Airbus Earnings Increase in First Nine Months But Full-Year Delivery Target Seen as ‘Greater Stretch’

European planemaker Airbus (AIR.PA) posted an increase in its earnings in the first nine months on Wednesday but warned that its delivery target for the full year was becoming a “greater stretch” due to the late availability of engines in its first half as well as industrial challenges.

With regard to full-year deliveries, the company said that its A320neo ramp-up “is ongoing” but added that the level of disruption resulting from the late availability of engines in the first half of 2018 as well as some internal industrial challenges made the full-year 2018 target a greater stretch.

“A lot remains to be done before the end of the year to fulfill commitments,” the firm said, adding that its A330neo delivery schedule had been adjusted to reflect the engine partner’s latest 2018 outlook.

“Even though we delivered more aircraft than a year earlier, we still have a lot to do to meet our commitments,” Airbus Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders said in the statement. “Our primary operational focus remains on commercial aircraft deliveries and securing the A320neo ramp-up.”

Meanwhile, Airbus reported that group revenues increased to 40.4 billion euros ($45.9 billion) during the nine months that ended September 30, from 38.0 billion euros a year earlier. In line with higher sales, the planemaker reported adjusted earnings before interest and tax of 2.74 billion versus 1.21 billion a year ago.

Looking ahead and excluding any mergers and acquisitions, Airbus maintained its expectations of achieving about 5 billion euros in adjusted earnings before interest and tax in the current year versus 4.25 billion euros recorded in 2017.