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Rockwell Collins results reveal widebody IFE decline
Rockwell Collins reports healthy increases in revenue and earnings for its 2008 fiscal year ended on September 30. But the US avionics giant’s books also reveal the scale of the hole left by its decision in 2005 to withdraw from the widebody IFE system market.
Revenues grew eight per cent compared with fiscal 2007 to reach $4.77 billion, while net income was up 16 per cent to $678 million. Last-quarter net income was even better, up 17 per cent to $182 million. But widebody IFE product and system sales plunged 37 per cent to $43 million in the quarter, and 15 per cent to $142 million for the year.
Even so, widebody IFE still accounted for more than 10 per cent of Rockwell Collins’ total air transport revenues of $1,257 million in the year. The company defines these revenues as the result of new sales of twin-aisle IFE products and systems to airlines, separating them out from the proceeds of selling products such as the dPAVES digital broadcast system and of supporting installed wide-body equipment.
There was also some brighter IFE news in the quarter, however. British low-fare carrier easyJet debuted dPAVES on an Airbus A321 and plans to install it on up to 13 more aircraft. Oman Air selected the Tailwind 560 in-flight TV system for seven Airbus A330s to be delivered from next July.
Commenting on the outlook for next year, chief executive Clay Jones said: “The balance between our Commercial Systems and Government Systems businesses gives us a diverse set of markets, customers and products which helps minimise exposure to weakness in any one area and provides multiple opportunities for growth. We believe Rockwell Collins is positioned to grow and perform well in a challenging environment.”
But he cautioned that the company expected to see no growth in passenger traffic in the coming 12 months, along with a lower number of airliner deliveries than previously projected. As a result, Rockwell Collins now forecasts total revenues of $4.9-4.95 billion for fiscal 2009, down from September’s estimate of $5.05-5.1 billion, with Commercial Systems sales remaining flat.
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