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Last Updated:  Monday, 10 March, 2003, 14:12 GMT
Cutbacks for space programme
Airbus plane
EADS depends heavily on Airbus
European aerospace group EADS has reported a heavy loss for 2002 and announced it will cut another 1,700 jobs at its space division.

The firm, which employs 10,500 workers across Europe, did not say where the cut would be made.

In the UK, where EADS employs about 2,000 workers at its Astrium satellite equipment factories in Stevenage and Portsmouth, the company has been asked by union chiefs for talks to clarify the jobs situation.

Last year, EADS cut 1,600 jobs in UK, French and German operations.

Aircraft maker

EADS, which owns 80% of Airbus, said it expects to maintain its core profit in 2003 due to 300 civil plane deliveries.

The company - which is heavily dependent on Airbus for its revenues - is due to deliver more planes that US rival Boeing for the first time this year.

Unlike Boeing, EADS does not make as much money from its defence units, which depend on European government orders.

The full-year net loss came to 299m euros (205m; $329m) while core profit fell 19% to 1.42bn euros.

Shares hit low

The space division reported a loss of 268m euros in 2002 but EADS hopes the job cuts will see it break even.

At its Aeronautics division - which includes helicopters and the Eurofighter combat jet - operating profit fell by 15% to 261m euros.

But the defence and civil systems unit - which includes missiles, defence electronics and telecoms - returned an operating profit of 40m euros.

Shares are at an all-time low, after losing a third of their value in the last two months due to concerns about the civil aviation market.

They fell 2.6% after the results to 6.82 euros.

Howard Wheeldon, independent aviation analyst
"Job losses are very key to how this industry is perceived by stockmarkets and investors"

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