PARIS -- European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. NV said Thursday it swung to a loss in the first quarter, dragged down by its commercial aircraft division Airbus, which has been plagued by a weak dollar and industrial problems.
The company reported a first-quarter net loss of 10 million euros ($13.54 million), after a net profit of 522 million euros a year earlier.
EADS said it had been affected by the weak dollar, charges related to a new restructuring plan for Airbus and exceptional costs related to the A380 superjumbo program, all of which eroded profit margins.
The loss was smaller than the average estimate of 273 million euros ($369.51 million) of eight analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.
Earnings before interest, tax and other expenses plunged to 89 million euros ($120 million) from 791 million euros in the first three months of 2006.
Revenue for the first quarter was roughly stable at 9 billion euros ($12.18 billion), from 9.1 billion euros a year before.
EADS Chief Financial Officer Hans Peter Ring told shareholders last week that the Airbus unit is expected to post another hefty loss this year but could return to profitability in 2008.
In its statement, EADS reaffirmed its full-year earnings guidance that group earnings before interest and taxes, or EBIT, will remain stable while revenue should decrease less than 10 percent, assuming a 1.30 euro-dollar exchange rate. The company had sales in 2006 of 39.43 billion euros ($53.37 billion).
To improve its profitability and increase its performance against Boeing Co., Airbus has launched a cost-cutting program known as Power8 that would slash 10,000 jobs over four years and includes the possible sale or closure of some plants.
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