Solid Quarter at Hawker Beech Overshadowed by Strike

 - August 5, 2008, 11:38 AM

Hawker Beechcraft today reported increased orders, improved sales and higher earnings during the second quarter versus the same period last year. Net bookings for the quarter totaled $1.7 billion, resulting in a new record backlog of $7.4 billion. Second-quarter revenues increased by $327.6 million year-over-year to $1.02 billion, primarily due to the increase in aircraft deliveries. In the second quarter, Hawker Beechcraft delivered 50 jets and 50 turboprops, as well as 29 piston aircraft. The Wichita-based aircraft manufacturer recorded a profit of $86.4 million during the three-month period, compared with an operating loss of $36.6 million during the same time frame last year. However, the good financial news is overshadowed by the rejection of a new contract by 90 percent of the company’s unionized aircraft assembly workers over the weekend; 89 percent voted to go on strike effective yesterday at 12:01 a.m. While the company said the proposed contract was “fair and equitable” and the “best offer made to employees in 20 years,” the unions representing the workers say it falls short in both pay and benefits. A Hawker Beechcraft spokesman said the company is “open for business and is building airplanes,” despite the striking assembly-line workers.