As the aviation industry picks up and the global economy gathers momentum, European defence and aerospace giant EADS also reported full year profit in 2010.
Net profit for the group – which also owns the world’s biggest commercial aircraft manufacturer Airbus, was reported at €553 million (£476 million, $768 million), as plane orders picked up in 2010. This compares with a net loss of €763 million reported in 2009.
The top-line growth was robust at 7% for the group and hit an all time high of €45.8 billion, while revenue at the military division grew faster at 20% over previous year.
In a separate development, Hong Kong based carrier Cathay Pacific announced its decision to acquire 15 A330-300 in a multi-billion dollar deal.
The latest Airbus deal was announced at the Hong Kong Air Show, where biggest rival Boeing had announced a $1.5 billion deal with for five 747-8 planes with Air China.
However, after Boeing announced the deal with Air China, Airbus Chief Operating Officer John Leahy openly questioned the deal.
“We understand there was a lot of political pressure from Washington on that transaction”, he said in an interview to the Financial Times.
Airbus was the main driver of growth for EADS as the group’s order jumped by 81% to €83.1 billion in 2010.
The company saw a phenomenal growth in cash flow and cash reserves stand at a record €11.9 billion.
“(2010) was a year of significant progress for EADS”, said Louis Gallois – chief executive of Airbus.
“Commercial aircraft orders exceeded expectations and our cash flow generation was excellent”, he added.
Airbus expects to deliver 520-530 planes this year compared to 508 in 2010. Consequently, it hopes to report better results in 2011.