Aerospace Year-End Results Cap Off Record-Breaking Year
Matthew Greenwood posted on March 05, 2019 |
Q4 and year-end results show continued growth in the sector and promising signs for more in 2019.
The aerospace sector continues to rake in profits, setting records in 2018 and setting the stage for a prosperous 2019.

The industry’s financial highlight of the past year has to be Boeing surpassing the $100-billion revenue mark for the first time in history—thanks in part to the planemaker delivering a record 806 commercial airplanes in 2018.

This unprecedented achievement positions the company for a highly successful 2019. The company expects to best its 2018 delivery record, predicting 895 to 905 deliveries in 2019. And it expects to beat its astonishing $101.1 billion—predicting between $109.5 and $111.5 billion in revenue by the year’s end.

Airbus beat expectations as well, with 64 billion euros in revenue in 2018. But the good news was eclipsed by the European aerospace giant’s decision to shut down production of its A380 due to a lack of buyer interest.

The end of the superjumbo won’t have much of an impact on the company’s bottom line, however, as Airbus is forecasting higher aircraft deliveries and profits in 2019. Airbus’ order backlog reached an industry record of 7,577 commercial aircraft at year-end.

Raytheon also had a year to make its investors happy, achieving a new company record for operating cash flow—booking $32.2 billion in contracts for the year. "We ended the year with record bookings and backlog which positions us well for 2019 and beyond," said Chairman and CEO Thomas A. Kennedy.

Lockheed Martin had a decent showing with $53.8 billion in sales in 2018, though its earnings fell just short of investor expectations. But the company won both of the Pentagon’s new hypersonic weapons contracts, and will continue to deliver the F-35 fighter plane—the world’s most expensive weapon.

Northrop Grumman’s yearly revenues increased 16 percent over 2017 to just over $30 billion, boosted primarily by increases in aerospace and mission systems sales. The company expects 2019 to be even more profitable, predicting $34 billion in sales over the coming year.

And finally, Embraer had a bit of a shaky year. It met its delivery targets for commercial planes, but its aviation market deliveries were below its initial outlook for 2018. On a bright note, however, Republic Airways—the world’s largest E-Jets operator—signed a firm order in 2018 for 100 E175 jets.

While 2018 was a banner year, it may only set the stage for aerospace to soar even higher in 2019, boosted by increasing passenger travel demand and growing military spending. Even the end of a passenger favorite, the A380, isn’t dimming the prospects for the sector.

Read more about what’s next in aerospace at Aerospace Trends to Watch in 2019.

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