French defence electronics company Thales said Tuesday it has climbed back into profit following two years of losses, and that it would meet its profit margin target for 2012. Thales posted a 2011 net profit of 566 million euros ($742 million), erasing losses of 128 million euros in 2009 and 45 million euros in 2010. The group, which makes electronics for aircraft manufacturers such as Airbus, Dassault and Sukhoi, maintained its 2012 profit margin target of 6.0 percent. A statement quoted chief executive Luc Vigneron as saying: \"A marked upturn in our results is now underway, driven by better contract execution, the momentum of the Probasis plan and our stronger footprint in growth regions. \"On the basis of this strong performance, which confirms the relevance of our strategy, we are confident in our ability to continue to improve our results, despite the serious economic uncertainties in Europe,\" he added. Thales\' sales slipped by 1.0 percent to 13.03 billion euros but new orders gained the same amount to 13.21 billion, the statement said. Company directors will propose a dividend of 78 euro cents per share for 2011.