Boeing Increases Jet Deliveries in First Half


Boeing Co. said it delivered 313 commercial jets in the first half of the year, keeping pace with its projections for a record 620 deliveries for the full year. The first-half total is up from 247 deliveries in the first half of 1998, while the second-quarter delivery total of 165 was up more than 20% from 139 for the period a year ago. For all of 1998, Boeing delivered 563 commercial jets. The steady improvement shows Seattle-based Boeing is recovering from the massive production problems disclosed in October 1997 that forced it to shut down much of its airplane production for a month, take $3 billion in charges against earnings and post its first loss in 50 years. Boeing has worked to cut production costs and boost subpar profit at its commercial airplane division, which has suffered from flagging demand in Asia and fierce competition from its European competitor Airbus Industrie. Boeing has blamed its depressed profit margins in part on Airbus subsidies from European governments, which have allowed the consortium to sell aircraft more cheaply than publicly traded Boeing. Boeing shares gained 25 cents to close at $43.63 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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