EADS reports lower earnings for 2011 first-half

Airbus parent EADS has said its earnings fell in the first half compared to a year ago as the impact of the weakening US dollar offset gains form higher commercial and military jet sales. Airbus has registered record orders recently for its new A320neo fuel-saving jet.

EADS reported net profit of $155.63 million in the first half compared to $264.13 million a year earlier.

The earnings include financial charges to account for a drop in the value of the European plane maker's commercial backlog, which fell $39.98 billion because of the weakening US currency. However, EADS said it was on track to achieve its targeted earnings for the full year, with higher sales and stable profitability compared to a year earlier.

The company has booked record sales for its A320neo, an engine-upgraded version of A320 single-aisle workhorse jet. It claims the upgraded version will be 15 per cent more fuel-efficient.

The neo's success was underlined last week when US carrier American Airlines announced an order for 260 Airbus planes along with 200 from rival Boeing Co. The Boeing aircraft would also be a re-engined version, a decision enforced upon the American company by the neo's success.

Boeing was dithering on this decision for a long time but ultimately the decision was taken for them by the success of the neo which threatened to run away with all the orders, including American, which has been a long-time Boeing faithful.

Airbus hadn't won an order from American since the 1980s.