European aerospace and defense group EADS posted forecast-beating second-quarter profits and sales on Friday, amid strong demand for its Airbus aircraft, and confirmed its 2011 earnings forecast. Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose 15 percent to 371 million euros in the three months to June 30, EADS said in a statement. Sales rose 6 percent to 12.1 billion. Net cash stood at 11 billion euros.

EADS was expected to post EBIT of 317 million euros, down from 323 million a year ago, on sales of 11.6 billion in the second quarter, according to a Reuters analyst poll.

EADS said it still expected 2011 EBIT before one-off to remain stable compared to the 2010 level, at around 1.3 billion euros.

In 2012, the Group expects a significant improvement in its EBIT before one-off thanks to higher volume, better pricing and improvement of A380 performance at Airbus, EADS added.

(Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Christian Plumb)