Feb 27, 2015 4:42 AM
Airbus says net profit soared in 2014
The Associated Press
PARIS (AP) Airbus says its net profit soared 59 percent last year as a record-high number of jet deliveries helped offset a 551 million euros end-of-year charge against its delayed A400M military transporter program.
The European jet maker said Friday it made a 2.34-billion-euros ($2.62 billion) net profit in 2014, up from 1.47 billion euros in 2013.
Boeing's chief rival in the $200 billion commercial aircraft market said it will ramp up production of its in-demand single-aisle A320 series of jets to 50 a month from 2017, from a planned 46 per month in 2016.
At the same time Airbus will cut production of its wide-body A330 series to six a month from early next year, from the current rate of 10 a month.
Demand for the A330 is slowing as Airbus starts taking orders for a new-engine version of the plane that it says it will begin delivering at the end of 2017.
Toulouse, France-based Airbus delivered 629 commercial aircraft last year, three more than in 2013 but well below the 723 jets Boeing delivered in 2014.
Airbus forecast "slightly higher" aircraft deliveries this year, while Boeing targets 750 to 755 commercial jet deliveries in 2015.
Chicago-based Boeing and European rival Airbus have prospered as airlines around the world have gone on a shopping spree, helped by rising demand for travel and cheap financing. Boeing won 1,432 net orders last year giving it an eight-year backlog for nearly 5,800 planes valued at $440 billion.
Airbus took orders for 1,456 new jets last year net of cancellations, and as of January had a backlog of 6,355 jets.
Last month Airbus dismissed the head of its military program after governments including Germany, France and Turkey complained about delays in the A400M, a 20-billion-euro program for a turboprop troop transporter meant to replace aging Transall C-160s and the C-130 Hercules.