European aerospace giant EADS reported a near doubling of first-quarter net profit on Tuesday, boosted by a strong performance by its main subsidiary Airbus which makes airliners.
Quarterly profits soared by 91 percent from the level 12 months ago to 241 million euros ($316 million) on strong demand for commercial aircraft.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation jumped by 79.0 percent to 596 million euros, despite exceptional charges of 145 million euros in the Airbus division which is dealing with micro cracks in the wings of its superjumbo aircraft.
The price of shares in the group rose by 1.58 percent to 41.85 euros in mid-morning trading. The overall CAC 40 index on the French market was showing a fall of 0.41 percent.
At brokers Barclays Bourse, portfolio manager Renaud Murail commented: "Overall, the results do not contain any bad surprises. The trend is favourable in terms of activity and the group is confirming the good announcements which the market was expecting."
He said that in addition "the group is confirming its targets with once again a good number of orders or rumours of orders which are in the air, particularly from companies in the Gulf."The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company said that group orders for the first three months rose to 49.9 billion euros compared to 12 billion during the same period last year.
Orders for Airbus' commercial aircraft showed the highest jump, leaping 496 percent.
Sales for the first three months of the year were up 9.0 percent at 12.4 billion euros, the group added.
EADS noted that the programme for its future long-haul A350 aircraft, due to be delivered at the end of 2014, remained "very ambitious" but that there had been no anouncement of delays since the middle of 2012.
The Eurocopter division, making helicopters, which had performed strongly last year, was hit by technical problems affecting its Super Puma model, resulting in a restriction on flying.
Sales fell by 13.0 percent and operating profit by 69.0 percent. Orders fell by 36.0 percent in the quarter on a 12-month comparison.
EADS said that the performance of Eurocopter should recover during this year because the company had identified the cause of the technical problems.
Orders by the space division Astrium fell by 30.0 percent on a 12-month comparison but sales rose by 3.0 percent.
Against a background of cuts in defence budgets in the West, the defence arm Cassidian raised sales by 2.0 percent and its operating profit by 40.0 percent.
EADS stood by its targets for the full year, expecting EBIT earnings before non-recurrent items to be 3.5 billion euros in 2013 from 3.0 billion euros in 2012.
Deliveries of Airbus aircraft should continue to increase to 600-610 commercial aircraft. The group held to a target of 700 orders in the year, which appeared modest since commercial director John Leahy is counting on 750 for the year and had booked 493 by the end of April.
EADS said it expected "modest" growth for the year, mainly because of a slowing of orders for its superjumbo airliner, the A380, which has been held back by a programme to deal with micro cracks in some of the wing components.