Airbus pledges profit gain after bribery settlement hit

The European aerospace group pledged to increase operating profit and deliver 880 commercial jets this year despite posting a net loss for 2019. (Reuters)
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Updated 13 February 2020

Airbus pledges profit gain after bribery settlement hit

  • CEO Guillaume Faury: Airbus turned in a ‘strong underlying financial performance driven mainly by our commercial aircraft deliveries’
  • Airbus played down the potential damage from the virus outbreak currently rattling airlines and the broader global economy

TOULOUSE, France: Airbus plunged to a €1.362 billion ($1.48 billion) net loss in 2019, weighed down by a multinational bribery settlement, but the European aerospace group pledged to increase operating profit and deliver 880 commercial jets this year.
Full-year adjusted operating income, which excludes the criminal settlement and other one-offs, rose 19 percent to €6.946 billion and should top €7.5 billion in 2020, Airbus said. Revenue increased 11 percent to €70.478 billion.
Airbus turned in a “strong underlying financial performance driven mainly by our commercial aircraft deliveries,” Chief Executive Guillaume Faury said in the company statement.
The group will focus on operational and cost improvements in 2020 as well as “reinforcing our company culture,” he added.
The net loss reflected a €1.212 billion charge on the A400M military transporter program as well as a provision for last month’s $4 billion settlement with British, French and US prosecutors over past corrupt practices.
Airbus played down the potential damage from the virus outbreak currently rattling airlines and the broader global economy, endorsing traffic growth forecasts that “assume no major disruptions, including from the coronavirus.”
Raising its proposed dividend by 9 percent to €1.80 per share, Airbus predicted full-year free cash flow of around €4 billion, improved from €3.509 billion in 2019.
The long-delayed A400M program delivered 14 planes in 2019, on schedule, but is now hampered by “increasingly challenging” obstacles including repeated extensions to a German export ban on Saudi Arabia, Airbus said.
For the fourth quarter, adjusted operating income fell 9 percent to €2.813 billion, ahead of the €2.736 billion expected by analysts, according to an Airbus consensus poll. Quarterly revenue rose 4 percent to €24.31 billion.


Chinese artificial intelligence company files $1.4 billion lawsuit against Apple

Updated 03 August 2020

Chinese artificial intelligence company files $1.4 billion lawsuit against Apple

  • Xiao-i argued that Apple’s voice-recognition technology Siri infringes on a patent that it applied for in 2004

SHANGHAI: Chinese artificial intelligence company Shanghai Zhizhen Intelligent Network Technology Co., also known as Xiao-i, has filed a lawsuit against Apple, alleging it has infringed on its patents.
The company is calling for $1.43 billion in damages and demands that Apple cease “manufacturing, using, promising to sell, selling, and importing” products that infringe on the patent, it said in a social media post.
Xiao-i argued that Apple’s voice-recognition technology Siri infringes on a patent that it applied for in 2004 and was granted in 2009.
Apple did not respond to a request for comment. Reuters was not immediately available to find a copy of the court filing.
The lawsuit marks the continuation of a row that has been ongoing for nearly a decade.
Shanghai Zhizhen first sued Apple for patent infringement in 2012 regarding its voice recognition technology. In July, China’s Supreme People’s court ruled that the patent was valid.