Losses in the three-digit million range, further capital requirements in the same three-digit million range and no concrete statement as to when commercial business operations will start: the annual report for 2022 that the air taxi start-up has now submitted to the US stock exchange shows the typical picture for a company that as a newcomer in his branch has to make an advance payment. But the start-up costs are enormous. In 2022, Lilium posted zero sales but a loss of 253 million euros.
In the past three years alone, losses of more than 820 million euros have been incurred with almost no sales. In the current year, numbers are expected to remain in the red. The total losses since the start of the company are likely to climb to over one billion euros.
The company's statement on the expected market launch is remarkable. In April 2022, just six months after the US IPO, Lilium admitted that it would have to postpone the start of commercial operations by one year to 2025. This point in time was also recorded in updated stock exchange documents.
The new prospectus no longer mentions a point in time for commercial business operations. Rather, the start-up refers to the dependency on the approval authorities. The annual report now states that the first registration is not expected until the end of 2025.
In any case, commercial business operations are not possible before approval. Apparently, the new board of directors is cautiously indicating that business operations may not be able to start until 2026.
Industry experts have always warned against overly optimistic forecasts for Lilium. Other companies, such as the aircraft manufacturer Airbus, had previously pointed out that the approval authorities must first give the green light. The European aviation giant is also working on the development of an air taxi.
In Andalusia, Spain, German start-up Lilium is testing its electric flying taxi. For the first time since 2019, the company has now allowed journalists to follow a test flight. WORLD was there.
Source: WELT/Gerhard Hegmann
Lilium is now officially naming a time frame for when a person should fly in one of the company's models for the first time: in the second half of 2024. This is a milestone to which many customers have linked their down payments. It is said that Lilium still needs 300 million dollars before the manned first flight. In earlier prospectuses, the capital requirement was estimated at $540 million before approval. How high this value is now estimated remains open.
In any case, the future prospects of Lilium are viewed extremely skeptically on the stock exchange. Since the IPO in September 2021, the manufacturer of electric model aircraft has slumped drastically. At first, a share cost ten dollars. The price is now hovering around 70 cents, so the price has fallen by more than 90 percent.
Lilium remains in a race to achieve technical milestones, such as a recent 250 km/h flight, and to have enough liquidity to continue pre-financing the future technology.
At the end of 2022, the company still had 206 million euros in the treasury, after having received 119 million dollars (around 110 million euros) in November. Lilium speaks somewhat cryptically of customer advance payments and government guarantees or future sources of financing.
As you might expect, Lilium's board is confident in the concept and engineering of its own model. According to the new letter to shareholders, air taxi operators will be able to offer their customers a profitable service for two dollars per person per kilometer.
Lilium speaks of up to 620 pre-orders. Production of the air taxi in its future form and design is scheduled to begin at the end of the year. So far, the start-up, which now has two flight demonstrators (Phoenix), has been collecting data for further development on a test site in Spain.
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