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Wednesday, 25 October, 2000, 17:38 GMT 18:38 UK
Airbus lifts EADS profits
An Airbus A3XX plane
EADS: "strong interest" in the A3XX "proves Airbus's market vision"
The European Aeronautic Defence & Space Company (EADS) has reported an operating profit of 553m euros for the first half of 2000, helped by strong sales of Airbus planes.

It is the first time the Amsterdam-registered aircraft giant has issued results since its formation in July by the merger of France's Aerospatiale Matra, Germany's DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (Dasa) and Construcciones Aeronauticas (CASA) of Spain.

Airbus Industrie - of which EADS owns 80% and the UK's BAE Systems 20% - was the biggest driver of the business, contributing operating profits of 516m euros, or about 93% of EADS' total core profits, and revenue of 6.8bn euros.

"We are enjoying strong activity in the commercial aircraft market that far exceeds our expectations from as recently as four months ago," EADS co-chief executive Philippe Camus said.

"We do not see any sign of a slowdown in this market and Airbus is increasing production capacity of both short and long-range aircraft."

Deliveries increase

In the first half, orders were received for 234 aircraft while 145 were delivered, EADS said.

The value of orders totalled 23.988bn euros which meant the company had already virtually achieved its full-year target.

Mr Camus said deliveries of long-range A330 and A340s would increase to eight a month by 2003 from about five a month now. Total deliveries were expected to exceed 400 in 2002, he said.

Airbus had previously said it would lift production of its medium-range A320 planes to 30 a month in the coming years.

EADS: the first-half figures
Operating profit, 553m euros
Proforma revenue, 10.585bn euros
Net loss, 359m euros
New orders worth 24bn euros
EADS said "strong interest" had been expressed in the planned A3XX super-jumbo, "proving the market vision of Airbus".

Airbus's main rival in the global civil aviation industry, The Boeing Company of the US, has consistently argued that the project is misconceived and there is little demand for larger planes.

Orders for the A3XX have so far been received from carriers including Emirates, Air France and Singapore Airlines.

Merger savings on track

EADS said it was on track to deliver annual savings of 580m euros by 2004 as a result of the merger that created it.

Proforma revenue for the first half stood at 10.585bn euros.

A net loss was recorded, as expected, of 359m euros as the company changed its accounting rules to bring a currency hedging policy up to date.

EADS said it was confident about prospects for the full year and expected an increase of about 7% in sales.

Operating margins were expected to rise to 8% in 2004 from a proforma 6.4% in 1999 and 5.2% in the first half of 2000.

Fresh defence contracts, which will start contributing to profits from 2002, will help EADS counter an anticipated slackening in demand for civilian airliners next year.

Production of the long-awaited Eurofighter will start near the end of the year, with the first delivery expected in late 2001, EADS said.

"We are currently evaluating how to grow our non-Airbus activities," co-chief executive Rainer Hertrich said.

"But this is a medium-term rather than a short-term goal."

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07 Sep 00 | Business
Airbus trims forecast
26 Jul 00 | Business
Airbus orders roll in
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