Boeing posts positive free cash flow for first time since 2018 as losses go up

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Boeing has posted a positive free cash flow for the first time since 2018 despite higher net losses.(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Boeing has posted a positive free cash flow for the first time since 2018 despite higher net losses.

The US plane maker today reported a $2.3bn (£1.9bn) free cash flow for the whole of 2022, up from a loss of $4.4bn the previous year. 

Meanwhile, free cash flow for the three months ended 31 December came in at $3.1bn.

Operating cash flow surged too, going up from a loss of $3.4bn to a net positive of $3.5bn, while revenue soared to $66bn .

“Not only have we taken big steps to reduce the risks we have faced over the last three years, but importantly we’re well on our way to restoring operational and financial strength,” chief executive David Calhoun told analysts earlier today. 

According to Calhoun, the $3.1bn free cash flow was driven by progress in performance and a strong aircraft demand, which helped generate “positive four-year cash flow for the first time since 2018″.

Nevertheless, the announcement was weighed down by Boeing increasing its full-year net losses to $5bn due to weaknesses in the defence sector as well as difficulties in the aviation supply chain.

Over the past couple of years, the plane maker has been hit by labour and material shortages, which hindered its ability to deliver high numbers of planes.

The situation worsened following the reopening of air travel last year, as airlines increased their aircraft orders.

“Our realities are still the same: a difficult, difficult supply chain,” the chief executive explained. “We continue to face too many stoppages in our [production] line.

“So these stoppages, while they are coming down, are not where they need to be.”

The company announced it had delivered 480 planes in the past year, 37 per cent below rival Airbus‘s 661 deliveries.

Despite such challenges, Boeing has reaffirmed its guidance for 2023, which includes increasing its operating cash flow to between $4.5bn and $6.5bn while increasing the number of deliveries to between 520 and 530.

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