Airbus consolidates its position in the aircraft maker

European Aeronautic, Defense & Space Co, the parent of &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Airbus SAS, may report quarterly profit more than tripled as commercial aircraft deliveries jumped 30 per cent.

First-quarter net income probably rose to 184 million euros (US$238 million) from 49 million euros (US$64 million) a year earlier, according to the media estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. Sales climbed 16 per cent to 7 billion euros (US$9 billion), the survey showed.

Airbus, based in Toulouse, France, overtook Boeing Co as the world's top commercial aircraft maker in 2003 and delivered more aircraft in the quarter than the US planemaker. Airbus Chief Executive &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Noel Forgeard is counting on the 555-seat A380, which enters service next year, to protect that lead while Boeing's planned smaller 787 model takes orders away from Airbus's A350, tells Xinhuanet.

Shares in European Aeronautic & Defence Company rose 0.62% to 22.85 euros in mid-morning trade on the Paris Stock Exchange. Philippe Camus and Rainer Hertrich, both chief executives at EADS, added: "Our defence businesses are also set for strong revenues. "In addition, progress at EADS Space has been strong indicating that the space business will contribute positively to the portfolio." EADS' order intake in the first three months amounted to nearly 9bn euros, compared with 3.4bn euros in its 2004 first quarter. The increase is mainly due to stronger Airbus and space-division orders.

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