747-8F, 787 deliveries propel Boeing’s Q4 profit boost

Boeing’s net income surged to $1.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011, a 20-percent, year-over-year, increase. Of all business segments, Boeing Commercial Airplanes saw the highest revenue growth during this period, driven by the deliveries of the first 747-8Fs and 787 Dreamliners.

Revenue for Boeing Commercial Airplanes reached $10.7 billion in the fourth quarter, a 31-percent jump from the last three months of 2010. From an annual standpoint, this business saw 14 percent, year-over-year, revenue growth on a higher delivery volume.

Propelling this segment’s profitability was the deliveries of the first 747-8F and 787 Dreamliner to respective launch customers Cargolux and All Nippon Airways. Although Cargolux initially “rejected” delivery of the first 747-8F due to a month-long contractual dispute, the Luxembourg-based freight carrier acquired the freighter on October 12; it took delivery of the second of 13 747-8s it ordered from Boeing one day later.

In total, Boeing netted 379 commercial airplane orders during the fourth quarter, accounting for 47 percent of its annual total. The aircraft manufacturer also has a backlog of 3,700 commercial aircraft valued at $296 billion.

Company CEO Jim McNerney said these numbers represent good news for Boeing going forward. “With a record backlog and intense focus on productivity, we are well positioned to deliver growth and increased competitiveness,” McNerney said in a statement.

Competitor Airbus also had a prolific 2011, according to a press release. In addition to delivering 534 commercial aircraft to 88 customers — 10 new of whom were new — Airbus booked 1,419 aircraft orders last year. The A320 was the overwhelming favorite among customers, garnering 1,348 orders, while the A330/A350 XWB Family aircraft and the A380 each netted 52 and 19 orders, respectively.

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