PARIS Feb 28 France's Thales reported
a slightly brisker than expected 11 percent increase in
operating earnings for 2016 and predicted further growth in
profits and operating margins this year as its transport
business exits the doldrums.
Last year's profit growth outpaced a 5.8 percent rise in
revenues to 14.885 billion euros ($15.8 billion), or 6.8 percent
on an organic basis, led by avionics and in-flight entertainment
The defence and high-tech systems company posted operating
earnings of 1.354 billion euros.
That lifted its margin by 50 points to 9.1 percent, as cost
cuts enabled its transport unit to post profits, even though a
series of weak contracts there remains a concern.
The group took in 13 percent fewer orders, worth 16.5
billion euros, compared with 2015 which had been buoyed by the
radar for two French Rafale fighter deals with Egypt and Qatar.
Analysts were on average predicting 2016 operating profit of
1.308 billion euros on revenue of 14.851 billion, according to
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data.
For 2017, Thales predicted a mid-single digit organic growth
in sales and operating profit of 1.48-1.5 billion euros.
It confirmed average targets of mid-single-digit organic
sales growth in the 2016-2018 period and 9.5-10 percent
operating margins in 2017-18.
($1 = 0.9444 euros)
(Reporting by Tim Hepher, Cyril Altmeyer,; Editing by Sudip