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Airbus plane orders down in 1st quarter, profits up

Airbus Group says airplane orders slumped in the first quarter, but profits rose and it hopes to put its A350 long-range jet into service by the end of the year.

Boeing's chief rival said in a statement Tuesday that it took in 103 orders in the quarter for a total of 21.1 billion euros (US$28.9 billion). That is down from 410 orders in the first quarter of 2013.

CEO Tom Enders said Airbus isn't changing its 2014 outlook, which predicts a stable year compared to 2013. But he said the company faces "many challenges" and is focusing on "improvement and restructuring plans."

The group, formerly known as EADS, saw overall sales up 5 percent to 12.6 billion euros in the quarter. Profits nearly doubled to 439 million euros in the quarter.