, which became Zodiac Aerospace
in 2007, is a French corporation, specialized in the production and development of on-board systems, safety systems and cabin interiors.
The Marine Segment was separated from the Group in September 2007 to become Zodiac Marine and Pool.
Zodiac Aerospace is a world leader in aerospace equipment and systems for commercial, regional and business aircraft, as well as helicopters and space applications. The Zodiac Aerospace Group applies a strategy built on internal and external growth in niche markets that offer a high technology content, generate significant after-sales support business and have the potential to establish the Group as a world leader.
The entrepreneurial saga of Maurice Mallet (1861–1926) – a famous aeronaut of the late 19th century – began in Paris on December 22, 1896. That day, with two partners, he founded Société Mallet, Mélandri et de Pitray, the ancestor of the Zodiac firm. The new venture specialized in the design and construction of airships. In 1909, the company went on to market the very first sporting and tourist balloons, manufactured by the Maurice Mallet works.
The company changed its name in 1911 to Zodiac, and enjoyed steady growth from then until 1933. Working primarily for the Aérostation Maritime (Naval Balloon Command), Zodiac contributed to the war effort by constructing airplanes.
In 1934, Zodiac developed the first prototype inflatables, ancestors of what now generically known in French as “Zodiacs”; in 1953, the company temporarily discontinued its aeronautical activities.
The new craze in France in the 1960s for pleasure and motorboating finally led Zodiac to take an interest in the civil market, and initial moves were made to set up a sales organization.
In 1970, with the creation of Zodiac Espace as part of a joint project with the CNES (French National Space Research Center), the company revived its original core business: the air balloon. In doing so, it consolidated its position on the market for inflatable products.
Thanks to the recognized quality of its products and a change of management, Zodiac managed to avoid bankruptcy. A drastic plan implemented by the new chief executive officer, Jean-Louis Gerondeau – appointed in late 1973 by chairman Didier Domange – pulled the company back from the brink. With the support of shareholders and the assistance of the IDI (Institut pour le Développement Industriel), Zodiac held fast. In 1977, after three years of adjustment and recovery, a major contract provided the crucial break the company needed. Setting aside this troubled phase in its history – although a concern for economy has been a key feature of corporate culture ever since – Zodiac made a fresh start.
The purchase of Aérazur and EFA in 1978 led to the creation of an “Aeronautics branch”. Meanwhile, Zodiac implemented a policy of globalization and diversification through its subsidiaries. The purchase of Air Cruisers in 1987 marked a new stage in this development. For Zodiac, this first major international diversification – strengthened by the purchase of Pioneer (1988), Weber Aircraft (1992), and Sicma Aero Seat – heralded the start of a new entrepreneurial adventure.
In recent years, the Zodiac Group has achieved dominance in previously untapped markets, often consisting of specialized niches. These, however, are sensitive to consumption swings and currency fluctuations.
Zodiac's strategy of regular acquisitions and its concern to maintain a consistent industry focus led it to refocus on its core segment: aeronautics. The marine segment was acquired by Carlyle, a private equity firm with whom the Group jointly acquired the US company Waterpick the previous year.
The same year, after 34 years with running the Group, Jean-Louis Gerondeau transmitted the Presidency of the Directory Board to Olivier Zarrouati, CEO of the Group’s Aerospace Business.
In 2008, Zodiac pursues its strategy of external growth, acquiring three companies specialized in cabin interiors: Driessen, TIA and Adder. And beginning of 2009, highlighting the refocus move initiated in 2007, the Group’s shareholders’ meeting votes the new name: Zodiac Aerospace.
Both the organization and the management of Zodiac Aerospace are structured into three businesses: Aerosafety & Technology, Aircraft Systems and Cabin Interiors.
The Aerosafety & Technology Segment designs and manufactures products and complete systems for protection, rescue, telemetry and telecommunications. This Segment is mainly involved in the military market but also on other types of markets: commercial, regional and helicopters.
The scope of expertise by the Aircraft Systems Segment is recognized by all the major international aerospace manufacturers, and ranges from civil aviation and military aviation to space applications. This segment optimizes the high-technology equipment and systems essential for fixed-wing and helicopter in-flight and group operations.
The Cabin Interiors Segment designs and markets seats and cabin fittings, as well as supplying sanitary and food equipment. Its technological advances enable this segment to make a major contribution to upgrading and improving aircraft interiors.
Zodiac Aerospace is a Joint Stock Corporation with a Board of Directors and a Supervisory Board incorporated in France.
Zodiac Aerospace is managed by the Board of Directors, whose chairman is Mr. Olivier Zarrouati, and by the Executive Committee which is composed by nine members for fiscal year 2009/2010. The Supervisory Board is chaired by Mr Didier Domange.
Executive Board (fiscal year 2009/2010) :
- Olivier Zarrouati, CEO
- Maurice Pinault, Member Deputy CEO, Development
- Jean-Jacques Jégou, Vice-President, Administration and Finance
- Yannick Assouad, CEO, Aircraft Systems Segment
- Christian Novella, CEO, AeroSafety & Technology Segment
- Mike Rozenblatt, CEO, Cabin Interiors Segment
- Adri Ruiter, CEO, Zodiac Seats Division
- Paul Verheul, CEO, Galleys & Equipment Division
Consolidated key figures
| || 2009/2010 || 2008/2009
| Sales Revenue
| Number of employees(1)
| Current operating income
| Net income (after minority interests)
| Earnings per share (after minority interests)
| Proposed dividends(2)
(1) Average number of permanent employees on the payroll during the fiscal year.
(2) Ex. neutralization of treasury stock.
Other Financial Indicators
| || 2009/2010 || 2008/2009
| Operating margin
| Net income (after minority interests)/Net equity at beginning of year(3)
| Financial position
| Cash flow
| Capital expenditure
| Net equity after appropriation of net income
| Net interest expense
(3) Net equity at beginning of year after incorporation of exchange rate fluctuations, capital increases and premiums for the fiscal year.