BERLIN Airbus will not allow a proposed revamp of its A330 jetliner to blow it off target in delivering profit improvements, the chief executive of parent Airbus Group (AIR.PA) said.
Europe's largest aerospace player will stick to its objective of reaching a return on sales of 7-8 percent in 2015, compared with 6 percent in 2013, and will keep delivering improvements in earnings beyond that, Tom Enders told Reuters.
"Resources and ambitions have to be brought to match. Not everything that is desirable is also affordable," Enders said in an interview at the Berlin Airshow.
"Investments and returns have to be in a healthy balance. We have a commitment for 2015 but the world doesn't end in 2015. We have made a commitment to improve our earnings year by year and we still have some way to go. We will live up to this promise."
Airbus is considering updating the 20-year-old A330 wide-body jet with new engines in order to boost deliveries beyond 2016 and better compete with the Boeing (BA.N) 787 Dreamliner.
The number of potential fresh A330 orders if Airbus goes ahead with the revamp is far smaller than the 2,600 sales generated by a makeover of smaller A320 models, making it a "more difficult" decision this time, Enders said.
"Here we are talking hundreds probably," Enders said. "We will take the time it takes to come to a sound decision."
(Reporting by Tim Hepher, Victoria Bryan; Editing by Andrew Callus)