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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 September, 2004, 07:15 GMT 08:15 UK
Airbus boost to defence giant BAE
Airbus A318 aircraft
Deliveries of Airbus have helped BAE Systems
Europe's largest defence firm, BAE Systems, says it has been boosted in the first half of the year by sales at Airbus, in which it owns a 20% stake.

UK-based BAE reported a 4.5% rise in underlying operating profit during the first six months of 2004.

First-half earnings rose to 486m ($862m) from 465m a year earlier.

France-based Airbus delivered 161 airliners in the first half of 2004, up 12 from the same time last year, and "continues to perform well", it said.

Good sustained underlying growth is anticipated across the company's operations
Mike Turner, BAE

However, it said the mix of Airbus plane deliveries expected in the second half of the year would include fewer of its larger, most profitable models than in the first six months.

"BAE Systems continued to make good progress in the first half of this year, delivering another solid performance and supporting our plans for the full year," said chief executive Mike Turner.

"Good sustained underlying growth, before taking account of currency translation, is anticipated across the company's operations in North America and in international partnerships."

However, the firm was hit by a charge for goodwill and depreciation of 688m, relating to its avionics and defence-electronics units, most of which were acquired in 1999 as part of the merger with Marconi Electronic Systems.

After the charges, BAE recorded a 202m loss for the six months to 30 June.

The company also said there had been a slower than planned recovery in the avionics business.




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