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EADS changes name to Airbus in bid for Boeing competition

Airbus Group will combine its defence and space activities in one division with Airbus Military transporters

Europe's EADS has confirmed plans to reorganize in three divisions and change its name to Airbus, adopting the look and feel of its arch-rival Boeing in a bid to become more competitive.

EADS will be called Airbus Group, after its core planemaking subsidiary, and will combine its defence and space activities in one division together with Airbus Military transporters, currently twinned with passenger jets.

Eurocopter, the world's largest commercial helicopter maker, will be renamed Airbus Helicopters.

The announcement came as EADS completed a strategy review and raised the 2013 order target for its core Airbus unit by 25 per cent to more than 1,000 aircraft, as reported by Reuters earlier this month.

Other targets were unchanged.

Powered by Airbus commercial profits, which offset lower helicopter and space earnings, second-quarter EADS operating profit rose 23 per cent to €887 million  on revenue of €13.945 billion, up 3 per cent.

Analysts were on average expecting second-quarter operating profit of €839 million on revenue of €13.693 billion.

Airbus is locked in a battle to regain leadership of the $100 billion annual jet market after arch-rival Boeing grabbed the top spot in both orders and deliveries last year.

At the same time, EADS hopes its decision to unite under one of Europe's most recognized brands will galvanize the rest of its businesses from helicopters to rockets.

Chief Executive Tom Enders said this would “take costs out, increase profitability and improve our market position”.

EADS said the reorganization would start on 1 January and support a “Flightpath 2015 for improved shareholder returns”.