Zodiac Aerospace has its eye on the sky. The company, formerly Groupe Zodiac, makes aerospace equipment for commercial aircraft, helicopters, and space applications. It operates through three main business areas: Cabin Interiors (cabin fittings), Aircraft Systems (fuel circulation, monitoring, and control systems), and AeroSafety & Technology (evacuation systems and airbags). With about three-quarters of its workforce based outside of France, Zodiac maintains production facilities near some of the largest aeronautics manufacturers in the world, particularly in North America and Europe. The Domange and Marechal families together own about 25% of the company, equal to 40% of its voting rights.
Through subsidiaries like C&D Zodiac and Monogram Systems, Zodiac is a worldwide leader in cabin interiors, a business that represents about 60% of sales. Cabin Interiors operates through three segments of its own: Cabin Interiors, Galleys and Equipment, and Seats, which are geared at commercial, regional, and business aircraft.
In early 2012 Zodiac bought Contour Aerospace Ltd., a UK-based seat manufacturer, for an undisclosed amount. Contour Aerospace invented British Airways' seats that completely recline. Its product range expands Zodiac's offerings for business- and first-class seating.
Additionally, Zodiac offers spare parts, maintenance, and repair through its Zodiac Services organization.
After divesting its Marine segment in 2007, Zodiac refocused on growing in the aerospace sector. Since that time, the company has made steady progress through tough economic times, recording a 28% increase in revenue in 2010 over the prior fiscal year. Operating income jumped about 60% in the same period. Its Cabin Interiors business made a strong showing, posting 39% revenue growth in 2011. The Aircraft Systems and AeroSafety & Technology business units also grew in 2011 by 17% and 12%, respectively, due to the recovery in deliveries to business jet manufacturers and the increase in demand for emergency evacuation systems.
In the coming years, Zodiac expects to benefit from the increasing production rate of the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner and from higher production volumes for the Airbus and Boeing programs. Specifically, a contract has been signed with Airbus to supply escape systems for their A350 XWB.
Zodiac is contracted with the French national space agency (CNES) through the PLEIADES program (observation satellites for French defense and civil security) to supply the program's image reception ground stations.
The company also partnered with Diehl Aerospace, Liebherr Aerospace, SAFRAN, and Thales to create OEM Defense Services. The company services the assets of national militaries, including logistical support and maintenance, repair, and overhaul for military transport aircraft and helicopters.