In the midst of the current economic turmoil, B/E Aerospace announced that 2008 was its most successful year. 2008 net sales totaled $2.1 billion, 25.8 percent higher than 2007's numbers. Record net earnings for 2008 was reported at $200.6 million, or $2.12 per diluted share, which was an increase of 36.2 percent and 27.7 percent, respectively, when compared to the prior year.
Amin J. Khoury, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of B/E Aerospace, Inc. commented, In spite of deteriorating global economic conditions beginning in the second half of the year, 2008 was a record year for the company in terms of sales, operating earnings, net earnings, earnings per share, bookings and backlog. We are also pleased with the company's fourth quarter earnings and cash flow performance, particularly in light of the deterioration in global economic conditions which negatively impacted demand for our higher margin aftermarket products.
Commenting on the future of the company, he stated, The weakened global economy has caused rapid declines in global air travel and it is expected that air traffic will continue its decline in 2009. Declining air travel is negatively impacting our customer base. The airline industry is parking aircraft, delaying new aircraft purchases, pushing out retrofit programs and depleting existing inventories. The business jet market is also expected to be severely impacted by both the recession and by declining corporate profits. Tough cash conservation measures implemented by our customers are clearly having an impact on the demand for our products.
He continued, We were among the first to recognize the coming downturn. We quickly responded to changing market conditions by reducing our cost structure. In addition, we expect that our strategic business decision to alter our business mix so that approximately half of our business is related to non-discretionary consumables demand, along with our strategic focus on OEM direct, or SFE programs, will have a profound impact on our business in the future. Based on these factors, and in spite of the current economic environment, we are cautiously optimistic about the next two years. Our expectation for 2009 is that revenues and earnings should be approximately in-line with our record 2008 results.