The French logistics service provider has been successful for years with a two-pronged business approach: The company manufactures industrial goods and, at the same time, provides all logistics services, including shipping and technical maintenance to keep the items in shape. The focus is on smaller aircraft and aviation industry products.
Rich industrial history
Likely only aircraft aficionados know this: DAHER is the world's seventh largest manufacturer of aircraft for general and business aviation and, active since 1911, the oldest aircraft manufacturer on this globe that is still in business.
Its main products are the TBM series, including the TBM 960, one of the world's fastest single-engine turboprop aircraft, and the robust Kodiak 100 workhorse. It is currently drawing up an EcoPulse project for a propulsion hybrid aircraft demonstrator, an idea jointly conceived by DAHER, Safran, and Airbus. Its purpose is to develop the key architectural principles for future hybrid aircraft. However, DAHER is already looking beyond the horizon. According to its ambitious decarbonization roadmap, the company intends to build fully electrically powered aircraft in the 2050s.
Currently, DAHER manufactures 55 aircraft per year on average, its CEO, Didier Kayat reports. Including the company’s aerospace business, this sector accounts for 50% of its total sales. The other 50% is generated through logistics, after market, and service activities. This combination of manufacturing and a broad range of customer services is unique, Mr. Kayat maintains, excluding the big boys, Airbus, Boeing, and Embraer, that offer their clients a similar product portfolio, although on a much larger scale.
In addition to aerospace, DAHER also increasingly engages in the rail and motorway sectors. “Every two years, we launch a new product,” says Mr. Kayat, since “innovation brings value to our customers.”
According to him, the annual turnover stands at 1.5 billion euros. The company’s order book is full, equaling a turnover value of 2.5 years. This is good news for the management, but particularly for the company's 10,000 employees. Yet, DAHER wants more. “We always plan in 5-year period cycles because that is a manageable time distance in terms of investments and industrial focus.” The current plan ends now. Key priority of the new five-year plan is the penetration of the North American market – the world’s largest in general aviation. “We have been too EU-focused so far. This we intend to correct", the CEO said.
… goes hand in hand with geographical expansion
Yet, DAHER also sees further growth opportunities within Europe, particularly in Germany and neighboring Austria. There, an additional 600 staff will be hired within the coming years, adding to the current workforce of 900 employees, Maarten Muller, MD DAHER Aerospace GmbH + Aerospace Logistics GmbH, reveals. Currently, Airbus and Alstom are by far the company’s largest customers there. Muller’s main job will be to add new clients to the company’s portfolio. In addition to organic growth, CEO Kayat does not rule out acquisitions to widen the business.
DAHER has picked Berlin as the upcoming headquarter location for the German and Austrian markets. “With a population of 4 million and the attractive liveliness of the city, we are convinced that we will find enough creative talent here to enrich our team,” he concluded at a press meeting held last week in the German capital.
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