By Karen Jacobs
LE BOURGET (Reuters) - Aircraft supplier Goodrich Corp said it intends to pursue new business with Boeing should it decide to re-engine or redesign its 737 narrowbody plane.
"Is Boeing going to re-engine?" Goodrich Chief Executive Officer Marshall Larsen told Reuters at the Paris Air Show. "Are they going to do a whole new airplane on the 737? Either way we intend to play."
Goodrich is taking the same approach, should Boeing decide to overhaul its 777.
Goodrich supplies a host of parts to EADS unit Airbus, which racked up orders for its A320 neo plane with revamped engines at the air show. Goodrich will design the nacelle and thrust reversers for the Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan engine that is an option for the neo.
"This show is just diametrically opposed to what it was two years ago," Larsen said. "You can see it in the mood of the people walking around in spite of the rain."
At Goodrich, sales to airlines were up 14 percent through May.
"Worldwide we've got growth," Larsen said. "And where you have growth, you have opportunity."
He said the upbeat civil aerospace mood contrasted with a more subdued tone on defense, where softer budgets are expected.
"That's going to place a lot of pressure on the prime (contractors) and subsequently the supply chain that sells to those primes," Larsen said. "If you're making an aircraft, there will be a lot of pressure."
Defense and space accounts for about one-third of total Goodrich sales. Larsen said he expected the Goodrich defense business, which includes products that guide missiles and gather intelligence, to grow at double-digit percentage rates this year.
Larsen, who approaches retirement age in a couple of years, also said his successor would probably come from within Goodrich.
"We've got quite a few candidates, male and female," he said.
Shares of Goodrich were up 1 percent at $93.04 in afternoon New York Stock Exchange trading.
(Reporting by Karen Jacobs; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)