EADS, the parent company of Airbus, has warned that profit this year will be lower than expected as the deteriorating global economy and technical delays eat into margins and create fears over future orders.
However the group reported a healthy set of figures for 2008 with a profit of 1.57bn euros in 2008, up from a loss of 446m euro loss in 2007.Airbus delivered a record 483 aircraft in 2008, beating arch rival Boeing to the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer top spot.
However, EADS said that setbacks in the production of its A400M military transporter would continue. The A400M’s first flight has been postponed because of problems with its engines.
In the fourth quarter of 2008, EADS made a net profit of 490m euros, up 89% from a year earlier, due mainly to cost cutting.
“We made significant headway in reshaping the company,” said Louis Gallois, EADS chief executive.
Although 2009 would be “challenging”, he said that 2009 profits would be “significantly positive”.
EADS said it would pay a dividend of 0.20 euros per share, up from 0.12 euros a year ago.
Airbus has recently scrapped plans to increase production of its single-aisle and wide-bodied jets as airlines freeze or cancel orders and passengers numbers decline.