Just more than a year after the acquisition of Infotron, ECA Group has recorded intense expressions of interest for its UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) IT180: The export sales network recorded a great number of price and demonstration requests for these airborne drones in 2015. Although many of them are for Defence purposes (which is fitting, given that ECA Group has a highly developed export sales network in this sector), the number of prospects in the civilian sector is just as significant as those in the defense sector.
Accordingly, the civilian sector has generated a considerable number of requests, two-thirds of which concern exports, despite a limited number of export partners in this first year. This confirms the group's estimates of a civilian market (Industry and Services) that is more significant in the long term than the defense market.
The group has already recorded requests and orders for a wide variety of uses: nuclear for surveillance or intervention in times of crisis; mining for geophysical surveys; surveillance of forest fires; agronomy for the characterization of plots; surveillance of sensitive sites; coastal protection; and surveillance of marine animals; surveillance of construction sites, railway tracks, etc.
This first year of the UAV IT180 integration in ECA Group was marked by the following:
- industrialization and increased reliability of IT180 production: The integration in ECA Group was completed at the end of the first half of 2015 and the target, namely to reduce delivery time from 15 weeks to 6 weeks maximum, should be met in the second quarter of 2016.
- The continued development of the IT180 UAV range: The captive version (IT180-999, currently in the process of qualification), which will be marketed in early 2016, was presented at the MILIPOL trade show. Furthermore, the first copies of the long-range electric version (IT180-60) are currently being delivered to a first customer.
- The marketing position of the various USV's IT180 versions and the strengthening of the sales network.
Drawing on the confirmed potential of IT180 in the industry and industrial services, the group is implementing resources to meet this high demand:
- The network of export partners and distributors will be expanded quickly with a view to making airborne drones available across all continents for presentations at customer level. In addition, the civilian sector requires support and logistics in close proximity to customers. Accordingly, the group will have to strengthen its capacity for customer support and repair services outside of France.
- Lastly, the group has recorded high demand from customers for support in implementing their UAV IT180: adapting payload to their requirements, perfecting operating procedures for a specific mission, performing operations in the field, etc. In the light of this need, the group is considering an organization dedicated to the civilian sector in order to absorb the demand. This structure, located in France, should be created before the end of 2015.
Moreover, the UAV IT180 of ECA Group has been selected for presentation in the temporary showroom of the Tech Conference organized by EnterNext, which will be held on Tuesday, December 8 in Paris. Some ten listed companies and a few non-listed companies will present their most recent innovations there.
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This press release could contain statements on past events and forward-looking statements including statements regarding future goals or targets. Forward-looking statements reflect current expectations for results and future events.
Such forward-looking statements and targets depend on known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those anticipated herein. All these risks and uncertainties could affect the Group's future ability to achieve its targets. Risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results anticipated in the forward-looking statements and targets include, among other things: the risks and uncertainties possibly mentioned in this press release; the strength of competition; the growth of the market; currency fluctuations; interest rate fluctuations; raw materials and freight price fluctuations; armed conflicts or political instability; obtaining the export authorizations that may be required for certain activities; control of costs and expenses; changes in tax legislation, rules, regulation or enforcement; our ability to successfully keep pace with technology changes; our ability to attract and retain qualified personnel and key-men; the evolution, interpretation and uniform application and enforcement of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), according to which we prepare our financial statements; supply chain bottlenecks; the performance of our business partners (subcontractors, agents, suppliers, etc.).
Some of these risk factors are set forth and detailed in our Document de Référence (Registration Document including the annual financial report filed with the French Autorité des Marchés Financiers). This list of risks, uncertainties and other factors is not limitative. Other non-anticipated, unknown or unforeseeable factors could also have material adverse effect on our targets. The Group expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to update or revise any forward-looking statements or targets potentially contained in this press release to reflect any change in events, conditions, assumptions or circumstances on which any such statements are based.
The ECA Group is renowned for its expertise in robotics, automated systems, simulation and industrial processes. Ever since 1936 it has been developing complete innovative technological solutions to perform complex missions in hostile or restrictive environments.
Its products are used by a demanding international clientèle requiring the highest levels of safety and efficiency, mainly in the sectors of defence, maritime, aerospace, simulation, energy and industrial equipment.
In 2013, the Group reported revenue of 94 M€ for its three Departments: Robotics, Aerospace and Simulation.
ECA Group is a Groupe Gorgé company.
ECA Group is listed on Euronext Paris Compartiment C.
Indices : SBF 250, CAC SMALL 90 et CAC IT- ISIN code : FR0010099515
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