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Safran S.A.
Société Anonyme
Traded as Euronext: SAF
Industry Aerospace, Defense
Founded 2005
Headquarters Paris, France
Key people
Philippe Petitcolin (CEO), Ross McInnes (Chairman of the Board) [1] [2]
Products Aircraft engines and equipment, defence electronics, biometric technologies, smart cards, identity management
Revenue 15.4 billion (2014)[3]
€1.471 billion (2012)[3]
Profit €999 million (2012)[3]
Total assets €18.51 billion (end 2010)[4]
Total equity €4.705 billion (end 2010)[4]
Number of employees
62,500 (2012)[5]

Safran S.A. is a French multinational aircraft engine, rocket engine, aerospace-component, and security company. It was formed by a merger between the aircraft and rocket engine manufacturer and aerospace component manufacturer group SNECMA and the security company SAGEM in 2005. Its headquarters are located in Paris. The company is a component of the Euro Stoxx 50 stock market index.[6]


  • Name 1
  • History 2
    • Origins 2.1
    • Safran Group 2.2
  • Group organization 3
    • Aerospace propulsion 3.1
      • Other subsidiaries 3.1.1
    • Aircraft equipment 3.2
      • Other subsidiaries 3.2.1
    • Defense and security 3.3
      • Other subsidiaries 3.3.1
  • Corporate affairs 4
    • Financial information 4.1
    • Shareholder profile 4.2
  • References 5
  • External links 6


The name Safran, literally meaning "rudder blade", was chosen from 4,250 suggestions. As a holding company for many subsidiaries the name was deemed suitable for the suggestion of direction, movement, and strategy. Safran also translates as saffron, which the company highlights as one of the catalysts for early international trade.



In 1905 Louis Seguin created the company Gnome. Production of the first rotary engine for airplanes, the Gnome Omega, started in 1909. This company merged with the Le Rhône, a company created in 1912 by Louis Verdet, to form the Gnome et Rhône engine company. Gnome & Rhône was nationalized in 1945, creating Snecma. In 2000, this company gave its name to the “Snecma Group”, and carried out a number of acquisitions to form a larger group with an array of complementary businesses.

Sagem (Société d’Applications Générales de l’Electricité et de la Mécanique) was created in 1924 by Marcel Môme. In 1939, Sagem entered the telephone and transmissions market by taking control of Société anonyme des télécommunications (SAT). It acquired Société de Fabrication d’Instruments de Mesure (Sfim), a measurement instrument specialist, in 1999. However, by 2008 Sagem Mobile and Sagem Communications had been sold. Sagem Mobile became Sagem Wireless in January 2009.

Safran Group

The Safran Group was created on May 11, 2005, with the merger of Snecma and Sagem SA.

In June 2014, Arianespace CEO Stephane Israel announced that European efforts to remain competitive in response to SpaceX' recent success have begun in earnest. This included the creation of a new joint venture company from Arianespace's two largest shareholders: the launch-vehicle producer Airbus Group and engine-producer Safran.[7]

By May 2015, Safran had created a launcher division as well called Airbus Safran Launchers.[8] This entity is currently developing the Ariane 6 launch vehicle for initial flights in the 2020s.[9]

Group organization

The Safran group is divided into three main branches:[10]

Aerospace propulsion

The aerospace propulsion branch groups all operations concerning the propulsion of aeroplanes, helicopters, missiles, and launchers, for the civil aviation, military aviation, and space markets: design, production, marketing, testing, maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO).

  • Snecma (formerly Snecma Moteurs)
    • Commercial & military engines, liquid propulsion for space launchers
  • Turbomeca
    • Turboshaft engines for helicopters
    • Jet engines for training and support aircraft
    • Turbines for missiles and drones (Microturbo subsidiary)
    • APU (Microturbo subsidiary)
  • Herakles (formerly Snecma Propulsion Solide)
    • Solid rocket motors for launchers, strategic and tactical missiles
    • Thermostructural composite materials

Other subsidiaries

  • Cenco
  • Smartec
  • SMA Engines
  • Snecma Services Brussels
  • Snecma Suzhou
  • Snecma Xinyi Airfoil Castings

Aircraft equipment

The aircraft equipment branch groups all design, production, sales, and support operations for systems and equipment used by civil and military airplanes and helicopters.

  • Messier-Bugatti-Dowty
    • Landing gear design, manufacture, and support
    • Wheels and carbon brakes for mainline commercial jets
    • Braking control and hydraulic systems
  • Hispano-Suiza
    • Mechanical, hydraulic, electronic and electrical equipment

Other subsidiaries

Defense and security

Reosc, a subsidiary of Sagem, Safran group, to manufacture shell mirrors of the E-ELT.[11]

The defense security branch operates in the civil, military, and space markets, and covers the following areas: inertial guidance and navigation equipment (SIGMA INS based on ring laser gyro sensors), optronics systems and equipment, avionics systems, UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) systems, air-land systems and equipment, biometric identification systems, secure transaction terminals, and smart cards. On July 1, 2009, the European Union approved Safran's acquisition of 81 percent of the GE Security division which produces airport security systems and biometric identification systems.[12]

Safran's biometrics products and technologies make up the "biometric data acquisition terminals, enrollment services, and processing software" used in Aadhaar, India's national identification number system and the largest biometric database in the world.[5]

  • Sagem
    • Technologies and services in optronics, avionics, electronics and safety-critical software
  • Morpho
    • Multibiometric technologies, smart cards, secure transactions, identity management solutions, explosives detection systems

Other subsidiaries

Corporate affairs

Financial information

Year 2006 2007
Sales (M) 11,329 12,003
Net income, Group share (M€) 177 406
Cash flow (M€) 1,003 1,221
Self-financed R&D (M€) 334 401

Shareholder profile

As of December 31, 2012:[5]

The biggest change in Safran's shareholder profile is the increase in publicly held shares (from 36.9% in 2008 to 54.1% in 2012).[3]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d "2012 Key Figures". Safran Group. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Annual Results 2010" (PDF). Safran. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Safran in 2013" (PDF). Safran Group. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  6. ^ Frankfurt Stock Exchange
  7. ^ Abbugao, Martin (2014-06-18). "European satellite chief says industry faces challenges". Retrieved 2014-06-19. 
  8. ^ de Selding, Peter B. "Airbus Safran Agrees to $440 Million Ariane 6 Contribution". Space News date=2015-05-29. Retrieved 12 June 2015. 
  9. ^ de Selding, Peter B. (2015-04-03). "Desire for Competitive Ariane 6 Nudges ESA Toward Compromise in Funding Dispute with Contractor". Space News. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  10. ^ "Group | Safran". 2011-04-13. Retrieved 2015-03-08. 
  11. ^ "ESO Signs Contract for Deformable Shell Mirrors for E-ELT". Retrieved 9 July 2015. 
  12. ^ "EU mergers and takeovers (June 24)". Reuters. 24 June 2009. 
  13. ^ [2]
  14. ^ "Morpho". Morpho. Retrieved 2015-03-08. 
  15. ^ "Detection". Morpho. 2014-06-25. Retrieved 2015-03-08. 
  16. ^ "MorphoTrust USA". MorphoTrust USA. Retrieved 2015-03-08. 
  17. ^ "Arrêté du 21 avril 2011 portant nomination au conseil d'administration de la société anonyme Safran" (in Français). Legifrance. Retrieved 2015-03-08. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Official website of Morpho, Safran's security business
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