Friday, November 23, 2007

Airbus to Cut R&D as Dollar Breaches `Pain Barrier' (BA)

From Bloomberg:

Airbus SAS may cut its 2 billion- euro ($3 billion) research budget to trim costs as the dollar's decline becomes ``life threatening'' for the world's largest planemaker, Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders said.

The dollar-euro rate has ``passed the pain barrier,'' Enders told Airbus works-council representatives in Hamburg, Germany, yesterday. Unions said today that with record orders secured this year the comments were ``absolute nonsense.''

Airbus prices planes in dollars, reducing the value of sales when converted into the European currency. The company also incurs the bulk of expenses in euros, leaving little room to combat the impact of fluctuating rates. Airbus parent European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. said Nov. 8 that the dollar's slump required 1 billion euros ($1.48 billion) in annual savings beyond the 2.1 billion euros already planned....MORE