Europe’s largest defence electronics group, Thales, posted full-year operating profit that beat expectations as it renegotiated contracts and cut non-restructuring costs, confirming a forecast for rising margins and revenue this year. Earnings before interest and tax rose to 749 million euros ($991 million) last year, against a loss of 92 million a year earlier and ahead of the average analyst estimate of 681 million according to Thomson Reuters. “Although the economic environment worsened more markedly than expected, particularly in defence, our order intake increased and our revenues held up well,” Chief Executive Luc Vigneron said in a statement. “We are confident in our ability to continue to improve our results, despite the serious economic uncertainties in Europe.” Thales confirmed its target for an operating margin of 6 per cent this year, up from 5.7 per cent in 2011. The group said last month that 2011 revenue slipped 1 per cent to 13.03 billion euros, while order intake rose 1 per cent to 13.21 billion. The state-controlled French group makes cockpit systems and in-flight entertainment panels for airliners and military hardware including drones.