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Airbus profits up on Dassault sale

European plane maker Airbus has seen its profits jump in the first quarter thanks to the sale of a stake in rival Dassault Aviation, although its plane orders and deliveries fell slightly.

Airbus reported net profit of 792 million euros (£568 million) in the first quarter, compared with 439 million euro (£319 million) a year earlier.

In the first three months of the year Airbus logged 101 net new orders for jetliners, compared with 103 a year ago, and 110 for chief rival Boeing in the first quarter of 2015.

Airbus revenues in the quarter were 12.1 billion euro (£8.6 billion), down from 12.6 billion euro (£9 billion) in the first quarter of 2014. The company said the weaker euro helped offset lower delivery volume.

Airbus is forecasting slightly higher orders and deliveries this year.

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