* CEO sees single-digit revenue growth in 2014
* Says EC175 receives European certification
* Defends safety of EC225 helicopter
PARIS, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Airbus Helicopters announced a 4.6 percent increase in deliveries for 2013 and predicted an upswing in orders as it obtained European certification for its newest model, the EC175.
The sister company of planemaker Airbus, formerly known as Eurocopter, said it delivered 497 helicopters in 2013, up from 475 in the previous year.
Chief Executive Guillaume Faury told a news conference the company expected single-digit growth in revenues in 2014, but declined to give further details on business performance ahead of full-year results of parent Airbus Group in February.
Airbus Helicopters says it is the world’s largest civil helicopter manufacturer with a market share of 46 percent, ahead of Textron unit Bell Helicopter and Finmeccanica’s AgustaWestland.
The company said it had received European certification on Monday for the delayed EC175, a medium-sized twin-engined helicopter, and would make the first deliveries this year.
“The aircraft is certified and 2014 will be the year in which we look for an upswing in orders,” Faury said.
Overall deliveries were disrupted in the first half of the year by the grounding of some EC225 helicopters following a series of ditchings in the UK North Sea. Faury defended the safety record of the offshore workhorse.
“We have resolved these incidents and we are convinced the EC225 is safe to fly,” Faury said.