Airbus juggles jet output and pays record dividend

Shares lift on firm’s confidence about demand

Aerospace group said it would increase production of the A320 jet family to a record 50 a month

Aerospace group said it would increase production of the A320 jet family to a record 50 a month

 

Airbus defied warnings of a slowdown in the jetliner market with a steep production boost for its top-selling A320 and announced its biggest ever dividend.

The firm’s confidence about demand and a switch to the new A320 model lifted its shares and came despite a fresh charge of €551 million due to delays to the A400M military transporter.

The world’s second-largest aerospace group after Boeing said it would increase production of the A320 jet family to a record 50 a month in early 2017.

The strong fourth quarter results and 60 per cent hike in the dividend, as well as solid cashflow, added €2.5 billion or six superjumbos’ worth of value to its shares today.

Core operating earnings before one-off items rose 21 per cent to a stronger-than-expected €1.476 billion in the fourth quarter on revenues up 9 per cent, amid strong jet deliveries.

Airbus raised its dividend to a record €1.20 per share after a 59 per cent leap in annual net profit buoyed by disposals. For 2015 it forecast higher revenue and a slight increase in core profit. – Reuters