Embraer confirmed Monday its interest in discussions with more than two potential partners for its commercial aircraft business as part of a five-year strategic plan it expects to formulate within the next few months. Speaking during the company’s first-quarter earnings call with securities analysts, Embraer CEO Francisco Gomes Neto named companies in China, India, “and others” as potential partners, while confirming that the company is considering tapping financial markets—both public and private—to potentially help boost liquidity.
Nevertheless, Embraer CFO Antonio Carlos Garcia reported that the company—now sitting on $2.5 billion in cash reserves with major debt maturities not coming due until 2022—expects to maintain at least $2 billion in liquidity at the end of the year, underscoring the company’s relatively strong balance sheet at a time of shrinking revenues due to Covid-19 and a first-quarter marred by expenses associated with the failed sale of 80 percent of Embraer Commercial Aircraft to Boeing.
Embraer reported a $292 million loss in the first quarter, driven mainly by weakness in its commercial aircraft division. It delivered only five E-Jets during the period when it closed operations in early January to complete the segregation of the commercial division for the Boeing sale and again in late March due to Covid-19 concerns.
Embraer continues to cite a target of $1 billion in cash savings for the year, supported by cost-containment plans including compensation and work hour reductions among more than half of its Brazil-based employees. Other measures included supplier negotiations to delay parts deliveries and postpone payments and a companywide effort involving inventory “monetization.”