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UPDATE 2-Zodiac's annual sales up 5.6 pct, maintains profit caution

(Adds comments from analysts' conference call)

PARIS, Sept 14 Zodiac Aerospace reported higher than expected full-year revenues on Thursday but maintained the lower profit forecast it gave earlier this month as it recovers from chronic output delays.

The French aircraft seat supplier, whose production problems disrupted some deliveries of Airbus and Boeing jets, said sales in the year ending Aug. 31 rose 5.6 percent, or 1.3 percent on a like-for-like basis, to 5.21 billion euros ($5.9 billion).

Analysts were on average expecting 2015/16 revenues of 5.13 billion euros, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data.

Zodiac said its current operating income, due to be released on Nov. 22, was expected to be 2.5 times higher in the second half of 2015/16 than the first, and that its banking covenants would be respected.

"The recovery is underway ... Zodiac Aerospace is on track to get back to normal operating performance by end of 2017," the company said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Zodiac warned that its 2015/16 current operating income would fall short of recent market forecasts due to higher than expected provisions following delivery delays and weakness in the helicopter market.

On Wednesday, the company reiterated that its full-year operating profit would come in about 10 percent below the market forecasts of 302-303 million euros prevailing on Sept. 2 when it issued the warning: its eighth in just over two years.

Zodiac, which also makes aircraft toilets and other cabin fittings as well as evacuation and other systems, has faced growing criticism from planemakers and financial analysts after successive industrial setbacks.

Chief Executive Olivier Zarrouati said on Wednesday the company had achieved "significant improvements" in its operations and financial performance, but cautioned "there is still more to be done".

He told analysts Zodiac remained on the outlook for acquisitions and did not believe it had missed any opportunities as a result of its recent industrial crisis.

Zodiac said it had reached agreements with nearly all the airlines affected by production problems and had agreed new delivery schedules and penalty levels with manufacturers.

The company also sought to allay concerns that recent manufacturing delays would crimp future business.

It said it had received a letter of intent from an airline for business-class seats that would be its largest ever order for such seats, but did not give further details. (Reporting by Tim Hepher and Cyril Altmeyer; editing by David Clarke, Greg Mahlich)

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