Astrium 2012: a year of successes and transformation
- Provisional estimated turnover for 2012 was 5.8 billion euros, a rise of 17% despite an increasingly competitive environment
- Promising contracts and the successful integration of Vizada reflect the growing strength of Astrium Services
- A new world record for reliability as the prime contractor for Ariane 5 with 53 consecutive successful launches, and nine satellites placed in orbit
- International development continues apace with the creation of Astrium Americas, Astrium Brazil and Astrium Singapore, as well as the signing of a joint-venture agreement with RSC Energia in Russia
In making his New Year media presentation, Astrium CEO François Auque announced that Europe’s leading space industry company had generated an estimated revenue of 5.8 billion euros in 2012, an increase of 7% on a constant perimeter basis and 17% on the previous year with the Vizada contribution.
New orders totalled 3.8 billion euros, despite further stiff competition in the marketplace.
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Astrium also further demonstrated its proven reliability as prime contractor for the European launcher Ariane 5 with seven successful launches in a year, including the ATV-3 ‘Edoardo Amaldi’, taking to 53 the number of consecutive successful launches.
Nine Astrium-built satellites were also launched in 2012. Four telecoms satellites (Yahsat 1B, Astra 2F, Eutelsat 70B and the UK military satellite Skynet 5D), the two latest Galileo IOV (In-Orbit Validation) satellites, Metop B, SPOT 6 and the second satellite in the Pléiades constellation, for which Astrium Services is the exclusive commercial operator and distributor of high- and very-high-resolution images that are delivered in record time.
In addition, Astrium secured a number of contracts. These included the construction of two telecoms satellites for the Russian operator RSCC, two new Grace satellites for NASA, ESA’s Solar Orbiter mission, and a through-life support agreement for Hélios with the French defence procurement agency (DGA), as well as the Comsat NG project for the study of the next generation of French military telecommunications satellites.
“Not only have we shown we can win contracts in an especially competitive economic environment, these contracts also point to a bright future for Astrium, confirming as they do our ability to grow in new markets, both in Europe and in the rest of the world,” commented François Auque. “The agreements reached by Astrium Services including those with HarrisCapRock and SES Astra will allow us to offer new telecommunications services to our customers worldwide following the seamless integration of Vizada, while the successful launches of SPOT 6 and Pléiades 1B mean we are already in a position to deliver unique Earth observation services. These achievements have filled us with confidence and enthusiasm as we move into 2013 and show that our AGILE transformation plan is bearing fruit.”
The year ahead will see the delivery of six Ariane 5 launchers, the continuing development of the new Ariane 5 ME and Ariane 6 launchers, the launch of the fourth ATV and the development of the Multiple Purpose Crew Vehicle Service Module (MPCV-SM) for NASA’s Orion capsule. Four telecoms satellites (Astra 2E, SES 6, Alphasat I-XL and Astra 5B) and five Earth observation satellites (SPOT 7, three Swarm satellites and the Vietnamese satellite VNREDsat-1) will also be launched, while the group will continue to forge ahead with its international expansion plans and the development of Astrium Services.
Auque added: “As well as consolidating our position in government telecommunications systems, we will also enhance our global presence in commercial and maritime telecoms and in geo-information. The creation of various subsidiaries throughout the world in 2012 will enable us to expand our international presence while maintaining solid European roots.”
In 2012 Astrium created Astrium Americas to market its products and expertise in North America, and also set up Astrium Brazil and Astrium Singapore.
A joint-venture agreement with the Russian industrial corporation RSC Energia was also signed at the end of December 2012 for the joint development of satellites and satellite equipment.
Source : European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company EADS N.V. (Paris: EAD.PA)