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Monday, January 29, 2007

ATR Earns $700M For 2006

ATR's turnover grew 30 percent to $700 million in 2006, compared to the year-ago period when it had $542 million in revenues, confirming the strong recovery of the turboprop market, according to ATR CEO Filippo Bagnato. It booked 63 new orders and 25 options during the year for a total order book, since its inception, of 837 aircraft (401 ATR 42s and 436 ATR 72s).

ATR's portfolio has 126 operators, including 11 new operators in 2006 in more than 70 countries. It delivered 24 aircraft during the year, compared to 15 in 2005 for a total of 713 aircraft deliveries (390 ATR 42s and 323 ATR 72s), through December. Its backlog numbers 124 aircraft, an increase of 40 percent with the company enjoying a 60 percent market share, according to Bagnato. As the result of its strong order book, ATR ramped up its production, increasing staff by 18.5 percent during the year to 642 employees, which is expected to continue this year.

ATR added Brazilian airline TRIP Linhas Aereas (Transportes Regionais do Interior Paulista) to its order book in December with an order for seven new 68-seat ATR 72-500 aircraft as well as five options. TRIP, is a long-time ATR customer but the latest order represents its first order for new aircraft. The firm aircraft order is worth $125 million. This new order will allow the airline to increase its fleet size and capacity to meet growing passenger demand and to progressively renew its existing fleet that currently includes six ATRs (five ATR 42-320 and one ATR 72-200).

In discussing its projections for 2007, ATR said it plans to deliver 44 new aircraft in 2007 and more than 60 in 2008, which will likely result in turnover growing to $1 billion. Bagnato said that turboprops have important growth potential, especially in Russia, China, Africa or Latin America. It may also roll out an innovative cabin concept at the next Paris Air Show. ATR is also working to update the avionics of its aircraft. With a thrust increase of five percent, the Pratt & Whitney 127M engine will be certified during the first half of this year, improving hot and high performance.

ATR experienced a strong market for used aircraft, contributing to the residual value of the aircraft. ATR posted 31 aircraft transactions (24 ATR 42s and seven ATR 72s) including 12 cash sales. ATR delivered 29 second-hand aircraft.

On the support side, the company moved distribution centers at Toulouse and Washington, DC to Roissy and Miami, respectively. Its spares/service program experienced a 20 percent increase in orders. It also signed its largest global maintenance agreement with Indian carrier Kingfisher Airlines in a deal worth $50 million and covers spares and maintenance of its ATR 72-500 fleet.

ATR last week announced the opening of a new spare parts distribution center in Auckland, New Zealand to meet the needs of its operators in the Pacific area. This is the fourth ATR warehouse worldwide, including Singapore. ATR is well established in the South Pacific area with some 30 aircraft currently operated by Air Caledonie, Air Tahiti, Mount Cook Airlines, Airlink of Papua New Guinea, Air Vanuatu, Air Pacific and the government of French Polynesia. DHL Solutions will manage the facilities as part of the global contract signed with ATR last year. ATR will soon implement another step of its Asian support development plan by opening a spare part distribution center in Delhi, India, also operated by DHL Solutions.

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