Chicago - The US tax reform together with a production record brought Boeing the highest profit in its history last year. CEO Dennis Muilenburg expects sales and profit even higher this year.
The strong growth in production is to ensure the position of the US Group as the world's largest aircraft manufacturer in 2018. But the European rival Airbus is catching up.
On the financial market, Boeing's figures were well received. Today (January 31st) Boeing shares rose 6% shortly after the opening of Wall Street and reached a new record high.
Boeing's net profit became 8.2 billion US dollars last year, two thirds more than in 2016, as the group announced in Chicago. That was significantly more than analysts expected. In 2016, unexpected burdens on three aircraft models had reduced the bottom line of the company by just over two billion dollars.
The US tax reform helped Boeing obtain a remarkable gain, as the Group adjusted tax deferrals in the balance sheet to the new legislation. The new tax reform lowers the corporate tax rate in the US from 35 to 21 percent.
CEO Dennis Muilenburg wants to continue this uptrend in 2018 too. Boeing Management expects earnings per share to rise from $ 13.85 to $ 15.90 - $ 16.10.
To achieve this goal, Boeing wants to deliver 810 to 815 commercial aircraft. Last year, the American manufacturer delivered 763 aircraft to its customers, a new record. Thus, the group also claimed its role as the world's largest aircraft manufacturer in front of its European competitor Airbus, who delivered 718 aircraft.
However, Fabrice Brégier, the outgoing head of the Airbus' Commercial Aircraft Division, has already announced an increase in production with a target of 800 aircraft in 2018. It should make Boeing feel uncomfortable despite new records.
The year 2017 became the year of huge profits in the aviation business. While operating income from the defense, security and aerospace business increased only 13% year-over-year, commercial aviation business jumped 172% percent.
Boeing benefited the most from its medium-haul jets and the new 737-MAX, which promises lower fuel consumption. Boeing delivered 529 aircraft of the 737 family last year, 39 more than a year earlier. The production of long-haul jets 777 and 787, however, went back. But ultimately Boeing delivered more copies of its jumbo jet, which sells virtually only in the freight version.
Like Airbus' A380, the passenger version of Boeing's jumbojet suffers from the low demand. Most airlines prefer to use medium-sized long-haul jets with only two engines. They can also be used profitably on less popular routes and are cheaper to maintain than the four-engine jumbo jets.