PARIS (Reuters) - French defence firm Thales on Wednesday hiked its target for new orders after a long-awaited Indian fighter deal revived its hopes of boosting its order book this year.
Europe's largest defence electronics firm said it had won 10.216 billion euros in new orders in the first nine months of the year, up 1 percent on a like-for-like basis and pulling ahead of revenues which grew 10.8 percent to 10.033 billion.
Orders were boosted by a deal for France to supply India with 36 Rafale combat jets, for which Thales builds the radar.
The partially state-owned group upgraded its full-year target for fresh orders to 15.5-16.0 billion euros. It had previously forecast orders close to levels seen in 2013-14, when it said the order intake had averaged 13.6 billion euros.
Thales also nudged its full-year sales target higher.
It said fourth-quarter sales would be dampened by a strong basis for comparison, but that the momentum seen in the first nine months, led by growth in emerging markets, would push full-year organic sales up by slightly more than 5 percent.
For 2016, it had previously targeted a "mid-single-digit" organic growth in sales, or a more specific numerical target of "around 5 percent" in the French version of its guidance.
Thales maintained its medium-target target for organic sales growth of around 5 percent, but averaged over 2016-18 instead of 2017-18 in its previous outlook. It maintained profit targets including 1.3-1.33 billion euros of operating income this year.
(Reporting by Tim Hepher, Cyril Altmeyer; Editing by Andrew Callus)