* EADS could rejig portfolio in defence-space - Lahoud
* A350 testing and delivery targets on track
* Seeking A380 orders, still targets breakeven in 2015
By Patrick Vignal
PAU, France, Sept 10 EADS plans to
adjust its portfolio as it reorganizes defence and space
activities into a single division, but is in no hurry to embark
on fresh deals, the European aerospace group's strategy chief
said on Tuesday.
"There could be disposals and acquisitions as part of the
move to a single defence-space division.. but we have to give it
time and let the new team establish itself," Marwan Lahoud,
chief strategy and marketing officer, told reporters.
"After that we will announce a few things."
EADS, the parent of planemaker Airbus, announced in July it
would combine its defence and space subsidiaries and rename the
group after the Airbus planemaking brand, starting from Jan. 1.
The restructuring is due to be completed by July 2014.
Last month activist hedge fund TCI urged EADS to sell its
stake in Dassault Aviation, the French maker of combat
and business jets, saying the 4 billion euro ($5.3 billion)
holding was "a poor use of capital".
Industry sources have said a quick sale, which is subject to
pre-emption rights by the French government, is unlikely.
Lahoud, who masterminded an attempt last year to merge with
Britain's BAE Systems to forge the world's largest arms
maker, said EADS still aimed to surpass U.S. rival Boeing
but acknowledged the focus would be on commercial aerospace.
"Our aim is to be the number one in aerospace in the world,"
he said on the sidelines of a French defence industry event in
"There is no point in pretending; the development and growth
are on the civil side."
A350 ON TRACK
Lahoud said testing for the latest Airbus passenger jet, the
A350, was going well.
"There have been no new problems on the A350. The flight
tests are going according to plan. We are getting on with the
programme and we are confident of meeting our goals for
certification and first delivery."
Airbus aims to deliver the first of the long-distance
mid-sized jets, designed to compete with Boeing's 787
Dreamliner, in the second half of next year.
Lahoud also said Airbus was trying to finalize orders for
the A380 superjumbo.
Apart from a recent leasing order, sales of the world's
largest airliner to airlines have been sluggish recently, with
gaps of unsold jets looming in the production line for 2015.
"Our goal is to get as many orders as deliveries in order to
reach our goal of breakeven in 2015," Lahoud said.
"We have some sales campaigns under way and some strong
prospects around the world and we will do everything we can to
reach this target."
Airbus aims to deliver 15 A380s in 2013, down from 30 in
2012 as it slows production to allow for the switch to permanent
wing modifications, following wing cracks two years ago.
It has said it aims to have delivered a total of 150 A380s
by the end of 2014, implying 28 deliveries next year if it
reaches it target of 25 in 2013. By the end of 2012, Airbus had
delivered a total of 97 of the double-decker planes.