LATECOERE : Interview with Francois Junca chairman of the supervisory board at Latecoere


Q.: Airbus has confirmed the end of the process to transfer the Méaulte and St Nazaire sites.  How do you react?
A. Extremely disappointed after working really hard for more than a year to see this project through.

Q.: In your view, what are the reasons for this failure?
A. There are of course several reasons:

A gloomy economic climate given the financial crisis in the United States, Euro/Dollar parity resulting from international monetary disorder and the ECB's policy which penalises the European aeronautical sector, The desire repeatedly expressed by Airbus to proceed in a similar fashion in Germany and in France, The failure to find a solution in Germany,

Q.: Did you find the investors needed for the ¤300 million capital increase?
A. Yes, the pool was pretty much settled, with the participation of the CDC, pension funds and foreign investors.

Q.: How do you see the future for Latécoère?
A. Our order backlog represents four years' sales volume. Our products are delivered to the world's major aircraft manufacturers - Airbus, Boeing, Dassault, Embraer and Bombardier. Our customers need us. Our objective is still the same - to deliver quality products at market prices.
The current exchange rate of ¤1=$1.55 means we are forced to increase production by our low-cost subsidiaries and sub-contractors, which in the long-term will result in significantly less activity in France.

Q.: You're not actually going to go ahead with redundancies?
A. Anything is possible. The temporary contracts covering technical and administrative positions (around 200 people) will not be renewed.
Blue-collar workers are protected for the moment, thanks to rising production rates.

Q.: For the moment, you say - what about the future?
A. That will depend on the outcome of future negotiations with our customers.

Q.: How do you see your participation in the A350 programme?
A. We have significant engineering resources and competitive production capacities, which are available for Airbus. Nonetheless, with the priority on improving our financial situation, we are unable to finance product development phases.

Q.: What future do you see for aerostructure suppliers in France?
A. Airbus's decision means France has lost the chance to create a world leader in the aerostructure market. The whole of the French aeronautical industry has a guaranteed workload for the short-term thanks to growing aircraft production rates. However, medium and long-term business will be compromised. Airbus will pursue its strategy to find partners in the dollar zone to manufacture aerostructure components.

Q.: Are you pessimistic about the future?
A. Yes, and especially for the Midi-Pyrénées region, as this means we have missed out on an exceptional opportunity.

About Latécoère

This international group is a first-rate partner of the world's major aircraft manufacturers (Airbus, Embraer, Dassault, Boeing, Bombardier). Latécoère is involved in all sectors of the aeronautical industry (commercial, regional, business and military aircraft), in three areas of activity:

Aerostructure (68% of sales):  fuselage sections and doors Onboard wiring and systems (27% of sales): onboard wiring, electrical fixtures and equipment. Engineering and services (5% of sales): research, design and realisation of tooling.

The Group employs 3,800 people in 8 different countries.
Its consolidated sales figures for 2007 come to ¤489 million and the order backlog is worth ¤1,820 million.

Latécoère is listed by NYSE Euronext Paris, compartment B - Indexes: SBF 250, CAC MID&SMALL 190, SMALL 90 - Codes ISIN : FR0000032278 - Reuters : LAEP.PA - Bloomberg : LAT.FP

Jean-Jacques PIGNERES / Finance Manager
Jean-Pierre ROBERT / Communication Manager
Tel.: +33 (0)561 58 77 00
Analyst & Investor Relations
Tel.: +33 (0)153 67 35 74
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