AgustaWestland, the Anglo-Italian helicopter company owned by Italy’s Finmeccanica, is a total capability provider in the vertical lift market. Through its rotorcraft systems design, development, production and integration capabilities, its experience in the training business and its customer focused Integrated Operational Support solutions, the Company delivers unrivalled mission capability to military and commercial operators around the world. This expertise, backed by technological excellence and innovation, makes the Company a leader in a number of the world’s most important helicopter markets offering the widest range of advanced rotorcraft available for both commercial and military applications.
AgustaWestland operates globally in the vertical lift market through a number of joint ventures and collaborative programmes with major European and American helicopter primes where the company has leading or primary roles. There are also partnerships with a number of other leading aerospace and defence companies to deliver mutually beneficial programmes. This network of alliances strengthens the Company’s product range, increases its global reach, and enhances business opportunities.
In 2010 AgustaWestland revenues were EUR 3,644 million, up EUR 164 million (+4.7%) versus EUR 3,480 million in 2009, mainly owing to ongoing work on current programmes, increases production volumes on the AW139 line for the civil and government market, and product support activities (up 15.5%), including IOS contracts with the UK Ministry of Defence. Adjusted EBITA were EUR 413 million, an increase of EUR 42 million (+11.3%) versus EUR 371 million in 2009. The improvement was due to growth in revenues and the different mix mentioned above.
New orders were EUR 5,982 million, up EUR 2,777 million (+86.6%). Helicopters (new aircraft and upgrades) accounted for 52.8% of new orders, with product support (spare parts, upgrades and integrated support) accounting for the remaining 47.2%. The most important contracts in the military/government segment were: 12 AW101 helicopters plus the option for another three by the Italian defence ministry; 12 AW101 helicopters for the Indian Air Force; the upgrade of ten Lynx Mk 9 helicopters for the UK Ministry of Defence; the second five-year contract relating to the IMOS programme for Royal Navy and Royal Air Force AW101 Merlin helicopters; the supply of 30 helicopters for a customer in the southern Mediterranean region and a further nine T129 Combat helicopters for Turkey’s Atak programme. In the civil/government segment, the Group received orders for 142 helicopters in 2010.
The order backlog was EUR 12,162 million at 31 December 2010, up EUR 2,376 million (+24.3%) versus EUR 9,786 million at 31 December 2009, sufficient to guarantee around three years of production. Headcount was 13,573 at 31 December 2010, up 3,230 versus 10,343 at end-2009. The increase reflects the combined effect of the launch of the restructuring program for newly-acquired Polish group PZL-Swidnik and its consolidation (4,311 staff at the date of acquisition).
AgustaWestland was created by the merging of two helicopter companies with long and rich histories dating back to the formative days of aviation manufacturing in the early 20th Century. Agusta’s and Westland’s pedigree as helicopter manufacturers dates back to the 1950s when both Companies took strategic decisions to move into rotary wing aircraft production. Agusta and Westland first collaborated in the 1960s, when Westland started licence production of the Agusta AB47G, better known as the “Sioux”. Starting in 1964, Westland built 250 of these small helicopters at Yeovil.
The relationship between Agusta and Westland evolved for more than 20 years through collaboration on the development and production of the 16-ton multi-role EH101. This association provided the platform which enabled the two Companies to conclude a rapid and effective integration when Finmeccanica S.p.A. of Italy and GKN plc of the UK signed the agreement for the formation of a 50 : 50 joint venture company named AgustaWestland in 2001. In December, 2004 Finmeccanica acquired GKN’s 50 per cent stake in AgustaWestland. AgustaWestland inherited and strengthened a "helicopter system" which was structured upon a series of operational facilities, each of which handles a single phase of the production cycle, and 3 centers dedicated to final assembly (one in Italy, in Vergiate, and the other two in Great Britain and the United States). A company network that allocates a significant portion of its revenues (between 10% and 15%) to R&S investments, placing it at the apex of worldwide leadership.
In 2004, Finmeccanica purchased AgustaWestland's entire share package, becoming the company's sole proprietor. The following year, Team US101, comprised of Lockheed Martin, Agusta Westland and Bell, achieved a particularly sought after goal and won a contract to supply the White House with 23 US101 Marine One helicopters. Other international successes followed, such as major supplies to the Japanese navy, to the Turkish army, and to Qatar, while penetration into major markets in India, China and Russia continued to grow. AgustaWestland also participates in the European research program "Clean Sky" for the development of environmentally sustainable air transport. In 2009, Agusta purchased the Polish company Pzl-Swidnik, an active producer of helicopters and airframes, which allowed it to incorporate new technologies and to expand its presence to new markets.
AgustaWestland sells military and civilian helicopters worldwide, to both public and private entities and for various needs. As a Large global Italian company, led by Managing Director Giuseppe Orsi since 2004, AgustaWestland continues to be perceived as an expression of excellence and creativity throughout the Varese area, the so-called "province with wings".
Bearing witness to this are the company's relationships with the University of Varese and the University of Milan for research development, as well as the 15,000 people who participated in Agusta's hundredth birthday celebration in September of 2007. Today, Agusta's memory is preserved at the Museo Agusta in Cascina Costa, built and sustained by the company's alumni workers association.
A significant event in the Company’s history took place in early 2010 with the acquisition of the majority of the Polish helicopter manufacturer PZL-Swidnik, bringing together one of Europe’s original helicopter manufacturers. With the acquisition of PZL-Swidnik AgustaWestland has expand its presence in central Europe, strengthened its global industrial footprint and broadened its product range.
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