Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier says its first-quarter financial performance indicates that the worst is over for the business jet market, while the commercial aircraft business is showing signs of recovery.
“Key indicators in the business-jet market are showing signs of stabilisation and our level of business aircraft cancellations has substantially decreased,” says Pierre Beaudoin, Bombardier’s president and chief executing officer. “Commercial aircraft has benefited from a breakthrough order in the United States for the CSeries aircraft and Bombardier Aerospace’s overall book-to-bill ratio stands at 1.2 for the quarter, compared to 0.1 last year.”
Group revenue for the first quarter, ended 30 April, fell slightly to US$4.2 billion from US$4.5 billion a year earlier, while earnings before financing income, financing expense and income taxes (EBIT) totalled US$224 million, down from US$235 million last fiscal year. The EBIT margin stood unchanged at 5.3 percent for the period.
Net income dipped to US$153 million from US$158 million in the year-earlier period. The overall backlog totalled US$44.4 billion, compared with US$43.8 billion as of 31 January this year.
“Again this quarter, both groups performed well given the current economic context,” Beaudoin says.
At Bombardier Aerospace, first-quarter sale fell to US$1.9 billion from US$2.2 billion a year earlier, while EBIT totalled US$89 million, down from US$110 million. This translated into an EBIT margin of 4.6 percent for the three-month period, compared with 5 percent last fiscal year.
Bombardier Aerospace delivered 53 aircraft in the quarter, compared with 75 last year, in line with expectations. The group received 61 net orders compared with nine for the same period last fiscal year, and the backlog grew to US$17.3 billion from US$16.7 billion as of 31 January.
“Although the aerospace industry continues to experience challenging conditions, the business aircraft market is seeing stabilization in key indicators such as increased fleet activity and a decrease in the number of pre-owned aircraft,” the manufacturer says. “The last General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) shipment report shows Bombardier Aerospace continued to be the market leader in both revenues and units delivered during the first three months of calendar year 2010.”
In the commercial aircraft sector, while airlines remain focused on matching capacity to demand and controlling costs, Bombardier Aerospace received an order for 40 CSeries CS300 mainline jets, with options for 40 more, from Republic Air Holdings. The group also received an order for 15 Q400 NextGen turboprops, with 15 options, from Jazz Air, as well as a firm order for three CRJ900 NextGen regional jets, with six options, from Pluna Líneas Aéreas Uruguayas.