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Airbus profits leap

The European consortium is based near Toulouse in France
The European consortium is based near Toulouse in France Reuters

Airbus Group on Tuesday reported that it had almost doubled its quarterly net profit, after a rise in sales driven by helicopters.


There was nevertheless a fall in new orders, after an exceptional performance last year. Airbus has already said that it will not be able to match the 2013 figures for orders taken.

The net profit of the group, formerly called EADS, for the quarter rose by 93.0 percent to 439 million euros, while the value of orders taken fell from 49.5 billion euros to 21.1 billion euros.

The group changed its name to Airbus Group at the beginning of this year in a major refocusing of activities after a failed attempt to merger with British group BAE Systems.

2013 was an exceptional year for aircraft manufacturers, especially Airbus and its main US rival Boeing, as airlines began to renew their fleets after the financial crisis and in readiness for a predicted boom in air travel, mainly in emerging economies led by countries in Asia.

Sales revenue by the group, which builds mainly Airbus airliners but also has wide interests in the aerospace sector from making helicopters to satellite equipment, fell by 5.0 percent in the quarter from the equivalent figure last year to 12.6 billion euros.

Meanwhile, Airbus Helicopters, formerly Eurocopter, increased its number of orders taken by half.

Airbus Helicopters also increased the number of aircraft delivered to 74 from 58, and so raised sales by 14.0 percent.

Chief executive Tom Enders said that the group was holding to its forecasts but still had much to do by the end of the year, with the emphasis being on applying restructuring programmes.

The company is due to put into service by the end of the year its new A350 airliner, a long-haul plane with a fuselage made of composite materials.

In early trading in Paris, the price of shares in the group rose by 4.91 percent to 51.92 euros.





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