European aerospace and defence group EADS said
Wednesday that it would change its name to that of its most important
subsidiary, airplane maker Airbus, as part of a vast restructuring.
The name change, which is to come into effect in January, is part of a reorganization that would see three EADS subsidiaries - Airbus Military, Astrium and Cassidian - merged into a new Airbus Defence & Space division.
The new structure would reduce the number of divisions from four to three.
Airbus would continue to build commercial aircraft; Airbus Defence & Space would continue all defence and space activity, including military aircraft; and Airbus Helicopters would be the new name of the Eurocopter subsidiary.
"The renaming simply gathers the entire company under the best brand we have, one that stands for internationalization, innovation and integration - and also for some two-thirds of our revenues," EADS chief executive Tom Enders said. "It reinforces the message that we make things fly."
The restructuring had been on the cards since Enders' attempt to merge EADS with Britain's BAE Systems failed last year. The German government opposed the marriage, which would have created the world's biggest defence contractor, larger than US rival Boeing.
EADS said the move was a response to the "flat or even shrinking defence and space budgets in the Western Hemisphere."
"This structural change will provide optimized market access, cost and market synergies and improved competitiveness overall," EADS said.
Enders refused to comment on whether the restructuring would lead to job cuts, saying management needed more time to work out the details.
The head of Cassidian, Bernhard Gerwert, would lead the aerospace and defence division, which is to employ about 45,000 people and be based in Munich.
EADS has its group headquarters in the French city of Toulouse, home of Airbus. Both the French and German governments have shares in the group.
The new structure resembles that of Boeing, which has two divisions, Commercial Airplanes and Defence, Space and Security.
EADS unveiled the changes along with half-year results, which confirmed its reliance on its commercial aircraft business.
Revenues were up 6 per cent over the same period in 2012 to 26.3 billion euros (35 billion dollars), and net profits surged 31 per cent to 759 million euros as Airbus raked in orders for new passenger planes.
Based on the results, EADS raised its full-year order target for Airbus to more than 1,000 aircraft, an increase of 25 per cent on its previous forecast.
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