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Business

EADS Returns to Profit

The European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co. (EADS), parent company of aircraft maker Airbus, posted a net profit of €152 million ($188.5 million) in 2003, a strong turnaround from its losses of €299 million ($370 million) in 2002. The company predicted revenue would remain strong in 2004, thanks in large part to a strong flow of orders for its A380 superjumbo Airbus. "We are today at a decisive turning point toward stronger medium-term growth," co-chief executives Rainer Hertrich and Philippe Camus said in a statement. Earnings before interest and tax reached €1.54 billion, well above the company's own target of €1.4 billion. Despite the good news, EADS shares fell on the Paris stock exchange early Monday as shareholders expressed disappointment that the company had not increased the number of Airbus aircraft it expected to deliver this year. The slump in global aviation is continuing to be felt at Airbus, even though in 2003 the jet maker outperformed its rival Boeing for the first time. Airbus delivered 305 new planes to Boeing's 281.