June 13, 2019 / 5:08 AM / 3 days ago

French group Thales raises profit targets after Gemalto takeover

PARIS, June 13 (Reuters) - French defence electronics group Thales raised its profitability target for 2019 as it factored in the contribution of the recently-acquired Gemalto business.

Thales now expects earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) between 1.98 billion euros ($2.24 billion) and 2 billion euros in 2019, up from a previous target of 1.78-1.8 billion euros, the company said in an update posted on its website.

Thales, in which the French state has a stake of 25.7% while Dassault Aviation has a 24.7% stake, has consolidated Gemalto’s activities from April 1 onwards.

Thales’ 4.8 billion euros acquisition of chipmaker Gemalto is intended to boost the French company’s presence in the booming security and cyber security services market.

The takeover will also lift Thales’ order intake to an expected 18 billion euros up from a previous 16 billion euros target, the company added.

The merger with Gemalto will also allow the group to make 120 million euros in cost synergies, even after it was forced by antitrust regulators to sell Gemalto’s banking transaction protection business.

$1 = 0.8854 euros Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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