Airbus Group today posted a five percent fall in January-September net profit to 1.81 billion euros (USD 2 billion) as it revealed it intends to deliver more planes than initially forecast this year. Citing stable overall sales of 43 billion euros for the period, the company said it would seek to raise deliveries to 670 planes, a rise of 20 aircraft, in order to hit its annual earnings targets.
“As expected, the nine-month performance reflects the heavily back-loaded aircraft delivery schedule, ongoing production ramp-up and transition to new versions of our A320 and A330 aircraft,” said CEO Tom Enders.
“For the remaining months of the year we remain totally focused on deliveries to achieve our earnings and cash guidance,” he added.
Financial director Harald Wilhelm indicated Airbus was targeting delivery of “more than 670 planes” to hit full-year earnings targets.
Wilhelm conceded that, with 462 deliveries to end September, there remained much still to do but that the firm was counting on suppliers to help them hit the revised total.
January-September orders netted Airbus 73.2 billion euros – down from 111.9 billion for the same period of 2015. At the end of September, Airbus said it had 986 billion euros of orders booked.
Airbus last month said it would carry out restructuring to cut costs without indicating the scale of potential job cuts amid slow sales for the A380 super jumbo.
The company has been ramping up deliveries of its A350 widebody and single aisle A320 models but has seen pricing pressures on its A330 widebody plane ahead of the scheduled introduction next year of the updated A330neo.
Citing 11 A400M military transport planes delivered to end September Airbus said that was evidence of “notable progress” in the sector.
Airbus said receipts from its helicopters division had slid 3.0 per cent even though overall deliveries had risen to 258 units from 237 last year amid a trend towards smaller models.
Earlier this month, Airbus blasted the Polish government’s handling of a failed helicopter deal worth some three billion euros which has caused diplomatic tensions between Paris and Warsaw.
Warsaw blamed Airbus for the breakdown in talks but has since invited the company to join a new tender process.