Airbus says it expects 50 orders for its A350 passenger plane in 2016
London - Arab Today
Airbus Group said Wednesday its net profits climbed 15 percent last year and predicted deliveries of more than 650 aircraft in 2016 and a rise in orders to record levels.
The France-based European aerospace group chalked up a net profit of 2.7 billion euros ($3.0 billion), with sales up 6.0 percent to 64 billion euros.
Orders soared to 159 billion euros, sending its order book to a record of more than a trillion euros.
Earnings before interest and tax edged higher to 4.1 billion euros from 4.07 billion a year earlier, excluding one-time items, said the group, which announced its results in London.
Based on the strong results, the group proposed a dividend to shareholders of 1.30 euros per share, up 8.0 percent from the previous year.
"We remain focused on programme execution and managing the challenges we face with the acceleration of the A350," CEO Tom Enders.
"The company broke even on production of the A380 superjumbo for the first time, and will restore output of the older A330 wide-body to seven planes a month" from six currently.
Demand for the latter remains resilient with 136 orders across 2015 even alongside the transition to the new A330neo new engine option wide body twin engine.
"The results for 2015 reflect our solid financial and operational performance," Enders added. "We do enter 2016 with confidence."
He stressed that Airbus is "concentrating its efforts on operational efficiency" as the company benefits from a flood of orders from new fuel-efficient aircraft.
The neo version of the A320 has come into service this year with German carrier Lufthansa and Airbus intends to push its monthly production of that model from a current 42 to 52 in 2017 and 60 by mid 2019.
For the A350 long haul jet orders will be ramped up this year to 50 units from 14 in 2015.
Airbus shares slipped back in Paris, down 1.44 percent in mid-morning trading after an initial 1.3 percent jump. The stock has shed just shy of 12 percent this year after a near 50 percent rise across 2015.
Overall, Airbus said it had received a net total 1,080 orders for commercial aircraft in 2015 for 635 deliveries
Airbus Helicopters meanwhile saw deliveries slide in 2015 to 395 units from 471 in 2014, although services contracts lifted sales by 4.0 percent.
Airbus said that the A400M military transport for which it booked charges of 290 million and 551 million euros in 2015 and 2014, remained a "challenge" although it would look to match the 11 produced last year in 2016.