Airbus chief Gallois reassures on cash crisis

9th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 9, 2007 (AFP) - The co-chief executive of European aerospace group EADS reassured on Friday that losses at subsidiary Airbus would not push the group into an immediate cash crisis.

PARIS, March 9, 2007 (AFP) - The co-chief executive of European aerospace group EADS reassured on Friday that losses at subsidiary Airbus would not push the group into an immediate cash crisis.

"We don't need immediately to raise additional capital because we have a very strong, positive cash position," Louis Gallois, who is also chief executive of Airbus, told financial news channel CNBC. "We could wait."

He added: "We know that in the future that we will need to have access to financial markets in different ways.

"We are thinking of hybrid bonds. We are thinking of an increase of capital."

Airbus plunged into its first-ever operating loss in 2006 and will be in the red again this year because of delays and restructuring, EADS warned on Friday.

Despite delivering a record 434 aircraft last year, EADS said Airbus made an operating loss of 572 million euros (752 million dollars) -- compared with an operating profit of 2.3 billion euros in 2005.

EADS, which has helicopter, space and defence assets as well as Airbus, reported an 86-percent fall in its operating profit to 399 million euros from 2.852 billion euros in 2005.

Gallois also stressed that politicians should stay out of the management of Airbus amid fears about meddling and interference over a restructuring plan announced last week.

EADS is controlled by a complex pact of French and German shareholders involving public and private investors.

"It's my job to consolidate Airbus as a unique company, not divided into four national companies trying to get the best share of the cake," he said in reference to the origins of the group as an amalgam of British, French, German and Spanish aerospace groups.

The need to overcome national boundaries was "a handicap," he said.

Governments "are not to interfere with the management of the company because we have to work as a normal company," he stressed.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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