PARIS Feb 19 France's Thales reported
higher operating profit and order intake buoyed by emerging
markets in 2013 and predicted further increases in demand
outside Western Europe where defence cuts continue to bite.
Europe's largest defence electronics firm said annual
operating earnings rose 8 percent to 1.003 billion euros,
lifting its core profit margin by more than half a percentage
point, on sales which remained flat at 14.194 billion euros.
Order intake rose 7 percent to 14.168 billion euros. For
2014, Thales predicted a 5-7 percent rise in operating profits
coupled with double-digit growth in orders from emerging
markets, while forecasting another year of stable sales.
(Reporting by Tim Hepher, Cyril Altmeyer; Editing by Andrew