Profits from the commercial aircraft division of Airbus fell in the nine months to the end of September.

A lower delivery rate of a new version of the A330 aircraft and higher costs contributed to earnings from the unit falling to €1.8 billion, down from €2.2 billion in the same period last year.

It also faced issues with new generation A350 and A320neo models.

The European aircraft maker delivered 26 A350s in the nine months, with 14 in the third quarter alone.

Airbus said: “Good progress was made over the summer in terms of risk management to bring down the level of outstanding work in the final assembly line.

“Difficulties remain in the supply chain with work continuing on recurring cost convergence during the ramp-up.

“The company remains focused on these short-term challenges as it works towards achieving the A350 delivery target.”

A total of 24 A320neos were delivered from January to the end of September with the first CFM-powered aircraft delivered in the third quarter.

“Early teething problems with the Pratt & Whitney engine are now largely over but P&W is facing some industrial ramp-up challenges which puts more pressure on the back-loading of the delivery profile,” the company said.

“Firm commitments have been received from both engine suppliers to meet the neo schedule and the airframes are well on track for on-time delivery to customers.”

Overall sales were €42.7 billion, which matched the same period in 2015.

Airbus Group profit [EBIT] was €2.4 billion, down from €2.8 billion.

Airbus delivered 462 commercial aircraft in the nine months, down from 446 in the same period last year.

Chief executive Tom Enders said: “As expected, the nine-month performance reflects the heavily back-loaded aircraft delivery schedule, ongoing production ramp-up and transition to new versions of our A320 andA330 aircraft.

“The commercial environment continues to be rather healthy, with a backlog of more than 6,700 aircraft supporting our production plans and reflecting the strength of the product portfolio.”