GKN Aerospace delivered a strong performance in 2019, with sales up 7% and operating margin up to 10.6% (from 9.9% in 2018), coupled with new contract wins, breakthrough technology developments and more than £50m invested in key sites.
During the year, GKN Aerospace confirmed its market leadership in business jets empennages and components with a contract for a large workshare on the all-new Gulfstream G700 Business Jet, including design and manufacture of empennage and floorboards and production of fuselage panels. In addition, Aerion Supersonic selected GKN Aerospace as a supplier on the AS2 supersonic business jet. GKN Aerospace will design the empennage and the electrical wiring and interconnection systems (EWIS).
GKN Aerospace’s continued investment in technology also reinforced its position as a key partner to several major aerospace customers. In the Civil Airframe market, GKN Aerospace’s advanced composite leadership saw it manufacture and deliver the first components for Airbus’ Wing of Tomorrow programme, including a revolutionary 4-metre demonstrator tool. In Engines, GKN Aerospace accelerated the production of a ground-breaking Fan Case Mount Ring, the largest purely additive aerospace part ever produced, which reduces titanium waste, CO2 emissions, and production time and costs.
GKN Aerospace further strengthened its additive manufacturing leadership position within Civil Airframes and Defence Airframes, winning key roles on collaborative R&D programmes DAM and AIRLIFT in the UK and announcing a new world-leading additive pilot production cell at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the US.
GKN Aerospace continued its strategic expansion in the growing Asian market, announcing a new facility in China and starting production in its new wiring site in Pune, India. Over £50 million was committed to new investment productivity across key European and US facilities, including Cowes, Luton and Portsmouth in the UK, and Garden Grove in the US.
Completing a landmark year, GKN Aerospace also announced a reorganisation to create a stronger, simpler, more competitive business, organised around three business lines: Civil Airframes, Defence and Engines. The restructuring is well on track and will continue in the next 18 months.
Hans Büthker, CEO GKN Aerospace said: “GKN Aerospace made strong progress in 2019. We achieved better than expected operational and financial results, capitalising on a good mix of commercial and defence programs, and operational improvements. The reorganisation to create One GKN Aerospace has so far been really well received by our customers. Our technology leadership in composites, additive manufacturing and electrification offer significant opportunities to play a leading role in the reduction of carbon emission of the aerospace industry and we will continue to work on the roll-out of our sustainability strategy in 2020 as we continue to shape the future of flight.”