General Dynamics Soaring on Gulfstream Jet Sales

 - July 24, 2008, 11:58 AM

Gulfstream Aerospace parent General Dynamics yesterday reported a 25-percent increase in profits during the second quarter, thanks in large part to climbing sales of Gulfstream business jets. The company posted a second-quarter profit of $641 million, up from $513 million in the same period a year ago, on sales of $7.3 billion. At Savannah, Ga.-based Gulfstream, the aircraft sales backlog stood at $1.32 billion as of June 30, up more than 10 percent year-over-year. “Growth in the aerospace backlog is a reflection of continued demand for the entire existing product line and extremely strong demand for the new Gulfstream G650,” said General Dynamics chairman and CEO Nicholas Chabraja. “We are very pleased to see this interest in the new plane and view that as an indicator of Gulfstream’s ability to anticipate and exceed its customers’ product expectations.” So far, the company has converted about 100 of the 500 letters of intent for the G650 into firm orders, and Chabraja expects a majority of the remainder to be converted into recordable sales by year-end. During the quarter, Gulfstream delivered 22 green large jets and 17 green midsize jets, compared with 20 and 16, respectively, in the second quarter of last year.