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Dassault pins hopes on India Rafale deal as profits fall

A Rafale fighter jet shows its potential to the Indian Air Force in Bangalore
A Rafale fighter jet shows its potential to the Indian Air Force in Bangalore Reuters/Stringer

French aviation giant Dassault's profits fell 8.5 per cent in 2013, it announced Thursday. The company is pinning its hopes on a so-far elusuve fighter-jet contract with India.

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Dassault Aviation's net profit for the year fell to 459.45 million euros, although it reported a 25 per cent increase in orders of about 4.16 billion euros.

Last year it recorded an increase in orders for its Falcon private jets – 64 of them, up from 58 the year before.

Dassault CEO Eric Trappier announced on Thursday that a new Falcon model would be unveiled at an aviation expo in Geneva in May.

Dassault recorded 1.26 billion euros of defence contracts in 2013 - up from 793 million euros the year before.

But it is hoping this will go up significantly, as it is trying to seal a 12-billion-euro deal with India.

Negotiations over the sale of 126 Rafale figher jets began in January 2012 but a final agreement has been continually postponed and could be endangered by the outcome of India's general election this year.

Trappier said negotiations were moving to “a new level”.

In December Dassault lost a contract, which it had been negotiating for a decade, with Brazil.

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