Daussalt targets foreign markets with Rafale jet

17th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 17 (AFP) - French aerospace group Dassault Aviation said on Thursday that it would begin to push sales of its Rafale fighterplane overseas as it awaits news of an order from the Singaporean government.

PARIS, Feb 17 (AFP) - French aerospace group Dassault Aviation said on Thursday that it would begin to push sales of its Rafale fighterplane overseas as it awaits news of an order from the Singaporean government.

"The export program is going to start," chief executive Charles Edelstenne said during a press conference following the company's full-year results earlier Thursday.

The company is already on a short-list to provide 20 fighter jets to Singapore's military, but so far only has had orders for the Rafale from the French government.

The contract in Singapore, worth approximately USD 1 billion (EUR 767.06 million), is a contest between the Rafale from Dassault, the Joint Strike Fighter from US group Lockheed Martin, and the Eurofighter from the European consortium of EADS, BAE Systems and Alenia.

The company said earlier that net profit in 2004 increased by 4.4 percent to EUR 308 million on sales of EUR 3.459 billion, an increase of 4.8 percent.

The figures in 2004 were boosted by an order for 59 Rafale fighters from the French military and the sale of 69 Falcon business jets, compared with 40 sold in 2003.

Civil jets last year accounted for 61 percent of sales, with the remainder in military planes Rafale and Mirage.

The company is still on the look-out for takeover targets with cash reserves of EUR 2.65 billion at its disposal.

"We still haven't found a target," Edelstenne said. "We are very prudent. Our priority is to preserve the family silver. That means protecting our capacity to produce future combat aircraft to rival our American competition."

© AFP

Subject: French News

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