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Dassault Aviation First-Half Profit Rises on Plane Deliveries

Dassault Aviation SA (AM), the maker of Rafale fighter planes and Falcon business jets, posted a 91 percent jump in first-half profit on higher deliveries of corporate aircraft.

Net income, excluding Dassault’s holding in Thales SA (HO), rose to 179 million euros from 94 million euros in the year-earlier period, the French company said in a statement. Including the stake, net income rose 74 percent to 223 million euros. Sales rose 46 percent to 1.93 billion euros from 1.3 billion euros.

Dassault, based in Saint Cloud, a suburb of Paris, has relied increasingly on corporate jets for earnings in recent years as military sales have slowed with amid failure to find export customers for its Rafale. Dassault earlier this year was chosen as exclusive bidder to supply India with 60 fighter jets though it must successfully negotiate price and terms before it can declare victory on the contract.

In the first half, the company sold 34 Falcon business jets, up from 19 in the year-earlier period. The number of Rafales sold fell to four from six.

Dassault said it expects to deliver 65 Falcons and 11 Rafales this year. It sold a record 95 business jets in 2010.

The company sees net sales this year matching those last year. Dassault sees Europe’s economic crisis hurting the defense budget in France, its main customer for fighter jets.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Rothman in Paris at aerothman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vidya Root at vroot@bloomberg.net

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