European aircraft giant Airbus posted record profits in 2021 after two years of losses, company results showed Thursday, with deliveries rising as it navigates pandemic disruptions to the travel industry.
Europe's largest aerospace group also restarted its dividend for the first time in two years after swinging to a record net profit of 4.21 billion euros ($4.8 billion), boosted by the halting of its A380 superjumbo and a reversal of some COVID-19 charges.
Airbus predicted 720 plane deliveries and higher profits in 2022 after core operating profit almost trebled last year on a partial recovery in jet deliveries and higher defense and helicopter earnings during the pandemic.
"2021 was a year of transition, where our attention shifted from navigating the pandemic toward recovery and growth," Airbus Chief Executive Guillaume Faury said in the earnings statement.
"Thanks to the resilience and efforts of our teams, customers and suppliers, we delivered remarkable full-year results," he added.
Airbus said it would propose a dividend of 1.5 euros per share. The group's widely watched adjusted operating profit soared to 4.87 billion euros from 1.71 billion a year earlier as revenues rose 4% to 52.15 billion euros. For 2022, Airbus predicted a core profit of 5.5 billion euros.
For the fourth quarter, Airbus posted 1.50 billion euros of adjusted operating income on revenues of 16.99 billion.
Analysts were on average expecting comparable income of 1.36 billion euros on revenues of 16.88 billion euros, according to a company-compiled consensus.
Airbus reaffirmed plans to raise production of its bestselling A320neo family.
Net cash rose more than 75% to 7.6 billion euros, compared with a pre-crisis level of 12.5 billion euros.