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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 January 2007, 14:29 GMT
Boeing profits fall as sales rise
Artist's impression of Boeing 787
Boeing's forthcoming 787 Dreamliner is proving popular
US aerospace giant Boeing has unveiled a drop in full year earnings, despite enjoying strong sales growth.

Its 2006 net profit fell 14% to $2.2bn (1.2bn), mainly as a result of the $280m cost of dropping its unsuccessful in-flight internet service Connexions.

But profits for the three months to December more than doubled to $989m from $460m for the same time last year.

Boeing's annual sales rose 15% to $61.5bn, with strong growth across both its defence and commercial arms.

Number One

Earlier this month the group said it had taken a record number of orders, driven by the popularity of its new mid-sized 787 Dreamliner jet.

The US manufacturer recorded 1,044 orders for commercial planes last year, up from 1,002 the year before.

That news pushed Boeing ahead of European rival Airbus on the order book front for the first time since 2000 - Airbus booked only won 824 new orders last year, down from 1,111 in 2005.

"2006 was a very good year for Boeing," said chairman and chief executive Jim McNerney.

"We achieved new records in revenue, cash flow and backlog and overcame some meaningful challenges by focusing on productivity and meeting our commitments.

"This focus on performance gives us the confidence to set high expectations for 2007 and 2008."

Looking ahead, the group raised its earnings guidance for 2007 to between $4.55 and $4.75 a share.

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