We present results of GaAs-based distributed-feedback (DFB) broad-area (BA) lasers with integrated surface-etched gratings. Lasers with longitudinally varying (apodized) Bragg gratings are compared to laser with uniform gratings. DFB-BA lasers with apodized gratings show improved conversion efficiency and output power compared to those with uniform gratings. DFB-BA lasers with narrow contact stripe width W = 30μm and resonator length L = 6 mm show a peak conversion efficiency of 60% and maintain efficiency > 50% to an output power of > 6 W. The spectral FWHM linewidth is below 0.5 nm. Furthermore DFB lasers with implemented apodized gratings are less sensitive to fabrication tolerances.