Engine delays hit Airbus profits, delivery targets fragile

on Jul27

Airbus A380-800, manufactured by Airbus SAS and operated by Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways.

Victor Fraile | Power Sport Images | Getty Images

Airbus A380-800, manufactured by Airbus SAS and operated by Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways.

Europe’s Airbus on Thursday unveiled a one-third slump in half-way operating profit on flat revenue, as delays in engine deliveries for its upgraded A320 neo hit interim earnings.

The world’s second largest plane maker after Boeing stuck to its financial targets and production plans, but suggested reaching its 2017 delivery target depended essentially on deliveries from Pratt & Whitney.

Airbus also disclosed a new output cut for the world’s largest airliner, saying it would now deliver eight of its slow-selling A380 super jumbos in 2019, down from a previously announced schedule of 12 in 2018.

For the second quarter, Airbus posted a lower-than-expected 859 million euro ($1 billion) operating profit, down 27 percent, on revenues of 15.271 billion.

Analysts were on average expecting profit of 910 million euros on 15.823 billion euros in sales, according to a Reuters poll.

The figures came a day after rival Boeing saw its shares hit a record after posting second-quarter profit and cash flow well ahead of Wall Street estimates.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported that Airbus had delivered just 16 of its A320 neo-family jets powered by Pratt & Whitney engines in the first half, barely a third of the total powered by alternative engines from CFM International.

That leaves more than 80 to reach the levels built in to Airbus’s delivery target for the year, industry sources said.

The Times of India reported that GoAir had started cancelling flights because some A320neo jets were grounded due to reliability problems, echoing problems at IndiGo. Neither airline was immediately available for comment.

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