February 26, 2014 / 9:25 AM / 5 years ago

Airbus CEO not optimistic for Eurofighter export chances

Tom Enders, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Group, attends the Airbus Group 2013 annual results presentation in Toulouse February 26, 2014. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

TOULOUSE, France (Reuters) - The chief executive of aerospace and defense group Airbus Group (AIR.PA) is not optimistic when it comes to chances for selling its Eurofighter jet to markets outside of Europe, he said on Wednesday.

“I’m not terribly optimistic,” Tom Enders told a news conference after the group reported annual results on Wednesday.

“We do hope we can still score one or the other success in export, but we also have to prepare a scenario due to the lack of export orders, plus cancellations of core customers, that we will have to ramp down production of this impressive aircraft sooner rather than later.”

One of those core customers, Germany, is reducing an order for the fighter jets and Airbus is currently in discussions over changes to the purchase contract.

The group was also dealt a blow when India chose the Rafale after a bidding contest against the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft.

However, Enders said he was confident the group’s reorganized defense/space division would reach a return on sales of 10 percent in the medium-term.

On the commercial side, he said a re-engining of the A330 jet was just one option under consideration to further boost sales.

Reporting by Cyril Altmeyer; Writing by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Maria Sheahan

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