According to FACC’s financial results for the first half of 2022, the trend of positive developments in the aviation market continued in the second quarter, with the cabin interiors company seeing an increase in revenue of 12.5% compared to the first half of the previous year.
“Owing to the positive developments in the aviation industry, the demand for new and more efficient aircraft is again increasing significantly. FACC is able to benefit from this trend due to its long-term supply contracts with all aircraft and engine manufacturers, and anticipates a continuous increase in demand,” read a company statement. “With orders for around 13,000 aircraft from all major manufacturers as well as a major order from Archer Aviation, all signs are pointing to growth.”
The Austrian company has also opened its new plant in Croatia to meet future higher demand. Since the beginning of 2022, 200 new members of staff have been hired throughout the FACC Group, and the workforce will be increased by another 500 employees in the next 12-18 months.
While the economic and disruptive effects of the pandemic are waning in many parts of the world, the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine has raised new issues. However, FACC says it has had no direct impact on its operations: indeed its EBIT has doubled relative to this time in 2021. The company does not procure materials or services from Russia or Ukraine, and even prior to the imposition of sanctions against Russia (FACC has also suspended the supply of components to Russian customers), product sales with Russian aircraft were low, at around EUR 1 million per year.
In terms of energy issues arising from the conflict, back in March 2022, shortly after the invasion, investments were initiated for FACC to become completely independent of natural gas supplies, enabling manufacturing operations without the use of natural gas in the coming months. Overall, fossil fuels account for 18% of FACC’s energy mix. As the company has been committed to sustainable energy management for years, the use of geothermal energy and green electricity has become a key strategic advantage for FACC. By 2040, the company is aiming for its entire production to be CO2-neutral.
In spite of the challenging global environment, FACC’s outlook for the second half of 2022 remains unchanged, given its current order situation. For the full year, the company’s management expects revenue growth of approximately 10% and a tripling of operating EBIT compared to the previous year.
This forecast is supported by the positive developments in aviation, with short- and medium-haul air traffic volumes expected to return to 2019 levels in 2023, and intercontinental air traffic recovering as forecast. The company is also pleased with the development of aircraft construction rates for the Airbus A320. Over the next 18 months, demand for the aircraft is set to increase by a further 20%, with FACC benefiting strongly from this development as 30% of FACC’s sales are generated by operators of this aircraft.
Another favourable development is the completion of the flight test programme of the Comac C919, a Chinese medium-haul aircraft with a capacity of up to 150 passengers. C919 type certification, and thus also the start of series production, is expected to take place by the end of the year. FACC is supplying the entire passenger cabin for the C919, as well as its wing components and fuel-saving winglets.