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Boeing remains weighed down by its supply chain



(New York) Boeing posted disappointing fourth-quarter results as its business remained weighed down by continuing supply chain and workforce issues, but still maintained its outlook for the future given solid demand.

“While we have made significant progress, challenges remain and we still have work to do to ensure the stability of our operations and supply chain,” company boss Dave Calhoun said in a statement. a message to employees.

Like its competitor Airbus, the group is struggling to increase production due to the difficulties of its suppliers to maintain the pace and the lack of certain components.

The sector, after having had to manage a certain shortage of manpower, must now organize the training of many new employees, also noted Mr. Calhoun in an interview on CNBC.

Until the situation stabilizes, the group achieved a turnover of 19.98 billion dollars in the fourth quarter, less than the 20.38 billion expected by analysts.

It suffered a net loss of $634 million. Reported per share and excluding exceptional items, the preferred measure of Wall Street analysts, the loss amounted to 1.75 dollars when analysts expected a gain.

The American aircraft manufacturer thus remains in the red for the fourth consecutive year, with a net loss of 4.9 billion dollars in 2022 despite an increase in its turnover of 7% to 66.6 billion dollars.

“The demand is there”

Encouraging element: the group managed to generate positive free cash flow for the whole year for the first time since 2018, a key indicator in its recovery after several years weighed down by the fatal crashes of two 737 MAX and the pandemic.

The group delivered a total of 480 aircraft in 2022, its best performance since 2018, thanks to the ramping up of deliveries of the 737 MAX and the resumption in the summer of those of the long-haul 787 Dreamliner, interrupted for many months. due to defects.

Boeing also garnered 808 net orders.

Not enough, however, to supplant its competitor Airbus in terms of deliveries and orders.

The action was down 0.2% in mid-session on Wall Street.

For the future, Boeing maintains its free cash flow forecasts for 2023 as well as its rate objectives for 2025: Boeing wants to produce approximately 50 737 MAX aircraft per month by 2025-2026, against 31 currently, and 10 long-haul 787 Dreamliner per month at this deadline against 5 currently.

“No one is questioning the cadences, because they know the demand is there,” Mr. Calhoun noted on CNBC.

He also said he was “rather optimistic and constructive” about the situation in China.

On the one hand, a Chinese company flew the 737 MAX again in mid-January, a first since the aircraft was banned in the country in March 2019 after the two fatal accidents. Chinese companies should gradually restart the 737 MAX already present in their fleet “over the next six months”, estimated Mr. Calhoun.

As for the resumption of MAX deliveries in the country, it could be encouraged by the recent lifting of most restrictions linked to COVID-19, which is fueling demand for travel, he indicated without however advancing. on a date.

The possibility of a recession does not worry him unduly. “We must not forget that we are in competition for deliveries in four or five years,” he also noted during a conference call with analysts.

The group has set itself the goal of returning to a performance similar to that before the 737 crisis and the pandemic by 2025 or 2026.

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