Belfast Telegraph

Airbus maintains outlook despite 20% drop in third quarter earnings

Airbus has maintained its full-year outlook despite reporting a 20% drop in third quarter earnings.

Profits across the French aerospace group's helicopter, aircraft and defence units sputtered, with earnings before interest, tax and one-off charges dropping 21% to 731 million euros (£654 million) in the three months to September 30.

On a a nine-month basis, that figure slumped 14% to 2.4 billion euros (£2.1 billion).

Chief executive Tom Enders said: "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."

Mr Enders added that the company would "remain totally focused on deliveries" in the months ahead to hit earnings and cash targets.

The company has a backlog of more than 6,700 aircraft, reflecting a "rather healthy" commercial environment, he said.

It comes as the aerospace group embarks on a massive restructuring programme in a bit to cut costs.

Last month, Airbus announced it would merging its corporate headquarters and commercial aircraft division as part of the efficiency drive, from January 1.

Mr Enders said: "Further integration of the group, as recently decided, will simplify the company's governance and improve competitiveness."