Belfast Telegraph

Airbus shrugs off military plane charge as profits soar

Annual net profit soared to 2.8 billion euro (£2.5 billion) in 2017.

Profits at Airbus have nearly tripled despite the group stomaching a 1.3 billion euro (£1.2 billion) charge over its problem-hit A400M military plane.

Annual net profit soared to 2.8 billion euro (£2.5 billion) in 2017, up from 995 million euro (£883 million) the year before, thanks to “strong deliveries”, swelling orders and favourable currency translations.

However, the A400M continued to be the thorn in the side of the aerospace giant, as it took a financial hit from efforts to iron out technical and delivery issues.

Chief executive Tom Enders said: “We overachieved on all our 2017 KPIs thanks to a very good operational performance, especially in the last quarter.

“Despite persistent engine issues on the A320neo, we continued the production ramp-up and finally delivered a record number of aircraft.

“On A400M, we made progress on the industrial and capabilities front and agreed a re-baselining with government customers which will significantly reduce the remaining programme risks.”

Revenues were little moved, lifting 200 million euros (£178 million) to 66.8 billion euros (£59.3 billion).

Rising deliveries and improved exchange rates helped earning for commercial aircraft reach 3.6 billion euro (£3.2 billion), up from 2.8 billion euro (£2.5 billion) in 2016.

Adjusted earnings were also bright over the period, climbing 8% to 4.3 billion euro (£3.8 billion).

The group expects adjusted earnings to jump by a fifth in 2018, as it aims to deliver 800 commercial aircraft if engine manufacturers meet their commitments.

Shares in Airbus surged more than 10% in morning trading.

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