Airbus net profit rises 28 percent in first quarter, BA News, BA

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European aviation giant Airbus posted a 28 percent profit increase on Thursday due to rising deliveries and production, a day after archrival Boeing reported a loss.

Airbus’ net profit in the first three months rose to 595 million euros (637 million USD), while revenue grew nine percent to 12.8 billion euros, as the group delivered 142 commercial aircraft, compared to 127 in the same period last year .

The results were achieved “against the backdrop of an operating environment that shows no sign of improvement,” CEO Guillaume Faury said in a statement. “Geopolitical and supply chain tensions continue.”

Suppliers say they are also facing shortages of parts and personnel.

Faury said the aircraft giant was “actively managing bottlenecks”.

Airbus was keeping a close eye on the future of Spirit Aerosystems, a US company that makes wings and body elements for Airbus, which could be bought by Boeing, Faury added.

Airbus expects to deliver 800 passenger planes this year, up from 735 last year, but still less than the 863 it delivered in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company has an order book of 8,626 aircraft, of which 7,177 are for the narrowbody A320 family.

Airbus’ rising profits contrast with U.S. rival Boeing, which on Wednesday reported a $343 million first-quarter loss, due to recent safety issues that have slowed production and deliveries.

Boeing has tempered production of its best-selling 737 program after a near-catastrophic incident in January involving an Alaska Airlines plane that drew heavy criticism from U.S. regulators and among airline customers.

Boeing’s 737 competes directly with Airbus’ A320 family, and Airbus said it aims to produce 75 A320s per year by 2026 and is “making progress” toward that goal after delivering an average of 48 per month last year .

“Our ramp-up plans continue, supported by the investments in our production system, while relying on our core pillars: safety, quality, integrity, compliance and security,” said CEO Faury.

The increase in production led to free cash flow falling by 1.8 billion euros during the quarter, although the company is targeting free cash flow of 4 billion euros for this year.
Airbus also said it will increase production rates for its A350 widebody to 12 aircraft per month by 2028, up from a previous target of 10 by 2026.

The A350 accounted for 71 of the 137 aircraft orders the company received in the first quarter. Indian low-cost carrier IndiGo, whose order last year for 500 A320s is already the largest in commercial aviation history, said on Thursday it would buy 30 A350s and place options on another 70.

  • Published on Apr 26, 2024 1:28 PM IST

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