Dassault profits down

16th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Sept 16 (AFP) - The French aeronautic group Dassault Aviation posted a drop in first-half net and operating profit Thursday but expressed optimism it would soon land a major French contract for its Rafale fighter jet.

PARIS, Sept 16 (AFP) - The French aeronautic group Dassault Aviation posted a drop in first-half net and operating profit Thursday but expressed optimism it would soon land a major French contract for its Rafale fighter jet.  

A Dassault statement said net profit fell to EUR 119 million (USD 145 million) in the first six months of the year from 141 million in the same period a year earlier.  

Operating profit fell to EUR 155 million from EUR 189 million.  

Orders, on the other hand, rose to EUR 1.32 billion from EUR 1.02 billion, Dassault said.  

A sales figure was not provided, but Dassault chairman Charles Edelstenne said "sales should be slightly higher than last year."  

In February, Dassault reported 2003 sales of EUR 3.298 billion.  

Edelstenne said Thursday that the group expected an order shortly for 59 Rafale combat jets.  

"We do not have it yet, but it is on the way and should not take much longer," he told reporters. "In a few days you will have all the details."  

France's defence plans call for the purchase of a total 294 Rafales, including 234 for the air force and 60 designed for service with the French navy.  

The number quoted Thursday corresponds to that foreseen for delivery in 2003, funding for which has not yet been approved.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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