Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Belfast plant should shrug off the drop in earnings

While the news of a drop in earnings for Bombardier might come as something of a shock, the results aren't a great worry.

Firstly, and most importantly for the Belfast plant, the dip in profits in the fourth quarter of 2012 are the result of a writedown in the Canadian-owned company's transport division.

It's involved in the manufacture of trains which aren't made here and in any case such a large restructering cost is a one-off payment which, in effect, should improve the efficiency of the division.

Secondly its results yesterday offered a boost to the CSeries range of aircraft which the company's new hi-tech factory in Belfast will be playing a significant part in building.

Having been delayed from 2012, there were worries Bombardier wouldn't test the first of the range in time for June 2013 as resecheduled but the company reaffirmed its commitment to the deadline. Perhaps the delay to the Learjet 85 programme will weigh on sentiment given a number of components are made here but even that shouldn't undermine the viability of the Belfast base, especially given the growing orders for business jets.

So while the headline numbers may make difficult reading, they're not as bad as they first seem and the first quarter of 2013 will more than likely prove more lucrative.

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