EADS expects a record year but warns on China

EADS, the world’s biggest passenger plane maker, has doubled its dividend and forecast record sales next year, following an 87 per cent rise in net income to €1.03bn in 2011.

But outgoing chief executive Louis Gallois complained that political meddling from Germany and China was impeding its progress.

Gallois said Berlin had pressured it to keep operations in Germany, while China has threatened to cancel orders in protest at European carbon taxes.

Almost half of its orders came from Asia Pacific last year, 11 per cent from North America and seven per cent from Europe.

The French owner of Airbus said underlying earnings should rise “significantly” this year to around €2.5bn, compared to €1.7bn in 2011.

It was a record year for Airbus orders, with the firm delivering 558 planes, and 570 expected this year.

Airbus’s commercial order book grew 25 per cent to €475.5m (£398.6m), putting it way ahead of rival Boeing, which reported a backlog of $296bn (£187bn) in January.

Revenues rose seven per cent to €49.1bn last year, propelled by civil aviation orders. But revenues from defence fell six per cent to €11.6bn as governments reined in spending.