EADS, parent of Airbus, reported a stronger-than-expected profit on higher production at its principal subsidiary. The details may be found in this AP story.
A couple of take-aways:
- This better performance, despite the worries over the dollar-Euro exchange rate, slower-than-desired progress in Power8 cost-cutting and new issues with A380 production, may make it more difficult to get cuts from the already recalcitrant labor unions; and
- The A320 family, where higher production rates have kicked in (and going higher still) has proved to be a key to the Airbus recovery and cash flow. When Airbus announced plans to boost production of this family, Boeing criticized the move as unwarranted by market conditions. That was hardly the point; because of delays and cash flow shortfalls in the A380 program, Airbus really had little choice. (That Boeing is now considering boosting the 737 production seems to demonstrate Airbus was right about the market demand, too.)
Airbus plans to take the A330/340 production to 12 a month by 2010 in response to demand for this airplane, higher and sooner than expected. This will further aid the cash flow shortfalls from the A380 program.