Airbus shares soar on higher profits

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Airbus A320 modelImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Some Airbus A320 models have been hit by delivery delays

Profits at Airbus, Europe's largest aerospace company, more than doubled in the second quarter despite a slow start to 2018.

Bottlenecks of undelivered planes began to ease, while costs relating to its newest big jet, the A350, were down.

After a series of engine manufacturing issues caused delays, chief executive Tom Enders said deliveries had "picked up", but "challenges remain".

The results sent Airbus shares to a new record high of €111 in Paris.

The company has faced a backlog of up to 100 A320neo jets parked outside factories without their engines.

Many of the engines, which have been beset by glitches, are made by US-based manufacturer Pratt & Whitney.

Earlier this month, Airbus said the firm was "catching up" and that there would be further improvement in the second half of the year.

Airbus, which is based in Toulouse, said adjusted profits before interest and other charges rose 110% to €1.15bn (£1.02bn) in the first half of 2018.

However, net profit for the six months fell 55% to €496m.

David Learmount, consulting editor at aviation publisher FlightGlobal, says Airbus have got the A350 program "to a point where deliveries are going well. They've got to the sweet spot."

The planemaker also reported orders and commitments for 431 aircraft during July's Farnborough Airshow, which are yet to be reflected in their figures.

Farnborough is a key international pageant for aircraft manufacturers.

Meanwhile Boeing, Airbus's main market rival, predicts global demand for aircraft will be worth $6.3tn (£4.8tn) in the next 20 years.

"The whole market is very healthy. And the reason is terribly simple - people like travelling," added Mr Learmount. "The future of commercial air transport is pretty rosy."

Shares in Airbus, which were trading at about €75 a year ago, were around 5% higher in morning trading, before falling back slightly.