By Dow Jones Business News, February 27, 2013, 04:45:00 AM EDT
BERLIN--European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. (EAD.FR) Wednesday reported double-digit revenue and profit growth in
2012 thanks to rising aircraft production at its Airbus division, but said it still has some way to go to meet its
medium-term profitabililty targets.
Like U.S. rival Boeing Co ( BA ), the European aerospace giant has been pushing more planes out its factory doors as it
works through a huge order backlog representing eight years of production.
Strong demand from airlines for more fuel-efficient single-aisle medium-haul jets like the Airbus A320 family and
Boeing's 737 series continue to inflate the manufacturers' orders, though the pace slowed last year from record demand
EADs' net profit for the full year increased by 19% to EUR1.23 billion from EUR1.03 billion in 2011on a 15% rise in
revenue to EUR56.48 billion. The company raised its planned dividend payout to EUR0.60 from EUR0.45.
EADS's closely watched earnings before interest and taxes, adjusted for one-off gains and charges came in at EUR3.0
billion for the year, well above an average estimate of EUR2.49 billion among a panel of eight analysts polled by Dow
EADs' 2012 earnings once again came in well above the company's own guidance. In November, EADS was projecting full-
year EBIT before one-offs of more than EUR2.7 billion on the assumption that Airbus, which accounts for two-thirds of
EADS group revenue, would deliver around 580 aircraft. In the event, Airbus delivered 588 aircraft and took in gross
orders for 914 aircraft, 40% above its own forecast.
"EADS achieved double-digit revenue and profit growth during 2012 while the order backlog increased further," said
EADS Chief Executive Tom Enders. "Going forward, the focus on bottomline growth remains our priority number one," he
said, noting that "there is still some way to go to meet our profitability targets."
For 2013, EADS said it targets EBIT before one-offs of EUR3.5 billion, and forecast "moderate" growth in revenue that
will be held back by lower deliveries of A380 superjumbos. It said it will take a charge this year of about EUR85
million for measures to fix cracks in the wings of A380s. It said other potential one-off charges should be limited to
eventual new costs related to the A350 XWB program, which it said remains "challenging," and foreign exchange
Airlines pay hefty down payments when they order new aircraft, helping to boost EADs' net cash position to EUR12.3
billion from EUR11.7 billion. Airbus has acknowledged that the pace of its order inflow will slow this year to around
700 aircraft, while it expects to deliver between 600 and 610 planes.
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