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Airbus reports 'grisly' performance as it runs short of engines for jets

Supply and delivery problems affecting its smaller airlines have clobbered Airbus in the first three months of the year, resulting in what analysts called a "grisly" quarter.  
The manufacturing giant handed over 121 aircraft during the three months - 15 fewer than last time around - due to problems related to advanced engines for its best-selling A320neo small airliner.
Sales dipped 11.6pc to €10.2bn (?8.9bn) while profit was a third lower at €283m in the three months.
“The financial performance reflects the shortage of A320neo engines and backloaded aircraft deliveries,” said Tom Enders, chief executive.
Airbus reports 'grisly' performance as it runs short of engines for jets

Airbus boss Tom Enders admitted the delays made hitting annual targets 'challenging'

Credit:
AFP
Problems with new engines built by Pratt & Whitney and CFM for the A320neo mean that there is a shortage of jets to bolt onto planes. As a result engineless A320neos are dotted around the airfield at the company’s Toulouse headquarters.
The engine manufacturers are ironing out the problems - related to seals in Pratt & Whitney’s case, and the turbine with CFM - but the delays with the jets have weighed heavily on Airbus.
“It’s a challenging situation for all, but based on the confidence expressed by the engine makers and their ability to deliver on commitments, we can confirm our full-year outlook,” Mr Enders said.
Airbus reports 'grisly' performance as it runs short of engines for jets

Engineless A320neos at Airbus's Toulouse base 

Credit:
Reuters
He added that Airbus and its engine suppliers were “committed” to the company delivering 800 airliners in the full year, but noted that this “leaves a lot to do in the second half”.
Airbus has begun a feasibility study with its supply chain to see if a higher production rate of A320s can be managed, taking it from the current 55 per month to a new target of 63 by next year, up from the existing goal of 60. The A320 are designed to use about 15pc less fuel than their peers.
Deliveries of the company’s latest jet, the A350, accelerated during the quarter and Airbus now aims to build 10 per month by the year-end, and is focusing on reducing costs as the programme gets into gear.
Airbus' helicopter deliveries declined during the quarter, dropping 26 to 52.
The company also confirmed the troubled A400M aircraft would have production slowed to eight per year by 2020, down from the current rate of 15 per year.
Jefferies analyst Sandy Morris said: “We knew the first quarter was going to be grisly - and it is.”
Airbus shares rose 1pc to €96.43.
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