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Leonardo puts 2017 behind it with Profumo’s new mega deal

Rome - As expected, Leonardo performed poorly in 2017. This after a downward revision announced last November and confirmed at the end of January. But it is looking to the future with CEO Alessandro Profumo, who signed a €3 billion mega contract in Doha

Rome - As expected, Leonardo performed poorly in 2017. This after a downward revision announced last November and confirmed at the end of January. But it is looking to the future with CEO Alessandro Profumo, who signed a €3 billion mega contract in Doha with the helicopter consortium NH Industries, addressing the markets confidently: “We are entering a new phase of solid and sustainable growth in the long term, characterized by the improvement of top-line profitability and an increasing cash flow from 2020”, and “We are focused on the implementation of all the targets in our 2018-2022 industrial plan.”

The commission to supply 28 NH90 military helicopters came from Qatar, with the addition of 12 further helicopters a possibility for the future. Leonardo (a former Finmeccanica company) is a prime contractor (Airbus is in the same consortium, as is Fokker, with a smaller stake) with its undisclosed share, according to market estimates, exceeding 40% of the commission’s total value.

“We are proud”, CEO Alessandro Profumo commented; after the difficulties of 2017 in the helicopter sector, and after symbolically presenting the new industrial plan at the end of January in the state of the art helicopter factory in Vergiate, it is once again through helicopters that the former banker will revitalise Leonardo’s prospects for 2018, and with solid foundations already in place, can now look to the expected order target for the year, which is between €12.5 billion and €13 billion. In the meantime, in the past few days news has come from the United Kingdom of a pre-agreement between governments paving the way for a BAE Systems contract with Saudi Arabia for 48 Eurofighter aircraft, in which Leonardo is an industrial partner.

The former Finmeccanica company closed 2017 with declining results, as announced, and as already anticipated by the market, with significant declines in its share price. Net profit fell to €274 million from €545 million in 2016. Revenues decreased by 4% to €11.527 billion. A dividend will be distributed to shareholders - the proposal that the Board of Directors will bring to the shareholders’ meeting is for €0.14 per share. Meanwhile, the outlook for 2018 is set to be confirmed. “2017 wound up with results in line with forecasts. We are entering a new phase of solid and sustainable growth in the long term, characterized by the improvement of our top-line profitability, profitability and an increasing cash flow from 2020”, and “We are focused on the implementation of all the targets of our 2018-2022 industrial plan”, Profumo commented.

“We are focused on the implementation of all the targets of the 2018-2022 industrial plan with the main objective of creating long-term value for the benefit of all stakeholders”. And of the contract signed in Qatar with Minister of Defence Roberta Pinotti, Profumo says: “it is an extraordinary result in one of the key sectors for the company. We are strongly committed to strengthening our market position in line with the 2018-2022 industrial plan”. The order includes 16 NH90 TTH helicopters for land-based operations, 12 NH90 NFH for naval missions, as well as the support, maintenance, and training package, and necessary infrastructure improvements.

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