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Feb. 26, 2020, 1:38 a.m. EST

Thales reports 2019 profit rise, sets 2020 outlook

By Olivia Bugault

Thales SA said Wednesday that 2019 net profit and organic sales rose despite weaknesses in its aerospace and transport segments, and set its 2020 guidance amid several uncertainties.

Net profit for the period rose to 1.12 billion euros ($1.22 billion) from EUR982 million, driven by gains on asset disposals, the French aerospace-and-defense company said.

Earnings before interest and taxes increased 19% at EUR2.01 billion. It represents a 4% rise on an organic basis, which excludes the acquisition of Dutch digital security firm Gemalto.

Revenue for 2019 rose 16% to EUR18.40 billion with weaknesses in aerospace and transports offset by a solid performance at defense and security, Thales said.

"After recording growth above 5% in the past three years, sales slowed down due to the commercial space market downturn and an exceptionally high basis of comparison in transport," Chief Executive Patrice Caine said.

Looking ahead into 2020, Thales expects sales to come between EUR19 billion and EUR19.5 billion, while EBIT margin should stand between 10.8% and 11%.

The company proposed a dividend of EUR2.65 a share for 2019, up 27% from the previous year.

Write to Olivia Bugault at olivia.bugault@wsj.com

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