Boeing reports lower profits amid 737 MAX crisis

Boeing reported lower first-quarter profits on Wednesday as the global grounding of its 737 MAX plane following two crashes hit results.

The US aerospace giant reported $2.1 billion in profits, down 13.2 per cent from the same period a year ago.

Revenues dipped 2.0 per cent to $22.9 billion, due to a tumble in commercial plane revenues following the suspension of 737 MAX deliveries.

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Boeing also withdrew its full-year profit forecast, citing uncertainty surrounding the 737 MAX.

The aerospace giant has been under scrutiny since the March 10 crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jet, which came on the heels of an October Lion Air crash. Together the crashes claimed 346 lives.

Boeing said it is “making steady progress” on a fix to the jet’s anti-stall system that is thought to be a factor in both accidents.

The company has conducted more than 135 test flights of the fix and is working with global regulators and airlines, it said in a news release.

“Across the company, we are focused on safety, returning the 737 MAX to service, and earning and re-earning the trust and confidence of customers, regulators and the flying public,” said Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg in a press release.

he company announced earlier this month it was cutting monthly production of the 737 by about 20 per cent.

Boeing shares were up 1.3 per cent at $379.07 in pre-market trading.