Europe's Airbus has predicted 720 jetliner deliveries and higher profits in 2022 after core profit almost trebled last year on a partial recovery in air travel and higher defence and helicopter earnings.
The world's largest jetmaker also ended a two-year dividend drought after swinging to a record net profit of €4.213 billion, boosted by the halting of production of its A380 superjumbo and a reversal of some Covid-19 charges.
Airbus proposed a dividend of €1.5 a share.
"The pandemic is not yet fully behind us," chief executive Guillaume Faury said, adding that tensions could be seen in supply chain, logistics and labour.
But he reaffirmed Airbus production goals and reiterated that the market would recover fully between 2023 and 2025.
"It has been clear that people want to fly again and do so as soon as restrictions are relaxed," he said.
The group's closely watched adjusted operating profit soared to €4.865 billion from €1.706 billion a year earlier as revenue rose 4% to €52.149 billion, buoyed by deliveries of 611 jets and cost cuts in helicopters and defence.
For 2022, Airbus predicted a core profit of 5.5 billion.
For the fourth quarter, Airbus posted a better-than-expected core profit of €1.496 billion on revenue of €16.994 billion. Analysts were on average expecting €1.364 billion and €16.878 billion respectively, according to a company-compiled consensus.
Net cash rose more than 75% to €7.6 billion, on its way back to a pre-crisis level of €12.5 billion.
Airbus earnings were boosted by €274m clawed back money from previous write-offs to close Europe's largest building, the A380 production plant in Toulouse, which it now plans to use to build in-demand narrowbody planes.
This almost halves a bill of €463m announced when Airbus halted production of the world's largest jetliner after weak sales. The last A380 was delivered in December.
On the negative side, Airbus took another charge of €212m on the A400M military airlifter, adding to billions written off on Europe's largest defence project.