EADS changes name to Airbus, raises jet order goal

An Airbus A320 in manufacturer livery.
Source: Airbus
An Airbus A320 in manufacturer livery.

Europe's EADS on Wednesday confirmed plans to reorganize in three divisions and change its name to Airbus, adopting the look and feel of its arch-rival Boeing in a bid to become more competitive.

EADS will be called Airbus Group, after its core planemaking subsidiary, and will combine its defense and space activities in one division together with Airbus Military transporters, currently twinned with passenger jets.

Eurocopter, the world's largest commercial helicopter maker, will be renamed Airbus Helicopters.

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The announcement came as EADS completed a strategy review and raised the 2013 order target for its core Airbus unit by 25 percent to more than 1,000 aircraft, as reported by Reuters earlier this month.

Other targets were unchanged.

Powered by Airbus commercial profits, which offset lower helicopter and space earnings, second-quarter EADS operating profit rose 23 percent to 887 million euros ($1.18 billion) on revenue of 13.945 billion, up 3 percent.

Analysts were on average expecting second-quarter operating profit of 839 million euros on revenue of 13.693 billion.

Airbus is locked in a battle to regain leadership of the $100 billion annual jet market after arch-rival Boeing grabbed the top spot in both orders and deliveries last year.

At the same time, EADS hopes its decision to unite under one of Europe's most recognized brands will galvanize the rest of its businesses from helicopters to rockets.

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Chief Executive Tom Enders said this would "take costs out, increase profitability and improve our market position".

EADS said the reorganization would start on Jan. 1 and support a "Flightpath 2015 for improved shareholder returns".