By Mauro Orru

 

Airbus SE posted earnings ahead of expectations for the first quarter despite the negative impact of sanctions against Russia, and said it would boost future production rates for its A320, the single-aisle rival to Boeing Co.'s 737 MAX.

The European plane maker said Wednesday that adjusted earnings before interest and taxes--a key profitability metric--climbed to 1.26 billion euros ($1.33 billion) from EUR694 million in the first quarter last year. However, sanctions against Russia shaved off EUR200 million in earnings.

Standard net profit jumped to EUR1.22 billion from EUR362 million, while free cash flow before mergers and acquisitions and customer financing--another closely watched metric for the company--fell to EUR213 million from EUR1.20 billion. Revenue increased to EUR12 billion from EUR10.46 billion.

Analysts had forecasts adjusted EBIT of EUR719 million, net profit of EUR460 million and free cash flow before mergers and acquisitions and customer financing of EUR124 million, according to a company-compiled consensus. Revenue was expected to come in at EUR12.05 billion.

"Our 2022 guidance is unchanged, even though the risk profile for the rest of the year has become more challenging due to the complex geopolitical and economic environment," Airbus Chief Executive Guillaume Faury said.

"Looking beyond 2022, we see continuing strong growth in commercial aircraft demand driven by the A320 Family. As a result we are now working with our industry partners to increase A320 Family production rates further to 75 aircraft a month in 2025," he added.

For 2022, Airbus continues to target 720 commercial aircraft deliveries, adjusted EBIT of EUR5.5 billion and free cash flow before mergers and acquisitions and customer financing of EUR3.5 billion.

 

Write to Mauro Orru at mauro.orru@wsj.com; @MauroOrru94

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 04, 2022 12:26 ET (16:26 GMT)

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