SEOUL, May 7 (Yonhap) — Korea Aerospace Industries Co. (KAI), the country’s sole aircraft manufacturer, said Friday its first-quarter net profit plunged 85 percent due to the coronavirus impact on its business.
Net profit for the three months that ended in March fell to 11.9 billion won (US$10.6 million) from 79.5 billion won a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing.
“The COVID-19 pandemic drove down passenger jet parts orders (from Airbus and Boeing Co.) and affected possible deals to export aircrafts,” a company spokeswoman said over the phone.
Operating profit declined 87 percent to 8.4 billion won in the first quarter from 66.1 billion won a year ago, while sales were down 26 percent to 611.7 billion won from 827.7 billion won.
KAI used to win deals to manufacture wing and body parts for passenger jets made by Airbus and Boeing, but the deals have dried up since early last year due the coronavirus pandemic.
KAI projected Airbus and Boeing will place orders for parts from the second half of 2022 and the first half of 2023, respectively, as more COVID-19 vaccine doses will be administered worldwide.
As for capital expenditures, the company said it will spend 2.2 trillion won on facilities, research and development activities and stake investments in companies with advanced technologies for five years through 2025.
KAI has set a goal of 5 trillion won in sales in 2025 helped by improving parts orders from the world’s two biggest aircraft companies and possible exports of the FA-50 trainer jet and the Surion (KUH-1) transport utility helicopter.
It posted 2.83 trillion won in sales in 2020, down 9.9 percent from 3.11 trillion won a year earlier.