Plane-maker Bombardier posts surprise second-quarter lift in profits

Bombardier's surprise uplift in profits will come as a boost to the Canadian company's operations in Belfast

THE parent company of Belfast aerospace giant Bombardier Shorts, which has undergone a torrid few last trading periods, has posted a surprise quarterly profit.

And the Montreal-based plane and train manufacturer said it expected 2017 earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) to be at the higher end of its forecast.

Bombardier had forecast EBIT before special items to be in the range of 580 to 630 million Canadian dollars (£353m-£384m).

Adjusted net income, which excludes some items, was $39 million (£23.7m) or 2 cents per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, compared with a loss of $83 million (£50.1m) or 6 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected Bombardier to post a loss of 1 cent per share.

Bombardier is in the middle of a five-year turnaround plan to improve its financial performance after facing a cash crunch in 2015.

Revenue fell 5 percent to $4.10 billion (£2.5 billion) in the quarter due to a decline in sales in its business aircraft and commercial aircraft segments.

Sales in the transportation unit - Bombardier's biggest - rose to $1.98 billion (£1.21bn) from $1.96 billion (£1.19bn).

Bombardier employs just over 4,000 staff in Northern Ireland, though the payroll has been reduced by 1,080 over the last 18 months.

Its Belfast operation produces the wings and fuselage components for Bombardier's C Series passenger planes, which after a slow start are starting to build a reputation in the aviation industry.

In recent weeks Bombardier has secured a number of contract wins, with budget Indian carrier SpiceJet signing a letter of intent for up to 50 Q400 turboprop planes in a deal worth close to £1.5 billion.

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