Dassault Aviation CEO and Gifas chairman Charles Edelstenne had a sobering message for the European community despite presenting news that the French aerospace industry wrote a record ?57.5 billion in orders last year. Speaking at French aerospace trade group Gifas’s annual meeting, Edelstenne warned, “These results hide a very worrying reality.
With the euro currently valued at over $1.50, orders are less profitable” since the aerospace industry sells its products in U.S. dollars. “Strategies such as currency hedging and raising productivity, which have already been adopted to compensate for the falling dollar, are now no longer enough,” he added, “obliging us to move some of our activities abroad.
While the French aerospace industry won’t see its employment ranks swell by 9,000 full-time and an equal number of part-time employees like it did last year, Edelstenne said it will “maintain these employment levels” this year. However, “Pressure from the dollar on our profitability and our ability to self-finance [research and development] is putting our future in danger,” he concluded.