European aerospace conglomerate EADS reported increased revenues and profitability for the first half of the year on Wednesday, driven mainly by its Airbus commercial aircraft business. The company said it will rebrand itself next year as the Airbus Group to emphasize the predominance of its commercial business.
Airbus commercial revenues rose 8 percent to $24 billion (€18.2 billion) compared with the first half of last year, with 295 aircraft deliveries compared with 279 at this time last year. The manufacturer logged more than three times the number of net orders—722 compared with 230 during the same 2012 period. At the Paris Air Show in June, the company signed firm orders for 241 aircraft, including 170 A320 narrowbodies.
The new A350 XWB completed its first flight at Toulouse, France, on June 14, just before the Paris Air Show opened. “Strong momentum for the A350 XWB continued at the show with firm orders for 65 aircraft from Air France KLM, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines,” EADS said. Airbus also signed an agreement with Doric Lease Corp. for 20 A380 superjumbos.
Airbus Military revenues increased from $1.1 billion (€843 million) at this time last year to $1.3 billion (€1 billion). The military division received eight net orders compared with 21 during the first half of 2012; it delivered 12 aircraft compared to seven at this time last year. EADS said the company “is in the very final discussions” with the European Defense Agency and the seven launch nations on the initial operating clearance and type certification of the A400M transport. It expects to deliver the first aircraft to France within days of obtaining the operating clearance.
Overall EADS revenues increased 6 percent, to $35 billion (€26.3 billion), “reflecting the aircraft delivery pattern at Airbus Commercial and broadly stable revenues at Eurocopter, Astrium and Cassidian combined. The group’s defense revenues were stable at €5 billion.”
As a result of a strategic review conducted in recent months, EADS said it will integrate Airbus Military, Astrium and Cassidian into one Defense and Space Division, with headquarters in Munich. It will rebrand itself as the Airbus Group, including the Airbus commercial, defense and space and helicopters divisions. The rebranding will begin next year.
“What we are unveiling today is an evolution, not a revolution. It’s the next logical step in the development of our company,” said EADS CEO Tom Enders. “We affirm the predominance of commercial aeronautics in our group and we restructure and focus our defense and space activities to take costs out, increase profitability and improve our market position. The renaming simply gathers the entire company under the best brand we have.”