Revenues rise at helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland

Revenues take flight at helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland

Helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland has confirmed revenues of £1.2bn in its latest accounts.

The Hampshire-based company, which employs 3,000 staff, credited more build activity on its AW101 helicopter, which famously took part in the opening ceremony of the London Olympics and James Bond film Skyfall.

It posted a turnover of £1.2bn for the year to 31 December 2012 – a 9.1 per cent rise compared with the previous year.

But the company, which is owned by Italians Finmeccanica and also has a manufacturing site in Yeovil, said pre-tax profit fell from £81.8m to £76m in the same period, citing a higher net financial charge.

In a statement, a company spokesperson warned of an increase in marketplace competitive pressure and said the UK government’s austerity plans have put great pressure on Ministry of Defence budgets.

“While helicopters are very much seen as a necessity, the fiscal issues will make ordering new helicopters in the next five years difficult,” it said.

During this period, the company also secured funding from the Regional Growth Fund for two projects, as it continued to expand its R&D scope, aimed at synchronising with its engineering work.

And with growth markets targeted in China, Russia, Indonesia and South American, the firm concluded a grow in the strength over the coming year.

“The significant investment made in new products and facilities, and the continuing plans for R&D together with the new products being manufactured and assembled in the UK will increase the company’s opportunities and resilience.”