EADS delays A350 with 200 mln euro charge


Airbus parent EADS pushed back its new A350 jetliner by six months with a charge of 200 million euros (US$271.7 million) as it pledged to give “maximum attention” to delivering Europe’s answer to the carbon-composite Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Speculation about such a charge had driven down EADS shares on the eve of third-quarter earnings, which were nonetheless stronger than expected, prompting Europe’s largest aerospace group to raise its outlook for the year.

Airbus has had a strong year for sales of a revamped model of its best-selling A320 passenger jet and EADS said the world’s largest planemaker now expected to book 1,500 orders in 2011 instead of a previous target of 1,000, Reuters reports.

But it faces challenges in building the lightweight A350 and is anxious to learn from Boeing’s three-year delay in producing the 787, which entered service this month.

EADS said the A350 would enter service in the first half of 2014 instead of late 2013. The aircraft is now a year behind its original schedule.

EADS operating profit fell 15 percent to 322 million euros in the third quarter as revenues fell 4 percent to 10.751 billion euros. Net income rose sharply to 312 million euros.

The Franco-German group said it expected 2011 operating profit to increase to 1.45 billion euros due to a better than expected commercial performance.

Despite problems in developed economies, Airbus and Boeing are boosting production to record levels to meet demand led by Asia and the Middle East.
“I am confident the commercial aircraft market will sustain our growth in years to come despite the weakening of the macroeconomic environment and particularly of the European economies,” Finance Director Hans Peter Ring told reporters.

Analysts were predicting operating profit of 51 million euros on revenues of 10.37 billion and a net loss of 34.6 million.