Boeing Co, the world's leading aerospace and defence group, has reported record net profits for 2007, and also said that it would better the achievement this year as well as the next.
It said that net profits rose 84 per cent, from $2.2bn in 2006, to $4.1bn in 2007 even as turnover increased 8 per cent to $66.4bn.
For Q4, Boeing reported a rise of 32 per cent in operating earnings. For the full year the group's operating margin improved from 4.9 per cent to 8.8 per cent.
The company has reported a rise in profitability thanks to higher deliveries of commercial jets, which increased from 398 to 441, and also by strong growth in the profits of the defence businesses.
It said that commercial jet deliveries would rise this year to between 475 and 480.
Boeing is on an upswing thanks to three years of record demand for its aircraft. The value of the order backlog for its commercial jets has nearly quadrupled to $255bn over the past three years.
The group's total backlog, including defence contracts, has doubled in the same period to $327bn, which is the biggest order backlog in the world for the sector.
Boeing said its confidence in the prospects for the next couple of years came from the ''solid global economic outlook'', the extended commercial aerospace cycle and strong defence spending.
Jim McNerney, chairman and chief executive, said that ''despite some development programme challenges'', including most importantly the 787 Dreamliner, the group expected ''continued improvement'' in its financial results ''in 2008 and beyond''.
Boeing announced earlier this month that the first flight of the 787 had been postponed by a further three months to ''around the end of the second quarter''.