Monday, November 26, 2007

Airbus must save 1.5 bln euros due dollar-EADS CEO

European plane maker Airbus [ARBU.UL] must make additional savings of 1.5 billion euros due to the weak dollar exchange rate, the chief executive of parent company EADS (EAD.PA: Quote, Profile , Research), Louis Gallois, said in an interview in the Monday edition of German daily Die Welt.

"Our savings programme Power8 is meant to defend our competitiveness on the basis of a euro rate of $1.35," he said, alluding to the current rate of $1.50.

"The effect of the weak dollar is plain to see, simple arithmetic will show you that we should save another 1.5 billion euros," he said.

Any euro rise by 10 cents cost Airbus, a France-based maker of large commercial jets, more than 1 billion euros in operative earnings, said Gallois, head of the European aerospace and defence group that includes Airbus.

Airbus sells its planes in dollars but close to half of its costs are in euros, making the company sensitive to swings in the euro/dollar rate. On Friday, the euro hit a record high of $1.4966.

The company is already struggling to rebound from costly delays in its A380 superjumbo jet, which have forced it to proceed with plant sales and slash 10,000 jobs.

Airbus had hedged dollar risks on the basis of $1.25-1.30 up to mid-2010 and was taking precautions for 2011 and 2012, for which period the dollar currently stood at $1.40-1.50, resulting in ever lower profit margins, Gallois said.

No comments: