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Thursday, October 22, 1998 Published at 21:54 GMT 22:54 UK

Business: The Company File

Boeing profit betters forecasts

Boeing profit climbs over Asian demand problems

Boeing, the world's biggest aircraft maker, has reported better-than-expected third-quarter profits.

However, the company warned that Asia's economic crisis has hit aircraft demand.

Boeing announced a net profit of $347m, compared with a loss of $696 million in the same period last year after $1bn of production problems.

The latest period saw revenues rise 12% to $12.72 billion from $11.37 billion.

Earnings of 30 cents per share beat Wall Street forecasts of 27 cents.

Boeing shares rose 44 cents to $36.44 on the news.

Continuing recovery

[ image: Defence and space: 38% of revenue]
Defence and space: 38% of revenue
Analysts said the results showed the company is continuing to recover from the production problems, which have cost the company about $3bn and led to a management shakeup last month.

"We've made good progress, but we still have a long way to go," said Boeing chairman Phil Condit.

He said Boeing remains on track to deliver on sales forecasts of 550 commercial jets this year and 620 next year, up from 374 in 1997.

Asia downturn strikes

"Clearly our biggest concern going forward is that the economic crisis in Asia is more severe and more prolonged than previously anticipated," said Alan Mulally, Boeing's commercial airplane group president.

Boeing has already said it will cut monthly production of its 747 jumbo jet to 3.5 a month from five next year and will reduce production of the new 777 to five a month from seven in the fourth quarter this year.

Commercial airplanes accounted for 61% of revenues. Defence and space operations accounted for 38% of revenues.

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