Hexcel Cuts Sales Guidance On Airbus Delays

Won't know full impact until it learns more from European planemaker.

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) - Hexcel Corp., a maker of lightweight composites for aircraft parts and bullet-resistant vests, said Tuesday that 2006 sales growth will likely fall short of previous guidance, due to production delays for the new Airbus A380 jumbo jet and further weakness in ballistic fabric sales.

Hexcel said sales growth this year may be in the low single digits, down from previous guidance of 10 percent.

Analysts are expecting $1.28 billion in 2006 sales, a 10 percent jump from Hexcel's $1.16 billion of 2005 revenue, according to a Thomson Financial poll.

The company said it won't know the full impact of Airbus' announcement earlier this month that it's delaying delivery schedules for its new A380 by about six months, until it receives further instructions from the European planemaker.

The company said previously it expected growth from commercial aerospace and wind energy applications in the ''teens.'' Hexcel noted Tuesday that growth could still be about 10 percent, without benefit from the A380 program.