Airbus Group has underscored its determination to divest its 46.3% stake in rival French airframer Dassault Aviation, as the reshaped company shrugs off the last vestiges of state control.

Airbus has held the stake in Dassault – which makes both business jets and combat aircraft – since before its inception as EADS, as a legacy of the nationalisation of France's aerospace industry in the early 1980s.

However, with its interest in the Eurofighter consortium, Airbus has frequently been in an awkward position where the Typhoon was pitched against the rival Dassault Rafale in fighter contests.

But in its half-year results – for the period ended 30 June – the company states: “As part of a portfolio review, Airbus Group continues to pursue disposal options for its investment in Dassault Aviation.”

Chief executive Tom Enders, speaking on an investor call on 30 July, declined to be drawn on a timeline for the disposal, but said Airbus Group is “actively working” to divest the stake in Dassault.

No reason for the renewed interest in a sale has been given, but industry insiders say that since Airbus Group reshaped its shareholding in early 2013 – reducing the influence of the French and German governments – any impediments to the deal have been removed.

No one from Dassault was immediately available to comment.

Airbus Group earned€67 million ($90 million) from its interest in Dassault in the first half of 2014.