February 24, 2017 / 6:05 AM / 6 months ago

Safran core 2016 profit up 5.4 pct

PARIS, Feb 24 (Reuters) - France's Safran posted a 5.4 percent rise in 2016 core operating profit to 2.404 billion euros and projected stable 2017 income, based on the remaining operations as it prepares to complete the sale of its security business.

The engine and parts maker, which recently set out an agreed offer for Zodiac Aerospace, said growth was driven mainly by its aircraft equipment division where overhauls of aircraft wheels and brakes fuelled higher service revenues.

In the main aerospace propulsion division, widely watched civil aftermarket revenues for jet engines grew 6.9 percent in dollar terms, after a 12.5 percent bounce in the fourth quarter, and Safran predicted similar growth for 2017.

Safran's business is dominated by its 50 percent share alongside General Electric in CFM International, the world's lagest jet engine maker by the number of units sold.

Safran said production and testing of CFM's new LEAP engine was going to plan, with Boeing on course to put its 737 MAX into service in the first half of 2017. An Airbus equivalent entered into service last year.

Safran said it would invest 850 million euros to support a transition in production from the best-selling CFM56, which is used on all Boeing and some Airbus medium-haul jets, to the successor LEAP model.

Safran's total adjusted revenue grew 1.6 percent to 15.781 billion euros in 2016 and the group said it should grow by another 2 to 3 percent in 2017. (Reporting by Tim Hepher, Editng by Dominique Vidalon)

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