EADS boosts 2004 operating profit

13th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 13 (AFP) - The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company said Thursday that strong defence operations and increased Airbus orders had led it to lift its operating profit forecast for 2004 to more than EUR 2.3 billion (USD 3 billion) from EUR 2.2 billion previously.

PARIS, Jan 13 (AFP) - The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company said Thursday that strong defence operations and increased Airbus orders had led it to lift its operating profit forecast for 2004 to more than EUR 2.3 billion (USD 3 billion) from EUR 2.2 billion previously.

Operating profit, as measured by earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), is seen rising to EUR 2.4 billion in 2005, the European aerospace giant said.

Full-year sales in 2004 were expected at around EUR 32 billion, based on a euro-dollar rate of USD 1.24, boosted by defence sales that climbed to around EUR 8.0 billion from EUR 7.1 billion in 2003.

The military order book now stands at close to EUR 50 billion, it said, adding that EADS is on track for further improvement across all divisions.

EADS expects an EBIT margin of more than 7.0 percent in 2004, up from 5.1 percent and "on the right path" towards the group's goal of 10 percent.

The year-end net cash position is expected to be "significantly in excess of" the year-end 2003 level of EUR 3.1 billion.

Cash generation was better than expected in the Defence and Security Systems, Airbus and Space divisions, it said.

EADS owns 80 percent of the aircraft maker Airbus, while BAE Systems of Britain holds 20 percent.

Shares in EADS were sharply higher in early Paris trade as investors welcomed the group's improved outlook.

EADS was up 1.86 percent at EUR 22.49, outperforming the CAC 40 index's gain of 0.60 percent at 3,840.11 points.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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