Boeing Leans International, Buoys Revenue
While nearly every U.S. based-defense company is pushing to expand international business in an increasingly competitive marketplace, Boeing will reach its goal of drawing 25-30 percent of its defense revenue from non-U.S. sales a year ahead of schedule, Boeing Defense Systems (BDS) CEO Dennis Muilenburg said at a meeting with reporters July 8.
Boeing, the world’s second largest defense contractor by revenue, managed to hold revenue flat in 2011 despite U.S. cuts, largely on the back of international deals. The increase overseas has been meteoric, as Boeing earned only 7 percent of its defense revenue outside of the U.S. five years ago, Muilenburg said.
“We’ve seen international growth being achieved a little ahead of plan, now we’re really turning our focus to not only growing in that 25-30 percent range but sustaining it for the long term,” he said. “Post 2011 we’re at 24 percent, and in 2012 we expect that we’re going to be in that 25 percent range. We will equal our target range a little ahead of schedule, originally we had planned to get there by 2013.”
The company has seen a recent slew of foreign military sales of its F-15 fighter, along with C-17 deals that have provided opportunity despite the weak U.S. market.
Chris Raymond, vice president of business and development strategy for BDS, said that with sequestration drawing near, the international market is part of the company’s strategy to compete despite cuts.
“We do see ourselves as a company that is going to play through whatever occurs, and stay in this industry, and continue to invest,” he said.
Raymond predicted that the Farnborough International Airshow, set to begin July 9, would have many companies echoing Boeing’s focus on overseas work.
“I think everybody will be talking about international business at the U.S.-based companies,” he said.S