October 19, 2017 / 5:43 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Thales Q3 sales slip; keeps targets on positive market trend

* Airbus-Bombardier deal broadly positive for Thales

* Q3 sales down 2.9 pct from a year earlier (Adds detail and executive comment)

By Cyril Altmeyer

PARIS, Oct 19 (Reuters) - French aerospace and defence technology group Thales reported a dip in third-quarter sales, but maintained its financial goals due to positive market trends and solid orders.

Sales for the quarter ended September stood at 3.1 billion euros ($3.7 billion), down 2.9 percent from a year earlier, when its performance was boosted by a bumper Rafale aircraft deal with India.

“Thales should continue to benefit from positive trends in most of its markets. Although below the highs recorded in 2015 and 2016, the order intake in 2017 should remain brisk, at around 14 billion euros,” Thales said in a statement.

Thales said it stuck to its mid-term targets of mid-single-digit organic sales growth on average in the 2016-2018 period, and an EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) margin of between 9.5 percent and 10 percent in 2017/2018.

Thales’ finance head, Pascal Bouchiat, said Airbus’ deal this week to buy a majority stake in Bombardier’s CSeries jetliner programme was broadly positive for the company.

“With an Airbus that will be even stronger, and given the fact that this is our main aviation client, it’s a good thing for Thales,” Bouchiat told reporters.

$1 = 0.8472 euros Reporting by Cyril Altmeyer; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Subhranshu Sahu

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