MILAN, Italy --- As he waits to hear if his mandate will be renewed by the Italian government, Leonardo CEO Mauro Moretti has announced year-end profits of €507 million (U.S. $534 million), and claimed during a tough news conference Wednesday that he saved the company from disaster.
With a decision on his fate at the state-controlled firm expected Friday or Monday, Moretti proudly noted that Leonardo’s share price and ratings were up since he was appointed in 2014 following a career at the helm of Italy’s railway network.
Results for 2016, released Wednesday, showed new orders were up 61 percent to €20 billion thanks to the order for Kuwait for 28 Eurofighters, a program in which Leonardo is a significant partner. Debt was down 13.2 percent to €2.8 billion. A dividend was paid out for the first time in six years.
On the flipside, turnover was down almost €1 billion to €12 billion, part of a slide from €16 billion in 2013. Moretti said the year-on-year fall was due to a drop off in helicopter sales, including Leonardo’s big selling AW139 helicopter, thanks to the slowdown in demand for offshore helicopters for the oil and gas sector.
The longer-term decline since 2013 was due to the sell-off of non-core transport activity and the deconsolidation of joint venture activity from the results due to new accounting rules, he said.
Moretti was aggressively critical of the financial state in which he found the company in 2014, when it was known as Finmeccanica and operated as a group structure, overseeing a galaxy of small companies. (end of excerpt)
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