Airbus first-quarter profit hit by engine delays, cuts A330 output

Airbus bowed to weak demand for its A330 passenger jet on Friday, announcing a cut in production for 2019 after a series of bruising defeats to Boeing in contests for wide-body jets.

Europe’s largest aerospace group said it was reducing deliveries of the 250-300-seat long-haul jet to around 50 aircraft in 2019, without giving a figure for its previous plans.

Airbus delivered 67 of the jets in 2017, implying a 25 percent cut in output based on steady volumes this year.

The production setback came as Airbus posted a slender — though better than expected — core profit in the first quarter after delays in engine deliveries for its smaller A320neo.

Together the A320 and A330 families, which feature updated versions of its most successful airframes, generate most of the cash and income needed to support future developments and other activities within the maker of airplanes, rockets and fighters.

Airbus reported an adjusted quarterly operating profit of 14 million euros ($17 million), compared with a restated year-earlier loss of 19 million. Revenues fell 12 percent to 10.119 billion euros. Airbus reaffirmed financial forecasts, however.

Analysts were on average expecting a 23.9 million euro operating loss on revenues of 10.209 billion, according to a Reuters poll.

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