EADS Third-Quarter Profit Rises on Higher Airbus Jet Deliveries

European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. posted a 26 percent increase in third-quarter profit after its Airbus SAS unit delivered more commercial aircraft.

Earnings before interest and tax, goodwill impairment and exceptionals rose to 663 million euros ($893 million) from 526 million euros a year earlier, as sales grew 11 percent to 13.63 billion euros. Analysts in a Bloomberg survey had predicted 664 million euros in profit. EADS cut its cash-flow outlook.

“We achieved good improvement in revenues and profitability over the first nine months thanks largely to our civil aircraft business” Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders said in an e-mailed statement.

Airbus, which contributes more than two thirds of revenue and the majority of profit, delivered 504 planes through the end of October. EADS lifted the year-end delivery goal to 620 planes from “more than 600.” It generated 1,215 net orders in the first 10 months, surpassing a goal of 1,200, and will probably attract further deals at the Dubai Air show starting Nov. 17.

EADS revised its free cash flow guidance for the end of 2013 to negative 1.5 billion euros from break-even, saying it’s incurring higher development costs and feeling the impact from government budget constraints.

Airbus contributed 409 million euros to earnings, up from 281 million euros a year earlier as its sales rose 15 percent to 9.85 billion euros. The company maintained its outlook for Ebit before one-time items of 3.5 billion euros and earnings per share of about 2.50 euros, prior to a share buyback.

EADS will change its name to Airbus after January to benefit from the prominence of that brand in aerospace, and will combine its defense and space businesses into one unit. That move is designed to help the company present its military and space products in international markets and tackle costs.

Costs associated with the change will be reviewed in the fourth quarter, EADS said. The company’s three businesses will now be known as Airbus, Airbus Defence & Space, and Airbus Helicopters.

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