European planemaker Airbus has announced record demand for its commercial jetliners has resulted in a 22% rise in net profits.
The company announced annual profits of €1.47bn in 2013, up from €1.2bn the previous year, and now plans to ramp up production of single-aisle jets to 46 a month by 2016, up from the current figure of 42.
Airbus, known which saw overall revenues rise 5% to €59.3bn, forecast jet deliveries to remain at about the same level this year as last year when it sold 626 aircraft.
It also predicts order figures will remain higher than deliveries, following a year which saw Airbus take a record 1,619 new commercial orders.
The A320 single aisle jets, a director competitor to Boeing’s 737, has seen demand increase in recent years alongside high growth levels in the air travel market in developing countries in Asia and the Middle East.
Airbus’ profit fell short of the €1.97bn forecast by analysts, with the company citing costs connected to its new A350 twin-aisle jet, due to begin rollout by the end of 2014.
Airbus also cited the A350 jet program as a factor, a project it said “remains challenging,” after it took a €434m hit against the program in the fourth quarter last year.
Development of the jet, an intended rival to Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, has cost around €10bn over the last decade, with the first plane expected to be delivered to Qatar Airways in the fourth quarter of this year.
Airbus is in the midst of a restructuring that will see it cut 5,800 jobs over two years, after a failed merger with defence firm BAE Systems curtailed plans to grow the defence side of the business.