By Mauro Orru


Airbus said it still expects to deliver roughly 720 planes to customers this year in spite of persistent supply-chain pressures that kept first-quarter deliveries below analysts' forecasts.

The European plane maker on Wednesday posted revenue of 11.76 billion euros ($12.94 billion) for the three months to the end of March, down 2% on the year. Airbus delivered 127 aircraft to 54 customers in the first quarter, a 12% miss versus Visible Alpha estimates.

Revenue from commercial aircraft slipped 5%, while revenue from Airbus's helicopters business climbed 26%, with helicopters deliveries up to 71 units from 39 last year.

"We continue to face an adverse operating environment that includes in particular persistent tensions in the supply chain," said Airbus Chief Executive Guillaume Faury. "Our 2023 guidance is unchanged with commercial aircraft deliveries expected to be backloaded."

The group said it still expects to produce 65 A320 narrow-body aircraft a month by the end of 2024 and 75 in 2026. For its A330, Airbus is planning for four a month in 2024, while production of its bigger A350 model should reach nine a month at the end of 2025.

Airbus had slashed production of its wide-body planes early in the pandemic, when travel restrictions and border closures brought international traffic to a near standstill. Now, airlines are scrambling for planes to expand capacity to meet surging demand for international air travel.

"We remain focused on delivering the commercial aircraft ramp-up," Mr. Faury said.

Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes--Airbus's preferred measure of profitability--slipped to EUR773 million in the quarter from EUR1.26 billion. Reported net profit plunged to EUR466 million from EUR1.22 billion.

Airbus was expected to report revenue of EUR11.37 billion, adjusted earnings of EUR736 million and a profit of EUR528 million for the quarter, according to a company-provided consensus that gathered estimates from 21 analysts.

The group continues to expect adjusted earnings of around EUR6 billion this year. Free cash flow before mergers and acquisitions and customer financing--another closely-watched metric by analysts and investors--should come in at around EUR3 billion.


Write to Mauro Orru at; @MauroOrru94


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 03, 2023 12:41 ET (16:41 GMT)

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