Airbus has reported a sharp drop in commercial aircraft orders in the first quarter of the year, but profits nearly doubled.
The company recorded 103 orders in the three-month period worth a total of €21.1 billion, down from 410 orders worth almost €50 billion in the same period a year earlier.
However, net income jumped by 93% to €439 million, thanks in part to favourable foreign exchange effects.
Last year’s results were also hit by a one-off negative charge of €131 million.
Overall sales rose 5% in the quarter to €12.6 billion, from €12.1 billion a year earlier.
Airbus said its A350 long-range aircraft, which has been hit by years of delays and cost overruns, should be in service by the end of the year.
Chief financial officer Harald Wilhelm said the A350, which is a competitor to Boeing’s 787, was now in a “critical phase,” the BBC reported.
“The A350 XWB programme is progressing towards certification, with four of the five development aircraft now flying and over 1,600 flight test hours accumulated,” Airbus said.
“The first two customer aircraft are now in the assembly line with certification targeted for the third quarter and entry-into-service by the end of 2014.”
Airbus chief executive Tom Enders reiterated his expectation for a stable 2014 compared with last year, but warned European manufacturer faced “many challenges” and would focus on “improvement and restructuring plans”.
Sourced from Travel Weekly