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Senior Sees Near 10 Percent Sales Growth

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UK engineering component manufacturer Senior said it expects sales to grow close to 10 percent this year, boosted by its takeover of commercial aircraft parts maker Weston EU.

Senior, which supplies wall panels and ducting to plane makers such as Boeing and Airbus, said revenue grew 14 percent to GBP£729.8 million (USD$1.1 billion) in 2012.

Sales at its aerospace business grew 23 percent to GBP£470.5 million. Weston, which was acquired by Senior in late 2011, accounted for about GBP£55.6 million, or 8 percent of overall revenue.

Senior's full-year adjusted pre-tax profit grew 17 percent to GBP£91.1 million.

Boeing, which has stopped delivering 787 Dreamliners, is still making the model and plans to double its production rate to ten 787s per month by early next year, Senior said.

Boeing accounted for 16 percent of Senior's aerospace sales last year.

Aircraft companies such as Boeing and Airbus have scrambled to fill a backlog stretching over several years, guaranteeing component makers a steady stream of orders.

Airbus predicted that global airlines would spend USD$4 trillion on buying aircraft in the next 20 years.

Strong demand from commercial plane makers offset declining demand for military aircraft parts after defense spending cuts in the United States and Europe.

"As we go into 2013, we're probably looking at a decline of about 10 or 11 percent in our military sales," Senior's chief executive Mark Rollins said in an interview.

Sales to military plane makers accounted for 25 percent of Senior's aerospace business in 2012.

(Reuters)