Spirit AeroSystems today posted a 26% decline in net earnings during the first quarter, blaming slower output on the aftermath of the machinists strike at Boeing last year.

Net income dropped from $85 million during the same period a year ago to $63 million. Revenues during the first quarter also declined 14%, falling from nearly $1.04 billion last year to $887 million.

The 57-day strike by the International Association of Machinists ended in November, but the effects carried over into the first quarter for suppliers. Spirit AeroSystems delivered 30 fewer units to Boeing compared to pre-strike delivery levels, says the company.

Despite the slower output, deliveries in the first quarter exceeded sales for the first time in Spirit AeroSystems' nearly four-year history, says the company. Its backlog declined by 7% during the first quarter.

Spirit Aerosystems also re-affirmed 2009 financial revenue guidance of between $4.25 billion to $4.35 billion, which is based on delivery guidance by Boeing and Airbus and the anticipated 787 production ramp-up.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news