Commercial, Personal/Corporate, Products

Outlook for a Reorganized Leonardo

By Staff Writer | October 4, 2016
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Forget Finmeccanica, Leonardo is here. 

The company has been rebranded this year after Italian inventor Leonardo da Vinci, reflecting  its “capacity to imagine and design solutions with ingenuity, creativity and passion,” it said. 

Approved in April 2016 during a shareholder meeting, the new name will become official in January 2017. Until then, it will operate as Leonardo-Finmeccanica, though either name is used alone now. 

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The company explained the new name was driven by changes within the company, which is no longer a financial holding company, but an integrated industrial entity. It’s a transformation that was completed January 2016 as a result of a divisional process launched by the CEO and general manager, Mauro Moretti, in 2014. The company is now organized around seven divisions — with the goal of bringing better efficiency, presenting a stronger identity on global markets and helping divisions work better together. Aeronautics and space are expected to gain a stronger focus.

From Jan. 1, AgustaWestland’s activities were absorbed as Leonardo’s Helicopter Division, although product names remain unchanged (AgustaWestland AW169). The division performs research, design, development, production and customer support of the company’s range of helicopters. 

The plants, concentrated in Italy, the U.K., Poland and the U.S., are fully integrated and organized around centers of excellence supporting the final assembly lines, the company said. They are located in Vergiate and Tessea, Italy; Yeovil, U.K.; Swidnik, Poland; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Helicopter Division also includes operations of Polish subsidiary PZL-Swidnik, acquired in 2010.

The financial situation of the group has significantly improved since 2014. The latest half-year financial report, released June 30, confirmed the success of the efficiency improvements, with a net result before extraordinary transactions at 200 million euros — 120% higher than the 91 million euros of the first half of 2015. However, civil helicopters, impacted by the oil and gas decline, show weak results. Revenues from that sector fell 19.2%, and orders fell 57.6% compared to the first half of 2015.

Meanwhile, the Helicopter Division is struggling to certify the first civil tiltrotor, the AW609, in 2018. After the crash of a prototype in October 2015, flight test activities were resumed in late July. 

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