Dassault Aviation (AM.PA) reported higher profits for 2022 and highlighted negotiations for new Rafale fighter export orders while also defending the business jet industry against critics in Europe.
The French company, which produces both the Rafale warplanes and Falcon business jets, announced an operating income of 572 million euros ($604 million) for 2022, up from 527 million euros in the previous year.
However, net revenue decreased from 7.23 billion euros to 6.93 billion euros. Dassault Aviation stated that it is currently engaged in negotiations for new orders for its Rafale fighter jets, which have been exported to countries such as India, Egypt, and Greece.
The company also defended the business jet industry, which has been criticized by some European politicians as a symbol of inequality and climate change, stating that the industry employs thousands of people and contributes to technological advances in aviation.
New orders worth 21bn euros, including 92 Rafales and 64 Falcons, send French company's shares up over 10% to 176 euros at 1030 GMT.
Dassault delivers 46 jets in 2022, down from 55 in 2021, and projects 15 Rafale and 35 Falcon deliveries for 2023. Sales may decrease due to greater focus on French Rafale version, with some systems sales not directly processed by Dassault.
Rafale production remains below capacity, says Dassault CEO, who is looking for more export contracts. Dassault in talks to provide 26 carrier-borne Rafales to Indian navy, competing with Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet.
Unconfirmed Indian news reports suggest navy prefers the Rafale. France has slowed deliveries for budgetary reasons.Dassault CEO Eric Trappier confirmed ongoing export talks with Colombia and other prospects, following reports that a fighter deal with Bogota had not been reached.
France had placed a "Tranche 5" order for 42 Rafales in the previous year. While the business jet market remained active, it slowed towards the end of the year, and Dassault is targeting a mid-year entry into service for its new Falcon 6X despite supply chain difficulties.
Dassault CEO Trappier criticized environmental groups for "aviation bashing" and provided statistics comparing the emissions from flights to other sectors. He stated that a year's use of Falcon business jets is equal to 24 hours of global video streaming or five hours of worldwide truck traffic.
Environmental groups have criticized the industry's efforts to curb emissions and have targeted private jet usage in France, prompting the industry to launch a campaign to improve its image.
Trappier predicted that private jets would adopt alternative fuels more quickly than commercial jets, as their passengers are more willing to pay a premium for such fuels, although industry officials acknowledge the volumes are lower.