Safran operating profit up 23 pct in H1

PARIS, July 31 Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:03am EDT

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PARIS, July 31 (Reuters) - France's Safran unveiled a 23 percent rise in first-half operating income boosted by currency gains and acquisitions and reaffirmed its forecasts for the year as aerospace continues to grow faster than the rest of the economy.

Revenues at the maker of jet engines, infra-red army goggles and airport scanning equipment rose 14 percent to 6.4 billion euros, representing 5.2 percent growth on a like-for-like basis.

Recurring operating profit grew to 681 million euros or 662 million after one-off items, just ahead of analysts' forecasts.

In a key indicator, Safran reported low double-digit growth in spares revenue for CFM jet engines that power the bulk of the world's short- or medium-haul airliner fleet.

Safran said total civil aftermarket revenues rose 8.1 percent in the first half. In the first quarter, the civil aftermarket had risen 15.1 percent driven by 24.2 percent growth in CFM spares revenue.

Analysts were on average expecting operating income of 652 million euros on revenues of of 6.429 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S consensus data. (Reporting by Cyril Altmeyer, Tim Hepher; Editing by Christian Plumb)

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