General Dynamics: Gulfstream ‘Held Its Own’ in Q1

 - April 30, 2009, 12:04 PM

The aerospace division at General Dynamics, which includes Gulfstream and Jet Aviation, “held its own” in the first quarter, parent company chairman and CEO Nicholas Chabraja said yesterday during an investor conference call. “A noteworthy accomplishment, I think, in light of business market conditions.” As a whole, first-quarter revenues at General Dynamics rose to $18.3 billion, up 18 percent from the same period last year. Profits in the quarter were $590 million, versus $572 million in the same period last year. Revenues at the aerospace unit increased by 13.8 percent to $1.455 billion in the first quarter, though all of this growth was attributed to business aviation services firm Jet Aviation, which General Dynamics acquired last year. However, year-over-year quarterly profits slid by $36 million to $200 million. The company’s aerospace backlog as of March 31 “eroded” to $20.7 billion from $22.5 billion at the end of last year, though Chabraja said backlog has now “stabilized.” Gulfstream delivered 34 completed jets (18 large-cabin, 16 midsize) in the quarter, versus 36 (20 large-cabin, 16 midsize) in the same period last year. Though sales were off about 8.5 percent at Gulfstream, Chabraja said things have “improved materially since February,” noting a rise in Gulfstream flying hours, a “thawing” pre-owned market and increased customer interest. Meanwhile, development of the new G650 is on track, he said, and the aircraft will fly by year-end.