French group Thales keeps underlying financial targets as Q1 sales dip

PARIS, April 30 (Reuters) - French defence electronics group Thales, which recently completed its 4.8 billion euros ($5.4 billion) takeover of chipmaker Gemalto, posted a dip in first quarter sales although it kept its underlying financial targets.

Sales slipped 1.5 percent from a year ago to 3.36 billion euros, which Thales said was partly due to the fact that last year’s figures were boosted by a major Australia contract order.

“Predictably, order intake is lower than in Q1 2018, which was exceptionally high thanks to the booking of OneSKY, an 855 million euros jumbo contract in Australia,” said Thales chairman and chief executive Patrice Caine.

“The decline in sales is due to a high basis of comparison in each of our operating segments. We confirm all our financial objectives for 2019,” added Caine.

Thales completed its takeover of Gemalto earlier in April, with the Gemalto deal set to boost Thales’ presence in the booming security services market.

Thales said it would update its 2019 outlook in June to factor in the Gemalto deal.

$1 = 0.8938 euros Reporting by Jean-Michel Belot; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta