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EADS Third-Quarter Profit Rises as Airbus Boosts Plane Output

European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. said it’s confident to meet its 2012 earnings forecast after third-quarter profit surged 67 percent as the Airbus SAS unit delivered more planes.

Europe’s biggest aerospace and defense company said earnings before interest and tax rose to 537 million euros ($685 million) from 322 million euros a year earlier, not including one-time charges and currency movements. Revenue increased 15 percent to 12.32 billion euros.

The earnings report is the first from EADS since Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders sought to combine his company with BAE Systems Plc last month to better balance commercial and defense sales. In the third quarter, Airbus contributed 68 percent to overall revenue and 53 percent to operating profit, cementing its status as the central asset driving EADS.

“For the rest of the year, we’ll put strong emphasis on cash generation. Aircraft deliveries are key,” Enders said in an e-mailed statement today. “We will not run out of operational challenges anytime soon, especially at Eurocopter and Airbus.”

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