April 29, 2020 / 5:20 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Safran sales fell 8.8% in Q1, says has enough liquidity

(Adds details, CEO comments)

PARIS, April 29 (Reuters) - France's Safran reported an 8.8% drop in like-for-like first-quarter revenue to 5.38 billion euros ($5.84 billion) as the coronavirus crisis began to weigh on its aircraft engines and interiors business.

The world's third-largest aerospace supplier said the month of March, when lockdowns were first implemented in Europe to halt the spread of the disease, saw a 20.4% drop after a slight decrease in the first two months in line with earlier forecasts.

In the widely watched civil aftermarket for engine spares and servicing, Safran said revenue was down 3.3% in dollar terms, having grown in line with targets in January and February followed by a 20% drop in March.

Safran co-produces engines with General Electric for all Boeing and some Airbus narrow-body passenger jets.

Chief Executive Philippe Petitcolin told reporters Safran remained on "solid" foundations with 3.2 billion euros of cash and cash equivalents on March 31.

The company said it had finalised a bridge loan of 3 billion euros available for up to two years which it announced in March.

Safran aims to maintain positive cash generation over the full year "despite significant potential headwinds" in the second and third quarters from the crisis.

Safran is making significant cost cuts, Petitcolin said.

Safran has shut 45 of its 200 worldwide sites and furloughed 35% of its global staff, including 45% in France.

It has slashed capital spending by close to 60% compared to last year and reduced R&D spending by 30%.

$1 = 0.9217 euros Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Mark Potter

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