Aerospatiale cuts loss: Recovery for French aircraft group mooted for 1996

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The Independent Online
AEROSPATIALE, the French state-owned aerospace group, part of the Airbus four-nation civil aircraft consortium, confirmed it was in loss again in 1993.

However, the company said it had improved its performance over the previous year, when it lost Fr2.38bn ( pounds 280m).

Louis Gallois, group chairman, said there would be no recovery in the aeronautics marketplace before 1996 or 1997. But he added that 1994 should be 'less disastrous' than 1993.

Although detailed results for 1993 have yet to be announced, he said that the company cut borrowings by Fr1.5bn during the year. Turnover fell to Fr49.4bn from Fr51.9bn in 1992.

During the first half of 1993, Aerospatiale made a loss of Fr870m - almost double the net loss in the same period a year earlier.

The results included an exceptional charge of Fr640m related to restructuring plans announced last year.

The company cut more than 1,100 jobs last year and plans to reduce staff by a further 1,600 in 1994.

Aerospatiale is on the French government's privatisation list but a company spokeswoman said the sale was not now expected until 1996 at the earliest.

The group's performance has been hampered by a reduction in defence budgets and by problems in the global civil aviation market.

The company is seeking an injection of funds and arguing for more than the Fr1bn now under consideration by the government on the grounds that the slump in defence orders makes it more difficult to turn the business around. It is thought to have asked for Fr3bn, although a recent parliamentary committee estimated that it needed about twice that amount.

(Photograph omitted)