Thales Logs 24% Earnings Rise on Planemakers Deliveries

Thales SA (HO), Europe’s biggest defense electronics maker, posted a 24 percent increase in 2012 earnings buoyed by higher deliveries of Airbus SAS and Boeing Co. (BA) airliners, for which it supplies avionics.

Earnings before interest and tax, including a 35 percent holding in warship maker DCNS, rose to 927 million euros ($1.2 billion) from 749 million euros, the company said today in a statement. The increase was driven by a 37 percent jump in earnings from the commercial aerospace business and cost cutting introduced by its former management.

The full-year results are the first under Chief Executive Officer Jean-Bernard Levy, who was tapped in late December to succeed Luc Vigneron, who was ousted by primary shareholders Dassault Aviation SA (AM) and the French state. Operating margins rose to 6.5 percent from 5.7 percent a year ago.

Sales this year should remain stable, with growth in civil activities offsetting a less favorable situation in defense, Thales said.

“A continuing drive to improve performance should enable the group to post a further increase in Ebit,” with a target of 8 percent operating margins, the company said.

The company said it would propose a dividend of 88 cents, an increase of 13 percent compared with 2011, Thales said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tim Farrand in Edinburgh at tfarrand@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Risser at drisser@bloomberg.net

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