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TOULOUSE: European aircraft manufacturer Airbus said Thursday profits soared to a record level in 2022 despite supply chain problems limiting its ability to increase production.

Net profit rose one percent to 4.2 billion euros ($4.5 billion) as Airbus delivered 661 aircraft last year despite original plans to hand over 720 to clients.

Airbus had chopped production during the pandemic when airlines were forced to halt most operations due to travel restrictions.

It was hoping to quickly scale back up now that traffic is recovering and airlines are looking to step up purchases of fuel-efficient aircraft given high fuel prices.

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“We delivered solid financials despite an adverse operating environment that prevented our supply chain from recovering at the pace we expected,” Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury said in a statement.

Airbus has over 10,000 suppliers, some of which had problems boosting production after having let off staff during the pandemic.

Obtaining raw materials hampered others and even the Russian invasion of Ukraine complicated sourcing certain parts.

“The company had to adjust its operations accordingly, which led to lower commercial aircraft deliveries than originally planned,” he added.

Airbus is targeting 720 deliveries for 2023.

Sales rose 13 percent to 58.9 billion euros, reflecting the increase in the number of aircraft delivered last year, but also the strength of the US dollar, the currency in which sales are made.

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