Eurocopter sales grow in 2011
Eurocopter celebrated 20 years as a company with a presentation in Paris by its president
and chief executive officer, Lutz Bertling.
Eurocopter had a very good year in 2011 according to Bertling, generating a
record annual turnover of €5.4 billion. The deliveries of 503 rotary-wing
aircraft in 2011, along with Eurocopter’s enhanced support and services
activities, generated that record turnover representing a growth of 12.5
percent from the previous year, and marking the first time Eurocopter’s annual
turnover has surpassed the €5 billion. Deliveries during the year included the
1,000th Dauphin, delivered to Indian operator Pawan Hans; the 1,000th EC135,
delivered to the German ADAC automobile club; and the 100th EC225 deliveerd to the
The company had 457 net bookings representing a value of €4.7 billion,
compared with the 346 helicopters sold in 2010. The year’s business included
initial firm orders for the new EC175; major bookings for the EC225 from CHC
Helicopter, CITIC Offshore Helicopter Co, Bristow Helicopters and RTE; the
continuation of orders from the US Army for the UH-72A Lakota; and the first
large booking for Eurocopter’s enhanced EC145 T2 helicopter version from Germany’s DRF
“We marked many key achievements during the past 12 months, which were the
results of our company’s across-the-board strategy to invest, innovate and
improve as we continue Eurocopter’s industry leadership,” said president and
chief executive officer Lutz Bertling. “As Eurocopter celebrates its 20th
anniversary in 2012, we are well positioned for the future.”
The majority of the Eurocopter turnover was in the delivery of new
helicopters representing 51% but there has been a significant growth in after sales
support and services in 2011, this figure for this sector in 2011 was 38% and
the remaining12% was generated by development and other related activities.
Bertling continued in saying that export sales outside of Eurocopter’s home
country nations remained the primary source of business, at 77 percent of total
bookings in 2011. Civil contracts accounted for 68 percent of the order volume,
with military sales representing the remaining 32 percent.
He said that the strongest growth in Eurocopter helicopter range was with
the AS350/Fennec/EC130 family and with the EC145.
The company had taken orders for 13 EC120 Colibri helicopters, 238
AS350/Fennec/EC130, 42 EC135s, 104 EC145 (including the UH-72A Lakota for the United States),
21 Dauphin/Panther/EC155 family, 4 EC175s, 35 Super Puma/Cougar and EC225/EC725
For the EC175 and EC225, several multi-year contracts were signed, for which
the customers’ bookings will be logged based on annual purchase orders.
Bertling highlighted the 2011 achievements, first the unveiling of its new
EC145 T2 version and introduction of the enhanced “e” upgrades for the AS350,
EC135, AS365 and AS332.
The initial public appearance of its X3 high-speed demonstrator aircraft at
the Paris Air Show, and the start-up of pioneering flight testing for a hybrid
helicopter concept combining an internal combustion engine and an electric
The company’s worldwide presence increased with the most significant
acquisition in its 20-year history: Vector Aerospace, a leading maintenance,
repair and overhaul service provider headquartered in Canada. New subsidiaries and
participations were created in 2011 with the Eurocopter Kazakhstan Engineering
operation in Kazakhstan,
and the Korea Aerospace Industries-Eurocopter joint venture to support the
Korean Utility Helicopter’s marketing and export.
The inauguration of Eurocopter Global Logistics at Marignane, France marked an
important step in enhancing the company’s logistics and industrial performance,
while the investments in support and services activities were underscored by
the opening of new training centers in Russia and China, along with a support
and service center in Scotland – where a new EC225 full-flight simulator
already has logged more than 1,000 training hours.
In 2011, Eurocopter advanced two programs to align and enhance its industrial
capabilities: the Systemhaus project at the company’s Donauwörth, Germany site,
which will concentrate all the resources, skills and equipment required to
develop, manufacture, certify and maintain helicopters in one location; and the
new facility to be built at Le Bourget Airport near Paris codenamed ‘Josephine’,
which is to become a worldwide benchmark in the conception, manufacture,
maintenance and overhaul of helicopter blades.
Last year, Eurocopter also completed the two-year SHAPE transformation effort,
which strengthened its capabilities during the market downturn of the past
Eurocopter’s ambitious innovation program will continue in 2012, the growth of
its international footprint and further expansion of the services offering will
remain priorities for the coming year. This includes continued development of
the X4, which will be the Dauphin/EC155 successor; inauguration of the EC725
assembly line in Brazil and
the phase-in of a production facility for aerostructures and components in Mexico; as well
as the broadening of support, services and MRO (maintenance, repair and
overhaul) business for Eurocopter and non-Eurocopter helicopters.
Eurocopter expects the entry into service in 2012 of the EC175 helicopter
In 2012 Eurocopter will ramp-up production, which includes increasing the
output for its Super Puma family, the EC145 T2, the Ecureuil family, along with
the NH90 and Tiger military helicopters.
The Eurocopter president was confident that the company will maintain and
strengthen its position and look forward to the next 20 years.
Overall, the Eurocopter Group helicopters account for 33 percent of the
worldwide civil and parapublic fleet.