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EADS net profit soars

THE parent company of plane maker Airbus yesterday reported an 89-percent gain in fourth-quarter net profit but warned of a "very challenging" year ahead.

European Aeronautics Defense and Space Co said that net profit in the quarter rose to 490 million euros (US$615.68 million) from 259 million euros a year earlier, helped by a drop in the British pound and United States dollar and higher deliveries of planes and helicopters.

The Paris and Munich-based company booked earnings before interest and tax of 2.83 billion euros in 2008, beating EADS' own 1.8 billion-euro target and compared with 52 million euros in 2007.

But in 2009 EADS said it expects EBIT to decline, even excluding what the aircraft maker said could be a "significant charge" for its troubled A400M military transport jet program.

"2009 will be a very challenging year for our industry," EADS Chief Executive Louis Gallois said in a statement.


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