More than 6,000 jobs are looking more secure at the Airbus plant in Broughton with the announcement the aerospace giant has seen a rise in underlying earnings to £4.1bn.
Airbus is ramping up production of its A350 and A330 planes which will support more than 6,000 jobs at Broughton but it is unlikely to see the workforce expand as increased automation will help boost productivity levels.
A spokesman from Airbus Broughton said: “A330 production rates are currently at six aircraft per month but the continued market success of the A330 has enabled us to raise back rates to 7, which is still providing for balanced supply and demand for that market as we see it.
“We delivered 14 A350 aircraft in 2015 and are looking to target at least 50 deliveries in 2016, moving to 10 per month by the end of 2018.
“Obviously the wings for all these aircraft are produced in Broughton so their success is good news for us.”
The firm, which employs around 135,000 staff including around 10,000 in the UK, said it would ramp up production of its long-range widebody A350 in line with growing air traffic forecasts this year.
It added that its A380 superjumbo had broken even for the first time.
Overall, the firm said its 2015 underlying earnings lifted 2% to £4.1 billion, buoyed by operational efficiencies and a record order book.
It said orders at the end of December totalled £792 billion and that last year it received orders for 1,080 commercial aircraft.
Airbus has major sites in Filton, near Bristol, and Broughton, North Wales, where wings for the planes are made and assembled.
Chief executive Tom Enders said: “The record order book supports our commercial aircraft ramp-up plans and we are driving operational efficiency.
“The 2015 results reflect our solid financial and operational performance.
“We have delivered on our commitments and have maintained our outlook for 2016 and beyond.”
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The firm said it expects the world economy and air traffic to grow this year “in line with prevailing independent forecasts and assumes no major disruptions”.
It plans to deliver more than 650 planes and expects its commercial order book to continue to grow.
Analysts at Jefferies said that in light of production setbacks at the firm over the last two years, “for Airbus Group to have remained on that course is, frankly, almost remarkable, in our view”.