Moody's lowers Thales credit rating

12th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

Ratings agency Moody's on Monday lowered its credit rating on French hi-tech electronics group Thales by one notch, citing weaker expected profits.

Moody's Investors Service lowered its long-term rating to A2 from A1 and maintained its short-term assessment at P-1.

"Near-term profits are expected to be lower that Thales's historic levels," said Moody's analyst Bob Jankowitz.

The agency cited the company's restructuring program, dubbed Probasis, which it said was aimed at adressing the firm's problems with supply chain efficiency, contract management and overhead.

While Moody's said it expected Thales to make progress in improving its operating results, it predicted that most of the savings from the restructuring would be realised over several years, "with only moderate near-term benefits in the coming year."

Thales, in which the French government has a 27 percent stake, suffered a net loss of 202 million euros (254 million dollars) last year after earning 560 million euros in 2008.

The group expects its restructuring to yield savings of 1.3 billion euros by 2014.

© 2010 AFP

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