UPDATE 1-Boeing says aims to boost international defense sales

* Sees moderate growth in defence sales

* International sales to account 20-25 pct over next 5 yrs

* Sees opportunities in India, Australia and Middle East
(Adds quotes from interview, details)

By Nopporn Wong-Anan and Harry Suhartono

SINGAPORE, June 4 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. aircraft and defence
firm Boeing (BA.N: ) said on Friday it expects to boost its
international sales to compensate for a slowdown in its home
market as the U.S. government tries to rein in defence
spending.

Dennis Muilenburg, President and CEO of Boeing Defense,
Space and Security, told reporters in Singapore that
international sales would grow to 20-25 percent of total
revenue in the next five years from 16 percent in 2009.

He later told Reuters that the overall business would grow
at a “moderate” pace, similar to the single-digit percentage
rate that it had seen in the past five years. Last year
Boeing’s defence business recorded around $34 billion revenue,
up around 5 percent.

“What you are going to see is kind of a moderate growth
that you’ve seen over the last five years,” Muilenburg told
Reuters in an interview.

He also said support from Asia Pacific markets, which
account for half of its international sales, and the Middle
East should compensate for the slowdown in the United States as
a result from tighter defence spending.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ new drive to rein in
Pentagon spending may target the very operations and
maintenance accounts defense companies were counting on to
offset slower demand for new weapons systems. [ID:nN10210352]

“You will see the U.S. services (business) will be
relatively flat to slightly growing, but growing faster at the
international level,” Muilenburg said, although he added the
overall trend was pretty stable.

ASIAN SALES

Boeing aims to sell more fighter jets such as the F-15 and
the F-18, CH-47 Chinook transport helicopters, AH-64 Apache
attack helicopters, aerial tankers and transport planes to
South Korea, Japan, India and Australia.

Korea and Japan are looking to buy the next generation of
fighters where Boeing’s F-15 products are competing with more
advanced models such as Lockheed Martin’s (LMT.N: ) F-35 and
F-22, which were jointly developed by Lockheed Martin and
Boeing.

Muilenburg said he also expected more sales of C-17
transport planes to India and other international markets.

Last year, the United States ordered 10 C-17 aircraft which
will keep production of that model occupied until 2012. India
has submitted a letter of request for 10 C-17s. If that request
became a firm order, it would extend the C-17 line by another
year.

Boeing’s C-17 has long been a lightning rod for
controversy, as the Pentagon pressures Congress to stop
ordering the plane. Gates has argued that it already has more
than 300 large transport planes.

Stock Market

(Editing by Lincoln Feast)

UPDATE 1-Boeing says aims to boost international defense sales