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Airbus says will do utmost to prevent new A400M charges

PARIS, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Airbus Group will do everything it can to ensure a new 551 million euro ($618 million) charge for delays on its A400M military airlifter is the last, its strategy chief said on Friday.

"We are going to do everything necessary so that this means the matter is settled once and for all," Marwan Lahoud told France's BFM Business radio.

Airbus said the programme continued to be "closely monitored".

The charges, which were at the top end of analyst expectations, follow a management shake-up and come on top of 4.2 billion euros of provisions already taken by the aerospace group on Europe's largest defence project.

"It could have been a crown of laurels; it is in the process of becoming a crown of thorns, and we are taking measures to rediscover the laurels," Lahoud said.

"I am not concerned at all about the future of the aircraft. The difficulties we have today are difficulties of execution."

On the commercial front, Lahoud reaffirmed that the A380 superjumbo would break even in 2015.

"It's the year when after 15 years of A380 we are going to start making money. All the company's efforts are focused on the breakeven of the A380 in 2015," he said. ($1 = 0.8917 euros) (Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by James Regan)