UPDATE 3-Dassault cuts Falcon jet delivery forecast as H1 profit falls
(Adds Bombardier comment, U.S. position on F-35 capability)
By Tim Hepher and Cyril Altmeyer
PARIS, July 21 (Reuters) - Dassault Aviation cut its delivery forecast for Falcon business jets by 17 percent after posting lower first-half operating income and revenue on Thursday, hit by a price battle in the economically sensitive business jet market.
The family-controlled maker of business jets and Rafale warplanes said it would deliver 50 Falcon jets in 2016, down from a previous target of 60, and 55 deliveries in 2015.
Chief Executive Eric Trappier said the first half had been marked by economic and geopolitical uncertainty, including the decision by UK voters to leave the European Union, prompting some buyers to defer taking decisions on purchasing luxury jets.
"There is strong pressure on prices across the whole range," he told a news conference, adding that Canadian rival Bombardier was "certainly the most aggressive in cutting prices."
A spokesman for Bombardier responded, "We are in a very competitive market right now. We don't believe any single (manufacturer) is impacted any more than another, and all are facing the same pressures."
Trappier also said ample availability of second-hand planes was piling pressure on prices.
Dassault Aviation's first-half operating profit fell to 125 million euros($137.66 million) from 144 million as revenue slipped to 1.662 billion euros from 1.675 billion. Continued...