Airbus Group NV said third-quarter profit gained 16 per cent, beating analyst expectations, as it sold more high-value aircraft and brought its A380 super-jumbo program closer to breakeven next year.
Earnings before interest and tax, goodwill impairment and exceptionals rose to €821 million from €706 million, France-based Airbus said in a statement. Sales were unchanged, while third-quarter cash flow before acquisitions reached €180 million, compared with negative €686 million a year ago.
The Airbus planemaking unit, which contributes more than two thirds of revenue and the majority of profit, received net orders for 791 aircraft in the first nine months of the year, already fulfilling its full-year target and achieving sales-to order-ratio above 1.
The group achieved positive cash flow in a period when it also met operational targets including certification of the A350, whose first delivery comes next month, and first flight of the A320neo. While Airbus delivered 140 planes versus 150 in the year-earlier period, the percentage of A380 deliveries was higher, with eight deliveries in the quarter, compared with six a year ago. The list price for the A380 is $414.4 million, almost twice as much as a wide-body plane and about four times that of single-aisle models.
Airbus Group, known until January as European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co., changed its name to Airbus to benefit from the prominence of the brand in aerospace. The company combined its defence and space businesses into one unit, and an overhaul of the business is progressing according to plan, Airbus said.
Airbus maintained its outlook for this year, including a “moderate return” on sales growth, aircraft deliveries similar to last year’s number and stable sales.
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