* 2012 net profit 510 mln euros
* Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S forecast 440 mln euros
* Still trying to finalise India Rafale deal
PARIS, March 14 French aircraft maker Dassault
beat 2012 profit expectations, helped by a gradual
recovery in the business jet market which it expects to continue
Consolidated net income rose to 510 million euros ($660
million) from 323 million in 2011, beating analysts' average
forecast of 440 million in a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll.
The maker of Falcon business jets and France's Rafale
warplanes said on Thursday it expected to deliver around 70
Falcon jets this year, up from 66 in 2011.
It described the business jet market as "convalescent," but
hoped for further recovery this year "especially in the United
Sales of the Rafale were flat at 11, as all of its output
was again bought by the French military, which faces budget
cuts. Dassault expects 2013 sales to remain at the same level.
More than a year after starting exclusive talks to sell 126
Rafale jets worth $10 billion to India, Dassault said it was
still trying to finalise the contract.