A surge in Airbus passenger jet deliveries helped European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. to post a 47 percent rise in second-quarter net profit Wednesday but the company left its full-year earnings guidance unchanged.
EADS said net profit rose to 488 million euros ($585 million) in the April-June quarter from 332 million euros a year earlier.
The closely watched earnings before interest and taxes, or EBIT, before goodwill impairment and exceptional items rose 13 percent to 883 million euros ($1.06 billion).
Revenue increased 6 percent to 9.02 billion euros ($10.8 billion). Both profits and revenue were ahead of market expectations. Airbus delivered 102 planes in the second quarter, eight more than in the corresponding 2004 quarter.
Despite better-than-expected profits, EADS retained its current forecast for EBIT before goodwill and exceptional items above 2.6 billion euros ($3.1 billion) this year, compared to 2.44 billion euros last year.
Revenue is seen at 33 billion euros ($39.6 billion), up from 31.8 billion euros in 2004, with Airbus expected to deliver 360 planes — 40 more than last year — outselling rival Boeing Co. for the third straight year. EADS owns 80 percent of Airbus and Britain's BAE Systems PLC owns the rest.
Yan Derocles, an analyst with Oddo Securities in Paris, said the first-half results looked good but the full-year guidance appeared "quite cautious."
EADS shares rose 3.3 percent to close at 27.65 euros ($33.23) in Paris trading.
Airbus, which accounts for the bulk of EADS' earnings, posted an 8 percent increase in EBIT before goodwill and exceptional items to 816 million euros ($978 million).
Rival Boeing Co., meanwhile, reported a 7 percent drop in its second-quarter profits, but beat Wall Street's expectations and boosted its earnings outlook for the year.
Chicago-based Boeing earned $566 million for the April-June period, down from $607 million a year earlier. The company's net earnings fell in part because of a 23 cents-a-share benefit from a tax refund in last year's second quarter.
Boeing reaffirmed its forecast of 320 airplane deliveries for the year and raised its 2006 forecast to 395 deliveries, up from an earlier estimate of 375 to 385.
The Defence and Security Systems division swung to a 16 million euro ($19 million) EBIT from a 32 million euro loss last year, while the helicopter division, Eurocopter, recorded a 31 percent increase in EBIT to 47 million euros ($56 million).
EADS said profits in the second half of 2005 are likely to be constrained by less favorable hedging rates for the dollar — the currency in which Airbus jets are billed — and higher research and development costs for the freighter version of its A380 "superjumbo." It also sees a higher proportion of less profitable single-aisle jets among the expected deliveries.
EADS raised its full-year earnings per share target to 1.50 euros ($1.80) from 1.36 euros ($1.63), thanks to a better-than-expected financial result and cash levels, but said any unexpected weakening of the dollar could make it unattainable.