Business

Boeing profits slump by a fifth as deliveries fall

Boeing Dreamliner
Image caption Boeing has high hopes for its new 787 Dreamliner aircraft

Aircraft giant Boeing has reported a sharp drop in profits between April and June amid falling plane deliveries.

Net profit for the quarter was $787m (£504m), higher than analysts had expected but down 21% on the $998m the firm made in the same period last year.

Group revenue also fell, to $15.6bn from $17.2bn a year earlier.

However, the company said its commercial markets were recovering and it remained "well positioned for growth in 2011 and beyond".

"Continued strong results from our major businesses drove another solid quarter of operational performance for the company," said Boeing's chairman Jim McNerney.

However the firm delivered only 114 commercial aircraft during second quarter, down from 125 a year earlier.

Across the first six months of 2010, deliveries fell to 222, down 10% from 2009.

Dreamliner

Boeing enjoyed a successful Farnborough air show this month, particularly on the commercial side of the business.

It received a $9.1bn (£5.9bn) order from Emirates for 30 of its 777 aircraft, and confirmed a deal with RBS Aviation Capital for 43 of its 737 aircraft.

The firm also has high hopes for its new 787 Dreamliner, the first of which is due to be delivered to Japan's All Nippon Airways at the end of this year, although Boeing recently said this date could slip into next year.

The project has been delayed for more than two years following a series of hitches.

The Dreamliner is Boeing's most sophisticated plane yet. The company claims it will be lighter, faster and emit less carbon dioxide than similar-sized planes currently flying.

However the outlook for the defence side of Boeing's business is less clear.

Governments around the world are making budget cuts in order to reduce debt levels, which means spending on defence is likely to fall sharply.

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