The Astrium space division of European aerospace conglomerate EADS N.V. reported sharp increases in revenue

and gross profit for the six months ending June 30. The company cited

its military satellite-services division and ballistic missile work as the main reasons for the increase, EADS announced July 26.

Astrium, whose businesses include Ariane 5 rocket development, satellite manufacturing and satellite services, reported revenues of 1.42 billion euros ($1.96

billion) for the period, an increase of 11.5 percent over the same period a year earlier. Profit before interest and taxes was 47 million euros, up 24 percent from a year ago.

Paradigm division provides telecommunications services to the British Defence Ministry under a long-term contract. That contract cleared a significant milestone with the launch of the first Skynet 5A military telecommunications satellite in March. A second is scheduled for launch in December.

Services accounted for 16 percent of Astrium’s revenue

for the first six months of 2007. Astrium officials are counting on the services business to raise Astrium’s overall profit margin. Pretax profit overall at Astrium was 3.3 percent of revenue

for the first six months of this year, co

mpared to 3 percent a year ago.

Satellite manufacturing accounted for 38 percent of revenue

. Astrium Satellites has booked four new commercial telecommunications satellite orders so far this year, including a two-satellite deal from the Arabsat consortium.


n of those spacecraft

will be done jointly with ThalesAlenia Space. In addition to the Arabsat order, Astrium booked contracts from Eutelsat of Paris for the Hot Bird 10 direct-broadcast television satellite, and from Hispasat of Madrid for the Amazonas-2 satellite.

Space Transportation, which includes Ariane 5 launcher work and ballistic missile development for the French Defense Ministry, accounted for 46 percent of the company’s revenue

for the first half of 2007.

The second successful test flight of the French M51 ballistic missile occurred in June. In June Astrium

also booked a preliminary order for long-lead items for 35 additional Ariane 5 rockets, to be delivered starting in 2010. A full contract for these vehicles, for which Astrium is the prime contractor, is expected by the end of this year.