Zodiac says heeds Airbus wrath over output delays

Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:00pm EST
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By Cyril Altmeyer

PARIS (Reuters) - Embattled aerospace supplier Zodiac Aerospace (ZODC.PA: Quote) said on Thursday it had heard loud and clear an angry warning from planemaker Airbus (AIR.PA: Quote) about delays in production of cabin equipment and vowed to sort out the problem.

The pledge came two days after the world's second-largest planemaker accused Zodiac's management of being "in denial" about repeated delays in seat production and announced it had thrown the French company off one of its projects.

Boeing (BA.N: Quote) has also expressed concerns about the delays.

"The message from Airbus was, 'OK, Zodiac, we've had enough. Any time there is a delay on a single seat, you need to fix it as quickly as possible because it is intolerable'," Zodiac Chief Executive Olivier Zarrouati told shareholders.

He said Zodiac had spent 300 million euros ($325.71 million) to deal with the crisis which triggered several profit warnings, but had wasted six months trying to assess the situation.

"Errors were made," Zarrouati said, adding that he was confident with the solutions now in place.

He said the company still faced a backlog of 300 delayed seats, but the level was stable compared with the one of mid-December, and down from 500 in November.

He predicted the delays would be eliminated by September.   Continued...

People are silhouetted past a logo of the Airbus Group during the Airbus annual news conference in Colomiers, near Toulouse January 13, 2015.   REUTERS/Regis Duvignau