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Airbus Parent EADS Split Over Dividend - Paper

Airbus parent EADS failed to agree on a 2006 dividend at a board meeting on Monday in the latest split between the group's French and German factions, French newspaper Le Figaro reported on Tuesday.

The aerospace group had deferred a dividend announcement when it reported a sharp drop in annual profits in March, saying its board would recommend a level at its next meeting.

Le Figaro quoted a source close to EADS as saying no decision was taken on the dividend in the absence of an agreement between core French and German shareholders.

The dividend has proved politically sensitive this year, with unions ready to criticise investor gains as Airbus workers lose jobs in France, Germany, Britain and Spain.

French unions have called a further half-day strike for Tuesday over the company's plans to cut 10,000 jobs in four countries, half of them at suppliers.

France's conservative government said last month it did not expect to receive a 2006 dividend for its 15% stake and said it stood ready to pump more cash into EADS.

German shareholder DaimlerChrysler has been reported to be more willing to consider a dividend.