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Spirit Reports Solid 2017 Earnings; Expects Continued Growth In 2018


Spirit AeroSystems reported strong growth in 2017 and expects similar results in 2018, according to an earnings report released Friday.

The city’s largest employer said revenue was up about 3 percent in 2017, to $7 billion. Revenue in 2018 is forecast to grow slightly.

Operating income dropped about 20 percent in 2017 to $569 million, due mostly to a new contract with Boeing, its biggest customer, the company said. But Spirit is forecasting income growth in 2018.

"In 2018, our focus will be on operational execution of planned rate increases, achieving our growth initiatives and meeting our commitments on margin and productivity," Spirit CEO Tom Gentile said in a statement.

He said the company plans to reinvest savings from federal tax reform legislation into capital expenditures, and research and development. Gentile said Spirit also plans to increase its investment into workforce development.

Spirit recently announced it plans to add 1,000 jobs and invest $1 billion in its Wichita facility over the next five years. The company’s backlog at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017 was approximately $47 billion, with work on all commercial platforms in the Boeing and Airbus backlog.

Spirit designs and builds structures for commercial aviation and defense customers. In addition to Wichita, it operates facilities in Oklahoma, North Carolina, the United Kingdom, France and Malaysia.