Gulfstream Smoothly Riding Out Economic Turbulence

 - October 23, 2008, 12:02 PM

Despite what General Dynamics chairman and CEO Nicholas Chabraja termed a “tumultuous period in the markets and dislocation in the financial services sector,” its Gulfstream Aerospace division “had a terrific quarter.” Thanks in part to higher sales and deliveries of business jets at Gulfstream, General Dynamics yesterday reported third-quarter profits of $634 million, an increase from the $544 million posted in the same period last year, on revenues of $7.1 billion, up from $6.8 billion last year. At Gulfstream, aircraft sales in the quarter climbed 4.3 percent due to orders for large-cabin Gulfstreams and the new larger-cabin G650, though Chabraja noted there was a “soft spot” in sales of the midsize G150 and, to some extent, super-midsize G200. The backlog at Gulfstream now stands at nearly $22.1 billion, up $3.3 billion year-over-year and “its highest level ever,” he said. Chabraja expects sales to increase in the current fourth quarter, especially now that the “considerable number” of letters of intent for its new G250, which was unveiled this month at the NBAA Convention, are being converted into deposit-backed orders. Gulfstream delivered 23 green large-cabin jets and 16 green midsize/super-midsize jets in the quarter, versus 21 and 16, respectively, in the same time frame last year. In the first nine months, the Savannah, Ga.-based aircraft manufacturer delivered 115 green business jets, compared with 103 in the same period last year.