Italian industrial conglomerate Finmeccanica announced a 43% jump in half-year profits last week amid speculation that its EuroSystems joint venture with BAE Systems has progressed more slowly than forecast.

The Rome-based company recorded a profit of €40 million ($49.2 million) for the six months ending June, compared with €28 million for the same period last year.

The consolidated figure includes Finmeccanica's share of ST Microelectronics and Avio, but profit from Finmeccanica's core activities rose to €17 million, from €1 million last year.

However, BAE Systems has reported slow progress in creating the EuroSystems alliance, launched in July.

The UK company will decide whether to continue with talks with its Italian counterpart within the next few weeks, or abandon the project, says chief executive Mike Turner.

"We've seen mixed progress in our discussions," he adds.

Finmeccanica is still reeling from the departure earlier this month of chief executive Roberto Testore, who is understood to have been frustrated at the rate of progress in shedding non-aerospace parts of the business.

Operating profits for the group rose by 29% to €203 million, with margin up from 3.9% to 4.7% for the six months.


Source: Flight International