Dassault profits hit as business jets slump
Dassault Aviation, maker of fighter and business jets, reported a profits slump because companies had cut back on executive jets.Paris – Dassault Aviation, maker of fighter and business jets, reported a profits slump on Thursday because crisis-hit companies had cut back on executive jets.
Net profit for the first half of the year dropped 29.5 percent to EUR 118 million (USD 167.6 million).
Dassault builds the Rafale fighter aircraft and Falcon business jets.
It said the worst economic slump in years had cost it EUR 1.13 billion in of cancellations of Falcon orders but the outlook had improved recently.
"For several weeks ... there is a stabilisation of the market. I have the feeling that we have reached the bottom," chief executive Charles Edelstenne told a press conference.
The group delivered 26 Falcon planes compared with 34 in the first half of 2008 and seven Rafale fighters.
It said it still expected to deliver about 80 Falcons this year and 70-80 next in 2010.
Companies have cancelled or delayed orders for business jets, seen in some cases as an unnecessary luxury in a time of crisis.
Edelstenne said he did not expect the results to improve by the end of the year which "will not be a good year."
Sales in the first half were EUR 1.38 billion, of which 71 percent was earned through exports, down from EUR 1.54 billion in the first half of last year. Sales for the whole year would also show a fall, Edelstenne said.
Dassault Aviation owns nearly 26 percent of French electronics group Thales and intended to boost profitability at this subsidiary, he said.
AFP / Expatica