Wed, Mar 10, 2004
Last Year Proved Much Better Than 2002
While Boeing continues
to take a beating in virtually every segment of its operation,
Airbus parent EADS seems to be doing just fine. EADS posted a net
profit of eur152 million ($185.4 million) for 2003, compared to a
net loss of eur299 million in the prior year when results were
impacted by eur936 million in goodwill charges.
Owing to "strong growth in its defense business and better than
expected performance at Airbus," operating profit reached eur1.54
billion, up 8 percent on 2002 and above a previous forecast of
eur1.43 billion. "The expected 2005 commercial aviation market
upswing is within reach," joint CEOs Philippe Camus and Rainer
Hertrich said in a statement.
Airbus out paced Boeing for the first time as it delivered 305
aircraft in 2003, up slightly from 303 units in 2002. It received
254 net orders compared to 233 in the prior year. The fourth
quarter was "particularly strong," with 106 deliveries and
operating profit of eur652 million. Full-year operating profit at
Airbus fell 1 percent to eur1.35 billion, which represents about
90% of EADS' operating income. Revenues decreased 2 percent to
eur19 billion but would have risen 66% at constant dollar exchange
rates, the company said.
EADS repeated its
earlier forecast that Airbus will deliver "close to 300 aircraft"
in 2004. It said it expects to win at least one order for its A380
this year. At present it holds 129 firm orders from 11 customers
for the A380.
Boeing on the other hand, is trying to figure out what to do
with sagging sales in its 767 and 747 lines. The manufacturer seems
to be pushing its new 7E7 Dreamliner as a replacement for these
aircraft, while still enjoying its ongoing success with the 737
fleet. Original hopes on a 767 tanker program with the US
government have been stalled after a US investigation into original
contract negotiations with the tanker program. So, for now, Airbus
leaves Boeing in the dust.
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