Airbus posts 21% jump in Q3 profit driven by strong commercial jet business

The company’s order backlog stood at 7,992 commercial planes at the end of September

Airbus said its revenue in the September quarter increased 12 per cent year-on-year, boosted by an increase in jet deliveries. Reuters
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Airbus recorded a 21 per cent jump in third-quarter net profit, driven by an increased demand for its commercial aircraft and higher jet deliveries during the period.

The world's biggest plane maker's net profit for the three months to the end of September climbed to €806 million ($862.37 million), Airbus said in a statement.

Revenue in the three-month period increased 12 per cent year-on-year to €14.89 billion, boosted by strong business in various divisions.

Airbus's adjusted profit before interest and tax rose 21 per cent on an annual basis to €1.01 billion.

“We continue to make progress on our operational plan in a global environment that has become increasingly complex,” said Guillaume Faury, chief executive of Airbus.

“Demand for our commercial aircraft is very strong with a continuing recovery in the wide-body market. We expect the supply chain to remain challenging as we progress on the production ramp-up.”

The Toulouse-based company’s net profit for the first nine months dropped 9 per cent annually to €2.33 billion, while revenue increased 12 per cent to €42.56 billion.

“The nine-month earnings reflect higher commercial aircraft deliveries, the good performance in helicopters as well as charges linked to the reassessment of certain satellite development programmes,” Mr Faury said.

The company’s order backlog stood at 7,992 commercial aircraft at the end of September.

Its gross commercial aircraft orders totalled 1,280 during the January-September period, compared with 856 aircraft in the prior year period. It delivered 488 commercial aircraft during the period, up 11.6 per cent, comprising 41 A220s, 391 A320 Family, 20 A330s and 36 A350s.

Airbus Helicopters registered 191 net orders in the first nine months, from 246 units in the same period last year.

Defence and space division’s order value surged 6.2 per cent to €8.5 billion

Airbus said its acceleration on the A220 programme was moving towards a monthly production rate of 14 planes in 2026, while it is aiming to produce 75 A320 aircraft per month in that same year.

The company has announced plans to increase the production rate for its A350 to 10 a month in 2026 and continues to target a monthly production rate of four A330s in 2024.

Looking ahead, the European plane maker reaffirmed its delivery target of 720 commercial aircraft this year. It also forecast adjusted profit before interest and tax of €6 billion for 2023. It expects free cash flow before some items to drop to €3 billion in 2023 from €4.7 billion.

“The company assumes no additional disruptions to the world economy, air traffic, the supply chain, the … internal operations, and its ability to deliver products and services,” Airbus said.

In a bid to focus on the company's broader strategy and its sustainability agenda, Airbus last month announced plans to spin off its commercial aircraft unit into a separate entity and appointed its chief of sales Christian Scherer as chief executive of the unit.

Updated: November 09, 2023, 5:57 PM