Boeing posts higher-than-expected third-quarter loss on Dreamliner costs

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Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) announced a higher-than-expected loss for the three months to September as the US plane maker took a hit from costs related to production problems with its Dreamliner aircraft.


The loss per share narrowed to 60 cents from a loss of US$1.39, but was still 20 cents wider than analysts’ forecasts.


Higher aircraft sales and deliveries helped revenue grow 8% to US$15.3bn in the third quarter. However, the figure was below the US$16.3bn predicted by the market.


The US aerospace company said revenues at its commercial airplanes division increased to US$4.5bn in the third quarter, driven by higher 737 deliveries, but partially offset by lower 787 deliveries.


The company said low production rates and rework on the 787 Dreamliner aircraft are expected to result in approximately US$1bn of abnormal costs , of which US$183mln was recorded in the third quarter.


It said discussions are continuing with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on actions required for the resumption of deliveries of the Dreamliner. It is currently producing two Dreamliners per month and hoped this will rise to five per month once deliveries resume.


Boeing said it has delivered more than 195 737 MAX aircraft since the FAA approved the return of the plane to operations in November 2020, while airlines have returned more than 200 previously grounded airplanes to service.


It is currently producing 19 737s a month and aims to reach a production rate of 31 per month in early 2022.


The commercial airplanes division secured orders for 70 737 MAX, 24 freighter and 12 787 airplanes in the quarter. It delivered 85 airplanes and has a backlog of over 4,100 airplanes valued at US$290bn.


Boeing president and chief executive officer David Calhoun said: “Commercial market demand continues to gain traction with broad-based vaccine distribution and border protocols beginning to open.


“Going forward, supply chain capacity and global trade will be key drivers of our industry and the broader economy’s recovery. Our portfolio across commercial, defence, space and services is well positioned, and we’re focused on improving performance, while advancing technologies and digital manufacturing capabilities to drive our next generation of products and a sustainable future.”

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