Senior Plc starts 2013 slightly ahead of expectations

April 25 Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:03am EDT

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April 25 (Reuters) - British engineering component maker Senior Plc said its first-quarter profit was marginally ahead of its expectations and that it had made a good start to the year, boosted by higher demand from commercial aircraft makers Airbus and Boeing Co.

The company, which supplies wall panels and ducting to planemakers, said it expects full-year 2013 adjusted profit before tax to remain unchanged.

The company said net order intake by Boeing and Airbus was ahead of deliveries with a combined order book of 9,393 aircraft at the end of March, up 11 percent from a year earlier.

Senior also said expectations on Boeing's restart of 787 production was encouraging.

Boeing CEO Jim McNerney said on Wednesday that the company expects to begin delivering 787s again in early May and will finish modifying all 50 customer jets by mid-May. There are 25 Dreamliners awaiting delivery currently, he said.

The 787 Dreamliners have been grounded since regulators ordered all 50 planes out of the skies in mid-January after batteries on two of them overheated.

With a rise in demand from Asia and other emerging markets, commercial aircraft makers have been struggling to fulfil several years of backlogged orders, assuring steady business for component makers.

Senior said in February that it expected sales to grow close to 10 percent this year - ahead of analyst's expectations - boosting its shares to a record high.

Shares of the FTSE 250 component closed at 240 pence on Wednesday on the London Stock Exchange.

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