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By Benjamin Katz
Airbus SE (AIR.FR) cut its delivery goal for the year by as many as 30 aircraft as it wades through production hang ups, even as the European plane maker remains poised to overtake Boeing Co. (BA) as the world's largest plane maker by year end.
The Toulouse, France-based plane maker said it will now deliver 860 commercial aircraft this year. That is a company record but shy of the 880 to 890 planes it had promised to build. It cut free cash flow guidance to 3 billion euros ($3.33 billion) for 2019 from prior forecasts of as much as EUR4 billion.
Both Airbus and rival Boeing have been on major production rampups as each aims to meet a surge in demand for their more fuel efficient narrowbody jets. Airbus has been struggling to boost output of its A320neo family, especially a version that offers airlines highly customized cabins.
"We are focused on the A320neo rampup and improving the industrial flow," Airbus Chief Executive Guillaume Faury said in a statement.
Despite the cut, Airbus is still on track to overtake Boeing as the world's largest aircraft manufacturer as the U.S. company battles to overcome a crisis with its 737 MAX, the main competitor to the neo. The model has been grounded since March after two fatal crashes. That has halted deliveries to customers and forced Boeing to pare back production rates.
Airbus has handed over 571 planes to customers in the first nine months of the year, compared with 301 by Boeing. That sets Airbus up to win back the title of biggest plane maker for the first time since 2011, despite the reduction in full-year delivery guidance
Airbus reported third-quarter net income of EUR989 million, up 3% from the prior year. It posted EUR1.60 billion in adjusted earnings before interest and taxes, the plane maker's more closely followed metric, a 2% gain. Sales fell 1% to EUR15.3 billion.
Write to Benjamin Katz at Ben.Katz@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 30, 2019 02:57 ET (06:57 GMT)
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