Thursday, 11 October 2007

Further delays for 787 Dreamliner

Yesterday Boeing admitted that the 787 Dreamliner will be delayed by a further six months as it struggles to assemble the revolutionary new aircraft. This came as a shock as the 787 Dreamliner is the largest industrial project in the world with orders worth more than $120 billion (£59 billion). The delay is likely to cost Boeing heavy compensation payments to customers. Boeing said first deliveries of the aircraft will now be in late November or December 2008 rather than May 2008 as expected. This caused Boeing shares to fall nearly 3% to $98.43 yesterday afternoon.

All Nippon Airways, which was due to receive the first aircraft will now have to wait a further six months for their deliveries. The Japanese carrier was hoping to have the 787 in its fleet in time for the Beijing Olympics, which would have given it maximum exposure.

The effects of the delay will be felt by dozens of airlines, possibly including British Airways, which has announced it is buying 24 of the 787s. BA (British Airways) expected to start receiving the aircraft in 2010, but may have to wait until 2011. If there are more delays, BA may even struggle to receive its aircraft before the London Olympics in 2012, which would be a blow to the airline’s marketing and operational plans.

The 787 announcement comes just a week before Airbus finally delivers the first of its A380 superjumbos. (source: Timesonline)

Pre-TAX profits at WH Smith before exceptional items was £61 million for the year to August 31 as it reported full-year profits ahead of market forecasts on Thursday and said it expected the key Christmas trading season to be very competitive. The pre-tax profits are up 29% from last year’s £51 million, on revenue down 3% at £1.3 billion.

According to Reuters Estimates, the group had been expected by analysts to report profit of around £62.6 million, within a range of £59.0 million to £64.2 million, with revenue seen about £1.28 billion.

Chief Executive Kate Swann said in the results statement that "we have delivered another year of strong profit performance. Our Travel business grew strongly, and our High Street business made further progress in line with its plan. In an uncertain consumer environment, we expect the key Christmas season to be very competitive, however we have planned accordingly"

WH Smith shares, which have outperformed the retail sector by more than 22 percent so far this year, closed at 420 pence on Wednesday, valuing the company at around £768.4 million. (source: Reuters)

Figures from comScore indicates that Britons are the 'social networking' champions of Europe, displaying a far greater appetite for websites such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo than fellow citizens on the continent as British internet users spent an average of 5.8 hours a month - about a 11 minutes a day - on such sites. Their nearest rivals the Germans, spent 3.1 hours a month (6 minutes a day), according to research.

The French, Spanish, and Italians all spend less than four minutes a day making 'friend requests' and 'poking' one another . More than three in four regular internet users in Britain - just under 25 million people - are now a member of a social networking site, and make an average of 23.3 visits to their 'profile page' a month.

According to comScore, Bebo - a site for younger users - is now the most popular social network in Britain, with 10.7 million visitors, followed by MySpace, with 10.2 million and despite Facebook who has trebled its reach in the past 6 months from 2.7 million to 9 million, is in third place. (source: Timesonline)

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