Dassault Falcon Deliveries Rise, but Sales Sluggish

 - July 29, 2010, 11:39 AM

The business aviation market is getting stronger, but it’s not getting stronger soon enough to support hopes for a full-blown recovery in the short term, according to Dassault Aviation’s assessment of its financial results for the first half of this year. The French airframer said yesterday that, despite slowing order cancellations, it sold only two Falcons in the first six months of this year. However, it delivered 45 Falcons during this period, which was a significant increase over the 26 delivered in the first half of last year. Operating income for the first half reached €248 million ($319 million), which was 104 percent above the year-ago period, while the operating margin also improved to 12.4 percent versus 8.7 percent last year. Consolidated net sales for the first half were €1.99 billion ($2.56 billion), a 44-percent rise from the €1.38 billion ($1.77 billion) achieved in the first half of last year. Dassault expects to deliver a total of 85 Falcons this year. Group chairman Charles Edelstenne warned that Dassault will have to achieve further improvements in productivity to meet the threat posed by U.S. competitors that have relocated some activities to lower-cost economies while continuing to benefit from a dollar-euro exchange rate that favors U.S. exporters. According to Dassault, excess pre-owned aircraft inventory is still suppressing new aircraft sales.