Engine delays hit Airbus profits, delivery targets fragile

PARIS, July 27 (Reuters) - Europe's Airbus on Thursday unveiled a one-third slump in half-way operating profit on flat revenue, as delays in engine deliveries for its upgraded A320neo hit interim earnings.

The world's second largest planemaker after Boeing stuck to its financial targets and production plans, but suggested reaching its 2017 delivery target depended essentially on deliveries from Pratt & Whitney .

For the second quarter, Airbus posted a lower-than-expected 859 million euro ($1 billion) operating profit, down 27 percent, on revenues of 15.271 billion. Analysts were on average expecting profit of 910 million euros on 15.823 billion euros in sales, according to a Reuters poll.

Airbus also disclosed a new output cut for its slow-selling A380, saying it would now deliver eight superjumbos in 2019, down from a previously announced 12 in 2018.

The figures came a day after rival Boeing saw its shares hit a record after posting second-quarter profit and cashflow well ahead of Wall Street estimates.

($1 = 0.8516 euros) (Reporting by Tim Hepher, Cyril Altmeyer, Victoria Bryan, Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)