Bombardier Inc. – Annual report – 31 December 2017
RISKS AND UNCERTAINTIES (extract)
General economic risk
The markets in which we operate may from time to time be affected by a number of local, regional and global factors. Since our sales and operations are undertaken around the world, including through manufacturing and production capacity in Europe and in North America, and partnerships and joint ventures in regions such as Asia and Africa, we may be directly or indirectly affected by an unfavourable political or economic slowdown occurring within these geographic zones and our business may be exposed to a number of related risks, such as fluctuations in exchange rates and restrictions on the transfer of capital.
Should the current uncertain global economic situation persist over time or deteriorate, should the economic headwinds in certain countries, regions or key markets intensify or spread to other countries, or should the global economic environment deteriorate, this could, in particular, result in potential buyers postponing the purchase of our products or services, lower order intake, order cancellations or deferral of deliveries, lower availability of customer financing, an increase in our involvement in customer financing, downward pressure on selling prices, increased inventory levels, decreased level of customer advances, slower collection of receivables, reduction in production activities, paused or discontinued production of certain products, termination of employees or adverse impacts on suppliers.
On June 23, 2016, a referendum took place whereby British citizens voted to exit the European Union, commonly known as “Brexit”. Bombardier could be impacted by Brexit in both our aerospace and rail businesses. In 2017, 46% of our revenues were generated in Europe, of which 20% was generated in the U.K.
Brexit could result in increased geopolitical and economic risks and could cause disruptions to and create uncertainty surrounding our businesses, including affecting our relationships with existing and future customers, suppliers and employees, which could in turn have an adverse effect on our financial results and operations. There could also be greater restrictions on imports and exports between the U.K. and European Union countries and could also result in increased regulatory complexities.
The announcement of Brexit caused significant currency exchange fluctuations. The U.S. dollar strengthened against other currencies, particularly the pound sterling and the euro. Our revenues are denominated mainly in U.S. dollars for aircraft sales and mainly in euro and other currencies for our rail business. The strengthening of the U.S. dollar relative to these other currencies could adversely affect our results of operations, particularly in the rail business, where a potential devaluation of the local currency or of the euro relative to the U.S. dollar coupled with potential increased inflation risk, may expose us to losses and could impair our customers’ purchasing power.