July 30, 2020 / 9:47 PM / 8 days ago

UPDATE 1-Leonardo lowers 2020 profit outlook, sees revenue almost stable

(Adds financial details, comments by CEO and CFO)

MILAN, July 30 (Reuters) - Italian defence group Leonardo SpA on Thursday lowered its profit outlook for the year but said it sees revenue almost stable with 2019 as it expects military and governmental business to offset coronavirus-related weakness in civil demand.

The Rome-based group issued new full-year guidance which gave a gloomier picture compared with expectations it released in early March which lacked the potential impact of the coronavirus crisis.

It said, however, that revenue would come in at 13.2 billion-14 billion euros, not far from 13.8 billion-euro level in 2019.

New orders are seen in the 12.5 billion-13.5 billion euros range, down from a March’s guidance of around 14 billion euros.

Full-year profit, cash flow and debt would be more impacted than sales as a lower level of activity at some of its divisions, slower deliveries and weakness of ATR and space joint-ventures would take their toll on the entire group.

Turboprop maker ATR, which Leonardo co-owns with France-based Airbus, has said it will cut its workforce by around 200 employees this year.

“ATR delivered only one aircraft in the first half and we expect it will continue to be affected by weak demand,” Chief Financial Officer Alessandra Genco said.

Leonardo’s earnings before interest, tax and amortization (EBITA) are now expected between 900 million and 950 million euros, compared with a March guidance of 1.325 billion-1.357 billion euros.

“Our order backlog of 36 billion euros is mainly governmental and military,” Leonardo’s CEO, Alessandro Profumo, said during a conference call on first-half results.

Between January and June the group reported a 1.4% fall in revenue, but suffered a 40% drop of its core profit (EBITA), which came in at 292 million euros.

All the divisions, excluding Leonardo’s U.S. unit, DRS, reported falling EBITA, with space and ATR joint ventures particularly weak.

The aerostructures division also bore the brunt of a fall in demand for airplane parts coming from Boeing Co and Airbus.

Reporting by Francesca Landini in Milan Editing by Matthew Lewis

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