Britten-Norman on the way out?

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Supply chain troubles push Britten-Norman into the red

#1 Post by OneHungLow » Thu Sep 21, 2023 3:09 pm

Who knew that Britten-Norman were still going?
B-N Group, the parent company of UK aircraft manufacturer Britten-Norman, has blamed “extremely challenging” market conditions for a £3.6 million ($4.45 million) loss revealed in its latest accounts.

Detailing its performance in the year to 31 March 2022, B-N Group says sales of new aircraft were “seriously affected by Covid-19-related supply chain issues at its strategic supplier”.


As a result, turnover fell year on year to £8.8 million, from £12.5 million, leading to a loss after tax of £3.6 million, against a modest £188,000 profit in the same period a year earlier.

B-N Group says the supply chain weakness drove a “decision to reshore its overseas manufacturing capabilities”.

Companies within the group include Britten-Norman Aircraft, which is the type certificate holder for the nine-seat BN-2 Islander.

Earlier this year, the manufacturer announced plans to relocate Islander production from Romania to its plant in Bembridge on the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of the UK. It will host a formal opening event for a new line at the site on 21 September.

This move will enable it to achieve output of eight aircraft per year, it says, “in order to support the current order pipeline of conventionally powered Islanders”.

But the company is also preparing to “increase output further from 2026” to support the production of zero-emission aircraft.

Britten-Norman is working with Cranfield Aerospace Solutions (CAeS) – a company with which it is due to merge later this year – to develop a hydrogen fuel cell-powered version of the Islander. That aircraft is expected to enter service in 2026.

To finance the production location switch and to clear “other accumulated creditor balances” the company requires additional financing, the accounts disclose.

This has “led to the company’s decision to engage in fund-raising activities, which are now at an advanced stage”.

It is unclear if this is in addition to the merger plan with CAeS, through which £10 million is to be injected into the combined business from HydrogenOne Capital Growth, Safran Corporate Ventures, and United Arab Emirates-based finance firm Strategic Development Fund. Additional funding was also being sought, the companies disclosed in April.

The accounts also contain a qualified warning about the group’s ability to continue as a going concern.

Auditors Menzies note the company will “require further funding in the coming months to fund working capital requirements and this funding has not yet been secured at the date of this audit report”. The accounts were signed off on 31 August 2023.

As such, a “material uncertainty exists that may cast significant doubt on the group’s ability to continue as a going concern”.

However, Menzies has concluded that preparation of the accounts on a ‘going concern’ basis is appropriate due to a detailed review of management forecasts “corroborated by evidence” supporting the assumptions.

“This includes a review of correspondence and other documents supporting the latest position with securing the required additional funding,” the report notes.

B-N Group is owned by Omani national Alawi Zawawi, who will also join the merged Britten-Norman/CAeS business.
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Britten-Norman on the way out?

#2 Post by CharlieOneSix » Mon Feb 26, 2024 12:06 pm

From The Daily Telegraph today:
A BRITISH company that makes aircraft once used by MI5 is on the verge of calling in the administrators, months after it became entangled in a row over unpaid invoices.

Britten-norman said last week that it intended to appoint an administrator in a court filing, a move that gives it breathing space to try to pay its debts before creditors can tip it over the edge.

A spokesman insisted it was still operating normally and that the notice had been given for the protection of the company during a transition period.

In a separate statement, Lara Harrison, Britten-norman’s business development director, said: “In support of the company’s future plans, especially with regard to the repatriation of aircraft manufacturing to the UK, the board has appointed advisers to assist in exploring options to secure the necessary additional investment.

“While the board continues to engage in constructive discussions with key stakeholders, it has decided to file court documents that will protect the position of the business. This will allow the board to focus on achieving the correct structure for any proposed new investment. Subject to a satisfactory conclusion of the process, the board is looking forward to following up with a further announcement this week.”

Just months ago the Isle of Wightbased company faced a winding-up petition brought by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in an attempt to recoup £36,577 of unpaid invoices. At the time, Britten-norman said the legal action had been brought in error by the CAA.

Britten-norman was founded by engineers John Britten and Desmond Norman in 1954 to build a small commuter aeroplane.

But the manufacturer is best known for its nine-seater, twin-engined Islander aircraft, which first flew in 1965.

Popularly used as air ambulances and for short-haul travel, about 1,300 of the planes have been built to date.

The British Army and Royal Air Force used Britten-norman camera-equipped Islanders for domestic surveillance over a 30-year period, including missions over Northern Ireland during the Troubles to feed vital intelligence to MI5 agents.
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Re: Britten-Norman on the way out?

#3 Post by Ex-Ascot » Mon Feb 26, 2024 12:13 pm

It will be sad, terrific aircraft.
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Re: Britten-Norman on the way out?

#4 Post by tango15 » Mon Feb 26, 2024 5:03 pm

Ex-Ascot wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2024 12:13 pm
It will be sad, terrific aircraft.
Yes, agreed, having spent many an hour in the twin and three-engined versions. I thought they had moved the main production plant to Lee-on-Solent and had been given a grant, with Bembridge making only components now, in order to reduce costs. I hope they can sort out some financing.

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Re: Britten-Norman on the way out?

#5 Post by Pinky the pilot » Tue Feb 27, 2024 7:39 am

It will be sad, terrific aircraft.

Yes, agreed, having spent many an hour in the twin and three-engined versions.
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Re: Supply chain troubles push Britten-Norman into the red

#6 Post by Pinky the pilot » Wed Feb 28, 2024 6:46 am

A report on TOP stated that Torres Strait Air (Far North Queensland) have confirmed a $25 million deal to purchase 10 new BN Islanders.

One wonders how the supply chain problems will affect this deal?
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Re: Britten-Norman on the way out?

#7 Post by reddo » Wed May 15, 2024 8:44 am

I have far too many hours in the BN2B.

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Re: Britten-Norman on the way out?

#8 Post by Ex-Ascot » Wed May 15, 2024 12:42 pm

Many take off and landings both piston and turbine but not even 500 hrs.
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Re: Britten-Norman on the way out?

#9 Post by ricardian » Mon May 20, 2024 9:38 am

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