Aerospatiale expects doubled profits

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The Independent Online
Aerospatiale, the French aerospace and defence group, forecast that net profits would more than double this year to Fr1.6bn (pounds 171m) thanks to rising civil aircraft deliveries, cost-saving measures and the strength of the dollar. The company expects sales to reach Fr60bn this year and Airbus, in which it has a 37.9 per cent stake, to deliver 190 aircraft compared with 126 in 1996.

Last year Aerospatiale swung back into the black with net income of Fr812m on sales of Fr51bn compared with a net loss of Fr981m in 1995. Airbus contributed Fr1.175bn in operating income in 1996 but overall profits were held back by losses of Fr224m in the helicopter division.