Thales H1 operating profit up 48 pct


Cost cuts and a break in provisions for over-budget projects lifted operating profits at French aerospace and defence company Thales more than expected in the first half, figures showed.

Europe’s largest defence electronics supplier said earnings before interest and tax rose 48 percent to 303 million euros, lifting its margin to 5.1 percent from 3.4 percent, fuelled by aviation and transport growth and a drop in one-off charges.

Revenues were flat at 5.968 billion euros, Reuters reports.

State-controlled Thales reaffirmed its outlook for 2011 but warned of a drop in defence orders beyond 2011 as a result of widespread pressures on defence spending. Chief Executive Luc Vigneron said its Probasis cost-saving plan was also on track.

Analysts had on average expected Thales to post a first-half operating profit of 287 million euros and revenues of 6.021 billion euros, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data.