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Asia-Pacific

French planemaker Dassault's warplane sales soar despite world economy slowdown

media Dassault's Ragale at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget in 2015 Reuters

French plane-maker Dassault saw its orders soar by 113 percent in 2015 thanks to exports of the Rafale fighter jet and delivery of Mirage 2000s to India. The group, which celebrates the centenary of aircraft production this year, saw profits rise 21 percent to 482 million euros.

Slowdown in emerging economies meant that Dassault Aviation sold fewer Falcon business jets - with orders halved - but demand for warplanes really took off.

Exports made up 96 per cent of the company's 9.88-billion-euro order book, up from 4.6 billion euros in 2014, and 83 percent of its turnover, which rose 13.5 percent to 4.17 billion euros.

Egypt and Qatar ordered 24 Rafales each and India announced that it would buy 36 Rafales, although the long drawn-out negotiations have still not been concluded.

Dassault forecasts lower turnover in 2016, however, pointing out that 2015's result was boosted by delivery of modernised Mirage 2000s to India.

Dassault CEO Eric Trappier expressed the company's support for the French military.

"In the struggle against terrorism, as always when France is involved militarily, we stand beside our armed forces and give them the support they need for their operations," he said.

The company will pay out a dividend of 12.1 euros per share, the same percentage as last year.

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