Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) announced today its order intake and sales for Q1 2018.

  • Solid order intake: €3.0 billion, up 34%
  • Sales: €3.4 billion, up 7.2% on an organic basis[1] (up 4.1% on a reported basis)
  • All financial objectives confirmed

 

Order intake,  in € millions Q1
2018
Q1 2017 restated for IFRS 15 Q1 2017
reported
Total change Organic change
Aerospace 751 925 938 -19% -16%
Transport 488 215 215 +127% +132%
Defence & Security 1,782 1,112 1,112 +60% +68%
Other 11 16 16    
Total 3,032 2,267 2,281 +34% +39%
Sales , in € millions          
Aerospace 1,285 1,332 1,252 -3.5% -0.3%
Transport 386 310 279 +24.4% +29.3%
Defence & Security 1,729 1,620 1,511 +6.7% +9.5%
Other 11 16 15    
Total 3,412 3,278 3,058 +4.1% +7.2%
Of which mature markets[2] 2,463 2,372 2,148 +3.8% +6.6%
Of which emerging markets2 949 905 909 +4.8% +8.9%

 
 
 “Thales starts 2018 with a solid momentum. Sales are organically up by 7.2%, ahead of our full year target. Order intake is very strong, in particular thanks to the booking of a major air traffic management modernisation project in Australia.  We confirm all of our financial objectives for 2018.”
Patrice Caine, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
 
As of 1 January 2018, the Group has been applying the IFRS 15 standard “Revenue from contracts with customers”. All changes discussed below are calculated compared with the Q1 2017 figures restated for the application of this standard.
 
Order intake
In Q1 2018, order intake amounted to €3,032 million, up 34% compared to Q1 2017 (up 39% at constant scope and currency). Three large orders worth over €100 million were booked in Q1 2018:

  • The jumbo[3] contract to modernize civil and military air traffic management (ATM) infrastructures across Australia (“OneSKY” project)
  • The contract related to Qatar ordering 12 additional Rafale combat aircraft
  • Renovation of the signalling system on one of the main railways in Poland

At €1,834 million, orders with a unit value of less than €100 million declined by 15% compared to Q1 2017, impacted by quarter-to-quarter phasing effects.
 
From a geographical[4] point of view, order intake in mature markets recorded strong growth (€2,496 million, up 59%), driven particularly by the OneSKY project in Australia, while order intake in emerging markets declined (€536 million, down 15%).
 
Order intake in the Aerospace segment fell 19%, to €751 million, compared to €925 million in Q1 2017 which had benefited from the order of a telecommunications satellite by Russian operator Gazprom Space Systems.

At €488 million, order intake in the Transport segment was particularly dynamic, since it benefited, in addition to the contract in Poland mentioned above, from the booking of the first phase of the traffic management system that covers the entire Norwegian railway network. Orders thus increased by 127% compared to Q1 2017 (€215 million).
At €1,782 million versus €1,112 million in Q1 2017, order intake in the Defence & Security segment also saw a strong increase (up 60%), benefiting in particular from OneSKY, the jumbo Australian ATM contract mentioned above.

 
Sales
Sales for Q1 2018 stood at €3,412 million compared to €3,278 million in Q1 2017, up 4.1% on a reported basis, and up 7.2% at constant scope and currency[5] (“organic” change).
 
From a geographical[6] perspective, this increase reflects both continued strong organic growth in emerging markets (+8.9%, following on from +16.6% in Q1 2017) and the continuing solid organic growth in mature markets (+6.6%, after +8.7% in Q1 2017).
 
Sales in the Aerospace segment totalled €1,285 million, down 3.5% compared to Q1 2017 (down 0.3% at constant scope and currency). This stability reflects a high comparison basis, particularly in In-Flight Entertainment and in the Space business: organic growth was exceptionally strong in Q1 2017 (+16.2%).

In the Transport segment, sales totalled €386 million, up 24.4% compared to Q1 2017 (up 29.3% at constant scope and currency). The segment is still benefiting from the ramp-up of the large urban rail signalling contracts signed in 2015 and 2016, combined with an upturn in mainline activity. In the coming quarters, the growth of this segment is expected to be significantly lower.

Sales in the Defence & Security segment represented €1,729 million, up 6.7% compared to Q1 2017 (up 9.5% at constant scope and currency). This segment continues to enjoy a solid growth base, particularly driven this quarter by surface radars, military naval and aircraft systems, military telecommunication networks, and civil cybersecurity.

 
Outlook
Q1 2018 order intake and sales are in line with expectations. In this context, the Group confirms all of its objectives, as set out below.
As of 1 January 2018, the Group has been applying the IFRS 15 standard “Revenue from contracts with customers”. To provide a basis for understanding the 2018 financial targets, the 2017 results restated for the application of this standard are presented on page 20 of the 2017 full-year results press release published on 6 March 2018.

In 2018, Thales should continue to benefit from positive trends in the majority of its markets. The acceleration of the commercial momentum in the defence businesses should offset the slowdown of the telecom satellite market. In this context, 2018 order intake is expected to be around €15.5 billion.

In spite of a more moderate growth in the aerospace segment, sales should see an organic growth of between 4 and 5% compared to 2017 sales restated for the application of the IFRS 15 standard (€15,228 million).

The Group will continue to significantly increase its R&D investments, particularly in digital technologies. The self-funded R&D expenses should therefore increase by approximately 10% compared to 2017.

The growth in sales, combined with the impact of the Ambition 10 strategy on product competitiveness and differentiation, should result in Thales delivering an EBIT of between €1,620 and €1,660 million in 2018 (based on February 2018 scope and exchange rates), representing an increase of 19% to 22% compared to 2017 EBIT restated for the application of the IFRS 15 standard (€1,365 million).
Therefore, the Group expects to exceed its two mid-term objectives: the average organic sales growth in the 2016-2018 period should be over 5%, and the 2018 EBIT margin should be above the top end of the range set in April 2014 (9.5% to 10% in 2017/2018).

 
This outlook does not take into account the projected acquisition of Gemalto. The Group may need to update its outlook depending on the effective conclusion date of this transaction.
The Group will review its strategy and set medium-term objectives at a capital markets day to be held on 6 June 2018 at its Gennevilliers (France) site.
 
****
This press release may contain forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements represent trends or objectives, and cannot be construed as constituting forecasts regarding the Company's results or any other performance indicator. Actual results may differ significantly from the forward-looking statements due to various risks and uncertainties, as described in the Company's Registration Document, which has been filed with the French financial markets authority (Autorité des marchés financiers — AMF).
In this press release, amounts expressed in millions of euros are rounded to the nearest million. As a result, the sums of the rounded amounts may differ very slightly from the reported totals. All ratios and changes are calculated based on underlying amounts, which feature in the consolidated financial statements.
 

 
[1] In this press release, “organic” means at constant scope and currency.
[2] Mature markets: Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand. Emerging markets: all other countries.
See table on page 6.
[3]Jumbo: with a unit value of more than €500 million.
[4] See table on page 6.
[5] Taking into account a negative exchange rate effect of €94 million and a net negative scope effect of €1 million.
[6] See table on page 6.