PARIS, April 23 Zodiac Aerospace
posted higher underlying profit and revenue in its fiscal first
half and said it would continue looking for acquisitions as the
aerospace industry gears up for record production to meet growth
in passenger traffic.
The French aerospace contractor, which supplies seats and
aircraft systems to both Airbus and Boeing, said
revenue rose 9.2 percent to 1.998 billion euros ($2.76 billion)
but that a rise in the value of the euro trimmed this gain by
3.1 percentage points.
Overall, including acquisitions and taking out currency
swings, revenue grew 7.8 percent on a like-for-like basis,
Zodiac said on Wednesday.
Current operating income rose 7.1 percent to 255.3 million
euros in the first half of the financial year, which runs from
September to August, the company said in a statement. On a
comparable basis it rose 8.9 percent, led by safety systems.
But production problems in the premium galleys in Germany
saw operating profit at the aircraft interiors division fall 2.9
percent to 134 million euros.
"World growth should continue to support passenger traffic
and, consequently, growth in the group's business," Zodiac said.
"In this context, Zodiac Aerospace anticipates a further year of
organic growth in 2013/14."
However, it said it remained exposed to exchange-rate risks
and had not implemented new currency hedges since November.
Zodiac, which made two acquisitions in aircraft systems in
the first half and repelled an approach from France's Safran
some three years ago, said it would pursue external
growth after boosting debt capacity by 1.7 billion euros in
($1 = 0.7248 Euros)
(Reporting by Cyril Altmeyer and Tim Hepher; Editing by James