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Airbus lags behind Boeing in annual plane deliveries

Shares of Boeing Co. rallied after the U.S. aerospace giant reported a new annual record of aircraft deliveries in 2018, beating European rival Airbus SE.

Boeing delivered 806 airplanes in 2018, up from its previous record of 763 deliveries in 2017.

The U.S. planemaker said it increased production of its 737 model in the middle of 2018 to 52 airplanes per month, ending the year with 580 deliveries of the 737 model.

"In addition to the ongoing demand for the 737 MAX, we saw strong sales for every one of our twin-aisle airplanes," said Ihssane Mounir, Boeing's senior vice president of commercial sales and marketing.

Boeing booked 893 net orders in 2018, valued at $143.7 billion. Boeing shares were up 3.40% as of 2:42 p.m. ET.

Separately, Airbus said it delivered 800 commercial planes in 2018, with a final audited figure to be reported Jan. 9. Airbus' share price closed 3.70% higher on Jan. 8.

Markets closely follow the number of planes delivered by the world's two biggest aircraft manufacturers for hints about cash flow and revenue.