FIXED-French company Thales raises its sales target for 2021 after a strong H1


(Deletes reference to Canada in paragraph 3)

PARIS, July 23 (Reuters) – The French group Thales has raised its full-year revenue target after posting first-half revenue up 9.8% at constant scope, driven by space commercial and defense.

Europe’s largest defense electronics company, whose systems range from radar to rail, and from biometric sensors to satellites, said the increase reflected a large rebound from the worst stages of the pandemic except of civil aerospace.

New orders rose 37% to 8.244 billion euros ($ 9.70 billion), driven by major satellite contracts in Europe and Indonesia.

Managing Director Patrice Caine said the increase in the order gave confidence, while warning that the business climate “continues to be disrupted”.

Thales’s overall operating income more than doubled to 768 million euros in the first half from 348 million a year earlier, with half-year revenue reaching 8.423 billion euros.

Thales now expects a turnover of 17.5-18.0 billion euros in 2021, against a previous target of 17.1-17.9 billion.

Thales’s new sales outlook does not imply any further major economic or public health disruption and a return to normal in the global semiconductor supply chain, the company said.

In May, it said it had seen no significant impact from a global shortage of chips used by its identity and bank payments business, but was adding new vendors.

Caine declined to comment on speculation surrounding the potential sale of the company’s rail signaling business.

Reuters reported this month that Thales had shortlisted Japan’s Hitachi Rail, Swiss Stadler Rail and Spain’s CAF for the company, which analysts put at between € 1.5 billion and € 2.5 billion.

The French aerospace group, partly owned by the French state, is seeking to streamline its operations after investors have often questioned the diversity of its portfolio.

($ 1 = 0.8498 euros) (Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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