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Dassault says profits slump, but closer to India fighter deal

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France's Dassault Aviation reported on Thursday a profit slump for 2013, but said it was moving closer to sealing a major fighter jet contract with India.

Net profit for the year fell 8.5 percent to 459.45 million euros ($641 million), but total orders intake rose 25 percent to 4.16 billion.

During the year, it recorded 64 orders for its Falcon private jets, up from 58 in 2012.

Defence orders made up just 1.26 billion euros in 2013, up from 793 million euros in 2012.

However the group is seeking to significantly boost its defence segment, as it is trying to seal a deal with India worth $12 billion.

The two parties began exclusive negotiations in January 2012 on the sale of 126 Rafale fighter jets, some 108 of which are to be built in India.

On Thursday, the group's chief executive Eric Trappier suggested that the company was coming closer to a deal.

"We have taken a step to a new level" with regards to finalising the contract, he said.

"We have effectively a contract with HAL" -- India's state-owned group HAL on manufacturing the Rafales in India, said Trappier.

Separately, European aerospace giant Airbus forecast on Thursday that India would have massive demand for new airliners in the next two decades.

The group said the country's airlines along would require 1,290 new planes over the period, a potential market worth $190 billion.

France’s Dassault Aviation reported on Thursday a profit slump for 2013, but said it was moving closer to sealing a major fighter jet contract with India.

Net profit for the year fell 8.5 percent to 459.45 million euros ($641 million), but total orders intake rose 25 percent to 4.16 billion.

During the year, it recorded 64 orders for its Falcon private jets, up from 58 in 2012.

Defence orders made up just 1.26 billion euros in 2013, up from 793 million euros in 2012.

However the group is seeking to significantly boost its defence segment, as it is trying to seal a deal with India worth $12 billion.

The two parties began exclusive negotiations in January 2012 on the sale of 126 Rafale fighter jets, some 108 of which are to be built in India.

On Thursday, the group’s chief executive Eric Trappier suggested that the company was coming closer to a deal.

“We have taken a step to a new level” with regards to finalising the contract, he said.

“We have effectively a contract with HAL” — India’s state-owned group HAL on manufacturing the Rafales in India, said Trappier.

Separately, European aerospace giant Airbus forecast on Thursday that India would have massive demand for new airliners in the next two decades.

The group said the country’s airlines along would require 1,290 new planes over the period, a potential market worth $190 billion.

AFP
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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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