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EADS group to adopt Airbus name

July 31, 2013  By Carey Fredericks

July 31, 2013, Paris, Fra. - European aerospace group EADS is to change its name to Airbus and shake up its corporate structure as part of push to give its civil aviation division more prominence.

As well as the name change next year, European Aeronautic Defence
and Space Co. will reshuffle its space and military units into one
division, the company said Wednesday. It also unveiled a 31 per cent
increase in first-half net profits on the same time last year to 759
million euros ($1 billion).

EADS says the changes will "enhance
integration and cohesion'' of the 13-year-old group formed from the
French, German and Spanish aerospace companies.

In the first
half, the Airbus unit took in 722 net orders in the first half, up from
230 a year earlier. The civil aircraft business still accounts for
almost 70 per cent of EADS' group sales.

EADS had once sought to
become less dependent on its civil aircraft business with a goal of
growing its defence business, maker of the A400M European freighter, to
around half of total revenue. Those plans were shelved with the global
economic downturn and government belt-tightening.


Under its new
organization, a new defence entity will be created dubbed Airbus Defence
& Space, housing the existing military business along with
satellite maker Astrium and drone and electronics business Cassidian.

Eurocopter civil and military helicopter business remains separate in
the new organization but is renamed Airbus Helicopters.

EADS chief executive Tom Enders called the changes "an evolution, not a revolution.''

affirm the predominance of commercial aeronautics in our group and we
restructure and focus our defence and space activities to take costs
out, increase profitability and improve our market position,'' Enders
said in the statement.

Airbus delivered 295 civilian planes in
the first half, just less than the 306 record by arch-rival Boeing. At
last month's Paris Air Show, Airbus took in firm orders for 241 aircraft
including 65 for its A350 widebody.

The A350 is still undergoing
testing, but is expected to enter into service in the first half of
next year. It made its first fly-by over Le Bourget air field during the
air show last month. On Wednesday EADS said the program "is now
entering the most critical phase'' and that it "remains challenging.''

"Any schedule change could lead to an increasingly higher impact on provisions,'' EADS said.


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