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FY 2021 Results
2021 RESULTS IN LINE WITH COMPANY GUIDANCE
BACKLOG IMPROVED, STABLE CASH POSITION
- Successful return to flight for Vega: 3 missions in 6 months
- Net order backlog increasing for both production and development activities
- Maiden Flights for Vega C and Ariane 6 in 2022 first half and second half respectively
- Sharp increase in energy costs affecting profitability
- Backlog: 877 M€ (+19% on December 31, 2020)
- Net Revenues: 312 M€ (-3% on 2020)
- Adjusted EBITDA: 38 M€ (-13% on 2020)
- Reported EBITDA: 30 M€ (-15% on 2020)
- Net Income: 9 M€ (-39% on 2020)
- Net Cash Position: 57 M€ (-9% on December 31, 2020)
- Net order backlog: 870-920 M€
- Revenues: 330-350 M€
- EBITDA Reported: 24-30 M€
- Net income: 5-10 M€
Rome, March 14, 2022 – The Board of Directors of Avio S.p.A. today reviewed and approved the company and group financial statements of Avio S.p.A. as of December 31, 2021.
Avio, a leading aerospace enterprise listed on the STAR segment of the Italian Stock Exchange reports a Net Order Backlog of 877 M€ as of December 31, 2021, in line with Guidance indications (850-900 M€) showing an increase of 19% compared to last year, thanks to a net order intake higher than 450 M€. The new orders include the contracts for the Long-lead items for the future Vega C production (Batch 3 and Batch 4), the Vega E development contract and the Aster production contract.
In 2021 Avio reported net revenues 312 M€, just 3% below the previous year, and in line with the 2021 Guidance of 300-330 M€. Focus of 2021 was on Vega return to flight with 3 successful missions in around 6 months. Vega therefore has re-established a track record in line with the best practices of the market.
Adjusted EBITDA, equal to 38 M€ excluding non-recurring costs, is 6 M€ (13%) lower than in 2020, and slightly above 2021 guidance (35-37 M€), affected by the unforeseen sharp increase in energy costs recorded in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Reported EBITDA of 30 M€, in line with the 2021 Guidance provided in September 2020 of 30-32 M€ and decreasing 15% (5 M€) on the previous year. EBITDA Reported is also affected by non-recurring costs (7.7 M€), mainly driven by the implementation of reinforced control measures enhanced to secure flight-worthiness in line with the recommendations of the Vega Inquiry Commission for VV18, VV19 and VV20, and by the costs induced by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Net income of 9 M€ (-39% on 2020), slightly below the 2021 Guidance (10-12 M€), primarily due to the factors mentioned above and the higher depreciation related to the start of exploitation of the new P120 (for Ariane 6 and Vega C) and Zefiro 40 (Vega C) assets.
During 2021 Vega performed 3 successful missions (VV18, VV19 and VV20) in around 6 months, re-establishing a track record in line with the top market performers, and bringing into orbit 2 satellites for the Pléiades Neo constellation of Airbus Defense & Space, the 3 sats Céres constellation, plus further smallsats that have flown in rideshare configuration. During 2021 also 3 successful Ariane 5 missions have been performed, including the December 2021 James Webb Space Telescope for NASA.
Thanks to the resumed Vega launch activities, between the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022, Arianespace has also signed several launch contracts for both Vega and Vega C with customers such as the Italian Space Agency for the Platino 1 and 2 missions, the French Space Agency for Microcarb, and the European Space Agency for Flex and Altius.
Additionally, a new exploitation framework of the European Space Agency for Vega C and Ariane 6 was approved by the ESA council in August 2021, and that will be approved by the ESA Ministerial Council in Paris in November 2022, foresees a minimum of 2 European institutional flights per year for Vega C and 4 European institutional flights per year for Ariane 6.
Net Cash Position remains substantially stable at 57 M€ (-9% with respect to the 62,6 €M as of December 31, 2020), thanks to the contribution of cash from the operating performance despite the high level of Capex (36.4 M€ including the development of the Space Propulsion Test Facility SPTF in Sardinia), and the dividend payment of 7.3 M€ in May 2021.
The Maiden Flight of Vega is expected by first half of 2022, while the Maiden Flight of Ariane 6 in the second half of 2022.
During 2021, the Italian Government has approved several projects in the space sector for the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), some of which specifically aiming at the evolution of propulsion technologies and launcher products. The execution of such projects has been entrusted to ESA, and in particular the development of a methane high-thrust engine as well as of an in-flight demonstrator of small size launcher based on liquid propulsion. These projects represent for Avio an important target opportunity to extend the product portfolio and the technology capabilities, leveraging the current knowledge of Vega and the M10 liquid oxygen and methane engine.
In parallel, the PNRR has started the development of an Italian earth observation constellation, also entrusted to ESA for its project management, whose launch missions will be performed with the Vega launchers.
Around the end of 2021 the tensions between Russia and Ukraine have become more and more intense, with an open conflict that broke out on the 24th of February 2022. These events already brought to a sharp increase in energy costs towards the of 2021, which further surged in the past few weeks, leading to a high level of unpredictability in the short term. Furthermore, Avio imports from Ukraine the main engine for the Vega launcher upper stage AVUM. At present, the ongoing facts do not undermine the continuity of industrial operations. The situations is constantly monitored to evaluate possible consequences and remedies to be potentially put in place – if necessary - to protect activities in the medium-term.
The Board of Directors also approved the Guidance for the FY 2022 results, quantifying it as follows:
Net order backlog: 870-920 M€
Revenues: 330-350 M€
Reported EBITDA: 24-30 M€
Net income: 5-10 M€
On the basis of the FY 2021 results, the Board of Director has proposed to distribute a dividend of 4.5 M€ (Euro 0.178 per share – 49.3% payout ratio). It is also proposed that the dividend is paid out from May 11, 2022, with coupon date of May 9, 2022 and record date of May 10, 2022, in accordance with Article 83-terdecies of the CFA.
Following the purchases made so far, as of the 11th of March 2022, Avio holds 1,035,233 own shares (of which 364,000 shares purchased under the program started in February 2022), equal to 3.93% of the total number of shares.
“2021 represented a very difficult year for the enduring effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and for the development of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, which caused a sharp increase in energy prices towards the end of the year.” stated Giulio Ranzo, CEO of Avio. “In this context Avio managed to reach the objectives defined in the Guidance and to increase its long-term business prospects thanks to the increase in backlog and stability in net cash. While the short-term scenario remains uncertain due to the ongoing conflict, Avio sees the opportunity to incrementally grow in the medium term, supported by a clear acceleration in demand (both in the Space and Defence sectors), an operating capability demonstrated by the recent successes of Vega and a robust financial structure, resilient to unexpected events”.