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Airbus profit drops 27% as superjumbo production rate cut again
[LONDON] Airbus SE reported a 27 per cent drop in second-quarter profit as it cut production of its slow-selling A380 superjumbo and said delays at engine-maker Pratt & Whitney are continuing to weigh on deliveries of the single-aisle A320 workhorse.
Earnings before interest and tax fell to 859 million euros (S$1.36 billion) from 1.18 billion euros a year earlier, excluding one-time items, Toulouse, France-based Airbus said Wednesday. Analysts had predicted a figure of 914 million euros, based on six estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Airbus will cut production of the double-decker A380 to eight planes a year from 2019, casting further doubt over the future of the programme as the company pushes for a vital follow-on order from top customer Emirates. Ramping up A320 output remains challenging, with fixes for glitches with the Pratt turbines yet to prove completely reliable.
"We are facing challenges due to ongoing engine issues but we have a clear road-map in place and have maintained our full-year guidance," chief executive officer Tom Enders said in a statement.
"Achieving the aircraft delivery target depends on the engine suppliers meeting their commitments."
Build rates for the A380 were already been due to fall to one a month in May, down from 28 in 2016, as Airbus tries to eke out the backlog while chasing new orders.
The company is also at a critical phase increasing production of its newest A350 wide-body plane, which has been plagued by supplier issues that last month led to the cancellation of four aircraft by Qatar Airways Ltd.