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EADS Astrium, which has a base in Portsmouth, part of the global EADS defence firm, has reported a four per cent increase in profit.

The company said Astrium, which builds satellites and is prime contractor for the French ballistic missile system and for Europe’s Ariane 5 heavy-lift rocket, reported revenue of 5 billion euros (£4.3bn) in 2010, up four per cent from 2009.

EADS chief financial officer Hans Peter Ring, presenting the company’s results in a conference call with analysts, said the increase is especially surprising since in 2009 Astrium revenue benefited from a one-off payment totalling 200 million euros (£17.18bn).

At the end of the year, orders stood at 15.8bn euros.