EADS doubles profits despite Airbus delays | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 08.03.2012
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EADS doubles profits despite Airbus delays

The European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) has boasted top figures for its 2011 operations. The aviation giant doubled its net profit last year, and shareholders can look forward to a higher dividend.

The European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) said on Thursday that its 2011 net profit jumped by 87 percent to 1.03 billion euros ($1.35 billion).

The European aerospace group, which own plane maker Airbus and helicopter producer Eurocopter, announced in a statement in Paris that sales went up by seven percent last year, totaling 49.1 billion euros.

Operating profit reached 1.8 billion euros, a gain of 34 percent year-on-year. EADS said it expected to raise that figure to 2.5 billion euros in the course of this year which would mean a further increase of 40 percent.

Shareholders were told on Thursday that they could expect a doubling of the dividend per share from 22 to 45 cents.

Backlog didn't spoil the party

EADS' top earnings came about despite very costly delays in deliveries of the Airbus A350 jumbo jet. Outgoing CEO Louis Gallois said profit exceeded analysts' expectations by a wide margin.

68-yea-old Gallois is to hand over power to the current chief of the Airbus division, Thomas Enders. The change at the helm of the company is being overshadowed by a row over EADS' strategic reorientation.

The German government has been opposing plans by Enders to relocate one of the company's management centers at Ottobrunn near Munich, Germany to Toulouse in France. Berlin fears that such a move would decrease Germany's influence on EADS' future operations.

But in a bid to gain more independence, EADS has contemplated renouncing German state aid altogether.

hg/slk (dpa, AFP)