Surging commercial aircraft deliveries helped Boeing boost operational earnings in the first quarter by more than 50% to $1.57 billion.

The Commercial Airplanes division reported a 54% increase in revenues compared to the same period a year ago, rising from $7.12 billion in 2011 to $10.9 billion.

Pre-tax earnings across the company jumped 57% to $1.5 billion, while net income rose 58% to $923 million.

The company's cash position declined to $10.5 billion, but Boeing notes even the reduced figure maintains "strong liquidity".

Operating margins in the commercial airplanes division also improved by 2.7 percentage points year over year to 9.9%.

Declining spending on research and development helped lift the commercial airplanes division's profits, but the improvement was eroded by delivering more costly, early models of the 787 and 747-8 during the quarter, Boeing says.

Customers booked 412 orders for Boeing commercial aircraft in the first quarter, including 301 firm orders for the 737 Max. The order backlog rose to a record value of $308 billion, with more than 4,000 aircraft to be delivered over the next several years

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news