PARIS, April 25 Europe's largest defence
electronics company, Thales, maintained its forecasts
for 2013 after seeing a 3 percent rise in first-quarter sales
blurred by a sharp drop in orders compared with a strong start
The French maker of military radars and civil aerospace and
rail systems on Thursday predicted stable full-year sales as
growth in civil activities absorb the impact of lower defence
First-quarter sales rose 3 percent to 2.755 billion euros
($3.58 billion), led by improved billings on existing military
contracts in France, Britain and India. On a like-for-like
basis, quarterly revenue rose 5 percent.
Fresh order intake took a 50 percent dive in the transport
sector, and aerospace orders fell 5 percent, pushing the total
intake down 22 percent to 2.05 billion euros. Year-ago figures
had been boosted by rail contracts in Denmark and Singapore.
"Despite the continuing unfavourable economic environment in
Europe, the group is anticipating a slight upturn in orders in
2013, largely due to the expected performance in the emerging
countries," Thales said in a statement.
Thales is targeting 5-8 percent growth in 2013 operating
($1 = 0.7695 euros)
(Reporting by Tim Hepher and Cyril Altmeyer; Editing by James