Airbus Group SE, the world’s second-largest aircraft maker, posted a 15 percent rise in annual profits Wednesday and announced plans to reverse some of its earlier-planned production cuts for 2017 due to better-than-expected demand for commercial airliners.
The company maintained its outlook for 2016 and said it expected to deliver 650 aircraft in the year, up from 635 aircraft delivered last year. The company also announced plans to raise the production of its popular long-range A330 jet to seven a month, after cutting it to six aircraft per month last year.
The aviation giant is also ramping up production of A320 single-aisle plane and the A350 long-range jet to meet strong demand.
“The record order book supports our commercial aircraft ramp-up plans and we are driving operational efficiency,” CEO Tom Enders said. As of Dec. 31, Airbus’ order book was at 1.006 trillion euros ($1.11 trillion), up from 858 billion euros ($945.15 billion) at the end of 2014.
The group proposed a dividend of 1.30 euros ($1.43) per share Tuesday, up 8 per cent from 2014.
On the earnings front, the company recorded a net profit of 2.7 billion euros ($3 billion) compared with 2.3. billion euros ($2.53 billion) last year, while revenue gained 6 percent to 64 billion euros ($70.5 billion)
The company’s more closely watched earnings before interest and taxes excluding one-time items rose 2 percent to 4.13 billion euros ($4.55 billion), the Toulouse-based company said. Analysts polled by Reuters, predicted full-year core operating income of 4.11 billion euros ($4.53 billion).
In January, Airbus’ larger rival, U.S.-based Boeing, projected fewer plane deliveries in 2016 while releasing lower-than-expected earnings, citing assembly line changes required to ramp up production later in the decade.