Cautious management during the financial crisis has left Airbus parent EADS with a €10 billion ($13.1 billion) war chest that the company may struggle to spend.
Chief financial officer Hans Peter Ring says the group lost no cash in 2010 and added to its reserves, leaving itself with what he calls a "nice cash pile".
The group, he says, is looking at small acquisition projects and opportunities to invest in its Astrium space, Cassidian defence and Eurocopter divisions. This will help it achieve its long-term Vision 2020 project objective of rebalancing the business so it is not so heavily dominated by Airbus, which at present accounts for some 70% of revenue.
Chief executive Louis Gallois, in his annual January state-of-EADS briefing in Paris, noted that 2010 financial results will show the year to have been one of "progress", but that underlying profitability will remain unsatisfactory, with 2011 likely to show a similar result. However, the company will show profit growth in 2012, he said.