Pressure Rising

/ January 28, 2009 at 5:00 AM

Despite a slumping economy, Boeing's Integrated Defense Systems business unit expects 2009 revenues to grow to between $33 billion and $34 billion, compared with $32 billion in 2008.

That said, Boeing is "expecting pressure on defense budgets in light of the economic recovery and financial rescue packages put forth by various governments,” CEO Jim McNerney told Wall Street analysts and journalists during a conference call this morning.

While it's hard for us to know the final impact of all of this, we can and must prepare for the continued market uncertainty while ensuring our ability to fund our growth initiatives. In that regard, we have stepped up our drive to get more competitive and productive. We are being evermore aggressive in managing both costs and investments. Specific actions we are taking include streamlining organizational structures, reducing discretionary and capital spending, eliminating unnecessary work and reviewing staffing levels, all to drive higher levels of productivity.

Boeing IDS reported fourth-quarter 2008 revenues of $8 billion and operating margins of $11 percent, "reflecting strong program performance across IDS's balanced portfolio of programs," a company statement reads. Boeing's overall fourth-quarter 2008 revenues declined by 27 percent to $12.7 billion due to a machinists' strike that ended in November.

-- John Liang