Dassault Aviation H1 profit falls, hopes for India deal soon

PARIS, July 25 Fri Jul 25, 2014 3:28am EDT

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PARIS, July 25 (Reuters) - Dassault Aviation reported lower sales and operating profit due to weaker Falcon business jet deliveries and high R&D costs, but said it hoped to reach a long-awaited deal to sell 126 Rafale combat jets to India as quickly as possible.

The French planemaker said first-half operating income fell 40 percent to 113 million euros on net sales which fell 17 percent to 1.514 billion, but that its orders rose by 32 percent to 1.865 billion euros.

It predicted 70 Falcon and 11 Rafale deliveries in 2014 and said net sales should be lower than in 2013.

"We are very mobilized in India and we strive, with our French and Indian partners, to concretize the contract of 126 Rafale as soon as possible," the company said in a statement.

(Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Andrew Callus)

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