Aerospace and defence company Boeing today reported net profit that beat expectations for the fourth quarter and said it expected deliveries of commercial airplanes to surge in 2014.

Chicago-based Boeing said net income in the quarter rose to $1.23 billion, or $1.61 a share, from $978m, or $1.28 a share, a year earlier.

Quarterly revenue rose to $23.8 billion from $22.3 billion.

Core earnings, which exclude some pension expenses, rose 29% to $1.84 billion, or $1.88 a share, compared with $1.46 a share a year earlier.

Analysts had expected core earnings per share of $1.57 for the fourth quarter, and revenue of $22.7 billion

Boeing said it would deliver between 715 and 725 commercial airplanes this year, a possible increase of nearly 12% from a record 648 in 2013.

It expects core earnings to rise to as much as $7.20 a share in 2014, up less than 2% from $7.07 a share for 2013.

Boeing's results included a non-cash charge of $406m to settle litigation over the canceled A-12 stealth bomber programme.

The US Justice Department announced a settlement with Boeing and General Dynamics last week that includes three additional EA-18G fighter jets, which will be paid for by Boeing.