Airbus parent EADS sees fourth quarter earnings fall

Wednesday 27 February 2013 18.23
Airbus owner EADS reports full year earnings rise of 19% despite fourth quarter slump
Airbus owner EADS reports full year earnings rise of 19% despite fourth quarter slump

Airbus parent company EADS today posted a 47% drop in fourth-quarter net profit after taking costly charges at its helicopter and defence electronics divisions.

The aerospace giant said it earned €325m in the three months from October to December period, down from the previous year's €612m.

But full-year earnings were up 19% at €1.23 billion from €1.03 billion in 2011.

"There's still some way to go to meet our profitability targets," chief executive Tom Enders said.

Revenues rose 17% during the fourth quarter to €19.22 billion, with the core Airbus division posting a 36% increase.

But EADS took a €198m hit during the quarter at its defence electronics contractor Cassidian, in part reflecting restructuring costs.

Renegotiating contracts with government customers resulted in a €100m charge at helicopter maker Eurocopter.

The company's core business, aircraft maker Airbus, posted a 36% increase in revenue during the final three months, rising to €393m from €289m in 2011.

Of that, orders for civilian aircraft brought in €309m while military planes garnered €85m during the quarter.

Spaceflight division Astrium reported revenues of €121m, an increase of 19% from €102m the same time the previous year.

EADS said it expects to sell more commercial aircraft - about 700 - in 2013. Revenues will grow modestly, it said, but results will be affected by problems with its A350 XWB model.

The A350, intended to challenge Boeing's 787 "Dreamliner," was delayed because of a problem with the plane's wings.

"The A350 XWB programme remains challenging," EADS said in a statement. "Any schedule change could lead to increasingly higher impact on provisions."