Thales bullish for 25% growth by 2008 despite flat 2005 results

Paris
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The Thales group is forecasting a one-quarter growth over the next two years despite flat figures for last year.

The aerospace and defence electronics group is targeting a 25% growth in revenues by 2008, with 15% of this to come from organic growth and the remainder through acquisitions. The forecast comes as the company publishes its 2005 figures, showing stable full-year revenues and higher net income.

The group forecasts a stable, or slightly higher, level of organic growth in 2006, with a booming civil market expected to offset only “slight” increases in European defence budgets.

The group posted overall 2005 revenues of €10.3 billion ($12.25 billion), flat on the previous year’s level and a 3.8% increase in underlying organic growth after a €15 million positive impact from exchange rate fluctuations and a negative contribution of €37 million from "change in the scope of consolidation" are taken into account.

Net income was up at €334 million, compared with €325 million in 2004. The group’s order intake rose in 2005, to €12.8 billion, leaving Thales with an order book of €20 billion at the end of the year. Thales’s aerospace division revenues were up at €2.3 billion, €200 million higher than 2004, while air systems revenues edged up from €1.4 billion to €1.5 billion.