BY JOHN MULGREW
Bombardier's Belfast workforce makes the wings and part of the fuselage for both the CS300 and smaller CS100 passenger jets
Bombardier has said it expects to see single-digit revenue growth next year, buoyed by a ramp-up in its CSeries passenger jets - which are part-made in Belfast. And one aviation expert said it is "encouraging news for Bombardier workers worldwide".
The Canadian-owned aerospace giant briefed investors yesterday about its turnaround plans. These include cost-cutting measures, such as a further 7,000 global job losses across the business.
Bombardier, which employs around 5,000 people in Northern Ireland, is also cutting 1,080 jobs here by the end of the year.
Alain Bellemare, president and chief executive officer, said: "The strong momentum achieved in 2016 will continue into 2017.
"Our turnaround plan is in full motion and the early benefits can be seen in our 2016 results. We've set a strong foundation for growth, and our focus in 2017 will be on unleashing the value of our portfolio and creating shareholder value through solid execution."
Martin Craigs, chairman of Aerospace Forum Asia and a former Shorts/Bombardier worker, said: "Announcing a financial uptick to stockholders and the markets suggests deals at good prices are down the pipeline."
Bombardier says it is targeting consolidated earnings of between $530m (£424m) to $630m (£505m) for 2017, which represents a year-over-year improvement of approximately 50% at the mid-point of the range.
Bombardier says an increase in revenue will be "driven by growth in the rail business and the ramp-up of the CSeries aircraft programme".
Bombardier's Belfast workforce makes the wings and part of the fuselage for both the CS300 and smaller CS100 passenger jets.
Mr Bellemare said: "As we look ahead to 2017, we are confident in our strategy, our turnaround plan and in our ability to achieve our operational and financial goals.
"We have successfully completed the de-risking phase of our turnaround plan and have positioned the company to accelerate revenue, earnings and free cash flow growth in line with our plan.
"The strong momentum achieved in 2016 will continue into 2017."
The announcement comes as the CS300 was given the green-light from the US's aviation administration.
And the company also congratulated CS300 aircraft client, Air Baltic, on its first commercial flight, between Riga in Latvia, and Amsterdam.