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Airbus lowers A330 production, first-quarter earnings are limited by engine delays

PARIS (Reuters) – Airbus has had to bow to weak demand for its A330 passenger aircraft on Friday. After a series of bruises against Boeing in the fight for jumbo jets, a production cutback was announced for 2019.

An employee walks in front of the Airbus headquarters in Blagnac near Toulouse on March 21, 2018 in front of an Airbus A380 at the final assembly line. REUTERS / Regis Duvignau

Europe's largest aerospace company said that it would name deliveries of long-haul jets with 250 to 300 seats on 201

aircraft in 2019, without the previous plans.

Airbus ( AIR.PA ) delivered 67 of the jets in 2017, which means a 25 percent reduction in production this year at constant volumes.

A miniature model of the Airbus A330 will be shown at a groundbreaking ceremony for the Airbus A330 completion and delivery center in Tianjin, China, on March 2, 2016. REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon

The decline in production came as Airbus achieved a slender – albeit better-than-expected – core profit in the first quarter after the engine deliveries for the smaller A320neo were delayed.

Together, the A320 and A330 families, which contain updated versions of their most successful aircraft cells, generate the most cash and revenue to support future developments and other activities within the aircraft, missile and fighter manufacturer.

Airbus reported an adjusted quarterly result of $ 14 million ($ 17 million) compared to a loss of $ 19 million a year ago. Sales fell by 12 percent to 10.119 billion euros. Airbus, however, confirmed the financial forecasts.

According to a Reuters survey, analysts expected an average operating loss of € 23.9 million on revenues of € 10.209 billion.

($ 1 = 0.8258 euros)

Report by Tim Hepher, Cyril Altmeyer; Arrangement by Richard Lough

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