Boeing Co. on Wednesday reported almost $87 billion in sales last year, a record for the world’s largest aerospace company.
The Chicago-based firm said it had $86.6 billion in revenue in 2013, a 6 percent increase from 2012, on sales of commercial aircraft such as the 737 MAX and 787-9 and military equipment such as the KC-46A tanker and the P-8 maritime patrol aircraft. Profit also increased 20 percent to a record $7.07 earnings per share, it said.
“2013 was a very successful year for Boeing,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney said during a conference call with investors. He also downplayed recent management changes at the company and said he doesn’t plan to step down. “I’m not planning on retiring anytime soon,” he said.
Boeing’s defense segment accounts for more than a third of its overall sales. The unit’s revenue last year increased 2 percent to $33.2 billion despite automatic federal spending cuts, known as sequestration, which sliced into the Defense Department budget.
Within the segment, military aircraft sales fell 1 percent to $15.9 billion, network and space systems revenue rose 8 percent to $8.5 billion and global services and support sales increased 1 percent to $8.7 billion.
“Our Defense, Space & Security unit overcame a tough operating environment to record expanded revenue, earnings and margins while executing to our commitments on the KC-46A tanker and developing and delivering important new capabilities to customers, such as the P-8 maritime aircraft,” McNerney said.
The company in 2013 delivered a total of 164 military aircraft, including 48 F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets, 14 F-15E Eagle fighter jets, 10 C-17 Globemaster III cargo planes, 44 CH-47 Chinook cargo helicopters, 37 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters and 11 P-8 maritime patrol planes.
The Navy’s program to develop the latter has drawn congressional scrutiny in the wake of a scathing Pentagon audit that concluded the aircraft isn’t effective at its main missions of hunting submarines and conducting wide-area surveillance.
Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer, on Tuesday defended the plane as a “good product” and the Navy’s acquisition effort to buy a total of 122 of the aircraft at an estimated cost of $35 billion as a “relatively successful program.”
Boeing last year also delivered a total of seven satellites, four of which went to the military.
Despite the threat of additional U.S. budget cuts, the company was optimistic on its forecast for 2014, with expected overall revenue of as much as $90.5 billion, including as much as $31 billion in defense sales. Even so, the figures were lower than investors were expecting and shares of the company slid almost 5 percent to $130.75 at 11:05 a.m. in New York trading.
Lockheed Martin Corp., the world’s largest defense contractor, has also hinted it may revise upward its sales forecast for next year after Congress reached a deal to undo some of the across-the-board budget reductions that were set take effect in next two years.