Airbus Group NV (AIR) reported a 10 percent increase in first-half earnings after its commercial plane unit delivered more aircraft.

Earnings before interest, tax and one-time items rose to 1.77 billion euros ($2.37 billion) from 1.61 billion euros a year earlier, the Toulouse, France-based company said in an e-mailed statement. Airbus reiterated a target of “moderate return on sales growth” for 2014 with net commercial orders coming in above the level of deliveries.

The Toulouse, France-based planemaker aims to deliver its first A350 wide-body model to customer Qatar Airlines Ltd. before year-end. New orders, estimated by Airbus in January in excess of 630 for the year, are set to top that goal, after the manufacturer left the Farnborough Air Show this month with 648 net orders already in hand and commitments not yet firmed up for several hundred planes.

“The first half of 2014 was all about keeping our main development and series programs on track and implementing our restructuring plans in defense and space,” Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders said in the release. “We saw good commercial order momentum at Farnborough.”

The A350 XWB is on track for certification in the third quarter of 2014 and entry into service by year-end, the group said. The first A320neo, which has more fuel-efficient engines than the current variant, is being prepared for first flight in September with the program on track for entry to service by the fourth quarter of 2015.

The company continues to look at selling its holdings in Dassault Aviation, Airbus said today.

(Source: Bloomberg)