Published January 18, 2013
The troubles with Boeing Co's Dreamliner aircraft could affect shipments of General Electric Co's GEnx engine, but any changes likely would not be material to results for the largest U.S. conglomerate, a top GE executive said on Friday.
Authorities in the United States, Japan and Europe grounded the high-tech 787 Dreamliner earlier this week after a spate of problems with its batteries, including fires and an emergency landing in Japan.
Boeing offers the GEnx engines on both the new 787 model and its long-running 747 aircraft. GE shipped 113 of the engines last year and expects to ship 200 this year, GE Chief Financial Officer Keith Sherin said.
"We'll see where Boeing goes with that," Sherin told investors on a conference call. "We haven't had any changes from the demand production schedule from Boeing on that yet."
Boeing engineers were scrambling to assess the causes of recent problems on the passenger jet, including fires tied to lithium-ion batteries made by Japan's GS Yuasa Corp, fuel leaks and a cracked cockpit window.
Any delays in deliveries of engines to Boeing would have little effect on GE's results this year, Sherin said. Earlier Friday, GE, the world's largest maker of jet engines, reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results.
"I don't see a material impact from this on us at all," Sherin said.
Last July, a GEnx engine on a 787 failed during a preflight test, causing a fire at an airport in North Charleston, South Carolina. In September, a GEnx engine on a Boeing 747-8 freighter aircraft lost thrust during a takeoff in Shanghai.
GE later called for inspections on the engines to address the parts that failed in those incidents.
(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)