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PARIS, April 23 (Reuters) - French aerospace group Safran raised its sales forecast for 2013 on Tuesday after its core propulsion business pushed first-quarter revenue up 9.5 percent to 3.4 billion euros.
Separately, Safran also said it was buying Rolls-Royce Holdings' 50 percent stake in their RTM322 helicopter engine programme for 293 million euros ($381.79 million).
Safran said 15 percent revenue growth in its propulsion division stemmed from both new civil engine orders, a sign of demand for fuel-saving jetliners, and spares: usually seen as an economic barometer linked to the frequency of aircraft use.
Safran upped its forecast for full-year adjusted sales growth to "around 7 percent" from 5 percent, according to a press release issued in French. An English-language release expressed the 2013 target as "mid-to-high single digits".
The upward revision reflects both first-quarter performance and completion of a deal to buy Goodrich Electrical Power Systems for 300 million euros, Safran said in a statement.
Safran, which co-owns CFM International, the world's largest civil jet engine partnership, with General Electric, said the civil aftermarket rose 10 percent in dollar terms.
CFM has a seven-year backlog of engines including orders and commitments for over 4,500 next-generation LEAP engines. CFM is the sole engine supplier on Boeing's 737 and competes with a consortium led by Pratt & Whitney to power the Airbus A320.