Hampson Industries Plc

Hampson Industries Plc Secures Major Aerospace Contract

    London (ots) - Hampson Industries PLC ("Hampson") today announces that it has signed a Long Term Agreement with Eclipse Aviation Corporation of the USA for the manufacture and supply of the empennage assembly for the revolutionary Eclipse 500 jet aircraft. The contract has an estimated total value of approximately USD 380 million.

    The agreement represents the largest single contract ever awarded to Hampson and is line with the group's strategy of focussing on higher value-added activities in growth sectors.

    Under the contract, Hampson's Aerospace Fabrications & Assemblies Division will assemble the complete empennage structure of the aircraft from detailed component and large stretch-formed parts manufactured substantially within its own facilities.  Completed assemblies will then be delivered direct to Eclipse Aviation's manufacturing facilities in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, on a just-in-time basis.  The manufacturing strategy includes using the principles of single piece flow, coupled with six sigma quality.

    Commenting on the agreement, President and CEO of Eclipse Aviation, Mr Vern Raburn said:

    "The Hampson team has demonstrated strong expertise in structural part fabrication and component assembly, proven knowledge of production logistics, and an ability to scale their manufacturing to support our high volume production.

    "This contract once again demonstrates Eclipse Aviation's commitment to search globally to find the most qualified partners, who share our vision to change the way people travel and have the capability to support our value proposition."

    Commenting on the agreement, Mr Kim Ward, Chief Executive of Hampson said:

    "We are delighted to be associated with Eclipse and to have the opportunity of playing a significant part in the launch of this revolutionary new aircraft.

    "Since the global downturn in civil aerospace, we have focused intensively on improving our competitiveness through  rationalisation and the achievement of world-class levels of cost, quality and delivery performance in all of our principal businesses.  This has enabled us to build a global brand in aerospace component and logistical supply, offering a clear value proposition to the leading airframe and aero-engine manufacturers globally.

    "The securing of this contract, which provides us with access to a high profile and potentially very high volume programme, is a key achievement in our growth strategy and follows other successful recent new contract gains by Hampson.  We are committed to working in very close partnership with Eclipse to ensure the success of this most important of aerospace programmes."

    The Eclipse 500 is a revolutionary new light twin-jet aircraft costing USD 950,000 that will set new standards in jet safety, performance and value. Powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F engines, the aircraft will have accommodation for five passengers plus the pilot and will have a maximum cruise speed of 375 knots. Orders and options for in excess of 2,000 Eclipse 500 aircraft have been taken to date.


      Hampson Industries PLC

      Brierley Hill, West Midlands

      10 December 2003

      Notes to Editors:

      Hampson Industries PLC

      Hampson Industries is a UK-listed precision engineering group
serving the global aerospace, precision automotive and specialist
engineering markets.  For the year ended 31 March 2003, the group had
sales of £74 million and 1'300 employees.

    Some 70% of the group's revenues are aerospace related.  The group's operations are structured into four divisions, operating from eight facilities in the UK and three in North America.  Its Aerospace Fabrications and Assemblies division has developed, through continuous investment, an unequalled range of process capabilities in aluminium airframe component manufacture, including operating some of the largest aluminium sheet stretch forming equipment currently in use in the independent European aerospace supply chain.

    The group is an existing principal supplier to Airbus, with airframe components supplied on virtually all the family of current Airbus aircraft.  Other principal customers include; Rolls-Royce plc, Short Brothers and GKN plc.  The group's Precision Automotive division, which has a global leadership position in the manufacture of critical tolerance componentry for automotive turbo-chargers, is a key supplier to Borg Warner Automotive, Honeywell and Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co. ("IHI") of Japan, amongst many others.

    Web site: http://www.hampson-industries.plc.uk

    Eclipse Aviation Corporation

    Eclipse Aviation is in the business of designing, certifying and producing modern, affordable jet aircraft that will revolutionise the transportation market.  The company is applying advanced electronics systems, manufacturing and business practices to produce aircraft that cost less than a quarter of today's small jet aircraft, will be significantly safer and easier to operate than those of today, and have the lowest cost of ownership ever achieved in a jet aircraft.

    The goal of Eclipse is to bring the word "personal" into aviation, making it possible for commercial air passengers to move directly between cities on a quick, affordable and convenient basis. It will also allow pilot owners to enter the world of jet-powered aviation.

            Web site: http://www.eclipseaviation.com

            This information is provided by RNS

            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

ots Originaltext: Hampson Industries Plc
Internet: www.newsaktuell.ch/f

Kim Ward
Chief Executive
Phone +44/1384 472941

Howard Kimberley
Finance Director
Phone +44/1384 472946

Press contact:
Kathleen Bowden
CXO Communication
Phone +1/617 247 0122,
E-Mail: Kathleen@cxocommunication.com

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