiscal year as it emerges from a painful corporate makeover.

The latest loss for Sony comes as the once world-leading firm presses on with a sweeping restructuring that has included layoffs and selling off assets, including its Manhattan headquarters, aimed at rescuing a battered balance sheet. Kazuo Hirai, a company veteran tapped to turn the firm around, has said he would keep splitting the business into self-operating units as part of the bid to stay in the black.

Sony said its net loss for the year to March was 126 billion yen ($1.05 billion), a slight improvement on the 128.4 billion yen ($1.1 billion) loss a year ago, as it absorbs big restructuring costs. For the current fiscal year to March 2016, Sony expects a net profit of 140 billion yen ($1.2 billion) and an operating profit of 320 billion yen ($2.7 billion), although it said sales would be down 3.8%.

FUJITSU: TOKYO — Fujitsu said Thursday that its annual net profit jumped 24%, as a weak yen boosted its bottom line although it expects profits to decline this year.

The sprawling Japanese information technology company posted a 140 billion yen ($1.2 billion) gain in the fiscal year to March, up from 113.2 billion yen ($950 million) a year earlier, while operating profit jumped 21.3% to 178.6 billion yen ($1.5 billion).

But the company’s full-year revenue came to 4.75 trillion yen ($39.7 billion), down 0.2%, as it took a hit in its home market, particularly in smartphones and personal computers, as a sales tax rise in Japan last year hammered consumer spending. For the year to March 2016, Fujitsu forecasted a weaker net profit of 100 billion yen ($835 million) on sales of 4.85 trillion yen ($40.5 billion).

NOKIA: HELSINKI, Finland — Telecommunications equipment maker Nokia reported a first-quarter profit Thursday, but said it was disappointed by its networks unit’s profitability ahead of its acquisition of rival Alcatel-Lucent.

Nokia posted a net profit of 177 million euros ($198.4 million) in the January to March period, compared to a loss of 239 million euros ($267.9 million) in the first quarter a year ago. Sales rose by 20% to 3.19 billion euros ($3.6 billion), or by 11% excluding currency effects.

Nokia Networks saw its operating margin plunge from 7.7% to 2.4%. Mobile broadband, which accounted for 52% of Nokia Networks’ sales, registered an operating loss. Nokia’s share price plunged on the news on Helsinki’s stock exchange, shedding 8.94% to 6.16 euros ($6.90) three hours after the release of the earnings report. Alcatel-Lucent stock was down 6.34% in late morning trading in Paris, after falling more than 8% earlier.

CONTINENTAL: FRANKFURT, Germany — Continental, the German maker of tires and car parts, said Thursday that it was confident for business this year after sales and underlying profits increased in the first three months. 

“As anticipated, the Continental Corporation has had a positive start to 2015,” chief executive Elmar Degenhart said in a statement.

First-quarter sales climbed by 14% to around 9.6 billion euros ($10.8 billion). Underlying or operating profit rose “to around 1.0 billion euros” from 953 million euros ($1.06 billion) a year earlier. Continental is scheduled to publish full details of its first quarter earnings on May 7. 

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Agence France-Presse

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