An Airbus A380 aircraft seen through a window with the firm's current logo

EADS to adopt name of flagship Airbus brand

EADS will combine its defence and space units and take the name of its flagship brand Airbus.

Nine months after abandoning attempts to merge with UK arms firm BAE Systems, chief executive Tom Enders confirmed decisions that would see civil jets remain a "growth engine" popular with investors, who pushed EADS shares to new highs.

Speaking after EADS also confirmed an increase in the Airbus order target and unveiled upbeat mid-year earnings, Enders did not rule out job cuts in the group's 45,000-strong defence and space operations, which will be based in Germany.

He said the reorganisation would "take costs out, increase profitability and improve our market position".

In a further sign of potential job cuts, EADS warned the move could lead to restructuring charges later in the year.

However, it effectively deferred politically sensitive decisions until after German elections in September by promising to carry out a more detailed review in the second half of the year.

"The German government will work closely with EADS during the upcoming restructuring process and will place great importance on Germany's interests as an industrial location," Economy Minister Philipp Roesler said.

EADS was formed in 2000 from a merger of French, German and Spanish assets that incorporated passenger jet maker Airbus, founded three decades earlier and now a global rival to Boeing.

The name EADS – originally European Aeronautic, Defence and Space Co – was never widely recognised and the group has long discussed changing its name to Airbus.

EADS will be called Airbus Group and will combine its defence and space activities in one Munich-based division together with Airbus Military transporters, currently twinned with passenger jets.

Eurocopter, the world's largest commercial helicopter maker, will be renamed Airbus Helicopters.

Powered by Airbus commercial demand, which offset lower helicopter and space earnings, second-quarter EADS operating profit rose 23 per cent to €887m (£774m) on revenue of €13.9bn, up 3 per cent. Airbus makes up two-thirds of sales.

EADS raised the 2013 order target for passenger jets by 25 per cent to more than 1,000 aircraft, as reported earlier this month. Other targets were unchanged.

Airbus is battling to regain leadership of the $100bn (£66bn) annual jet market after arch-rival Boeing grabbed the top spot in both orders and deliveries last year but EADS hopes its decision to unite under a globally recognised brand will galvanise the rest of its businesses.

Enders said testing for the A350, the newest Airbus jet, was going "very, very well" but the project remained challenging.

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