Airbus raises forecasts after strong first half

Airbus sharply raised its forecast for deliveries and earnings on Thursday (July 29).

That after it reported better-than-expected half-year results.

The aerospace giant swung to an operating profit of just over 2 billion euros, or almost $2.4 billion.

Revenues jumped 70%.

Those figures were all better than analyst forecasts, and contrast with a loss this time last year, in the depths of the air travel slump.

The gains were driven by commercial jets and helicopters.

Now the world's biggest planemaker is raising its outlook for the year.

It's doubled its forecast for this year's operating income, to $4.7 billion.

And it expects to deliver 600 new airliners - up from an earlier prediction of 566.

On Thursday Airbus also announced the launch of a new freighter based on its A350 widebody.

It wants to break Boeing's long dominance of the market for cargo planes, a sector benefiting from the boom in e-commerce.

For all the bullishness though, Chief Executive Guillaume Faury warned that the firm continues to face a very unpredictable environment.

Airbus shares were up over 3% in early trades.

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