Gulfstream Soaring at General Dynamics

 - July 28, 2011, 11:40 AM

“Second-quarter Gulfstream orders were the largest we’ve seen since the economic downturn began,” Jay Johnson, chairman of Gulfstream Aerospace parent company General Dynamics, said yesterday during an investor conference call. In the three-month period, Gulfstream’s backlog climbed $428 million to $18 billion, representing an 18- to 24-month supply for in-production large-cabin jets. This backlog includes orders for more than 200 G650s, with the aircraft said to be on track to receive certification later this year. Gulfstream sales are expected to be up 14 to 15 percent this year. According to Johnson, 70 percent of the order intake in the first half was from international customers, with 50 percent of all orders coming from the Asia Pacific region. Notably, he said, orders from North America doubled from the first quarter to the second quarter. Gulfstream delivered 23 jets in the second quarter: 20 large-cabin models and three midsize. This is five fewer than last year, solely because of weaker deliveries of midsize jets, he said. However, Johnson noted that the midsize jet market is improving, and he added, “I like what I’m seeing thus far.” Gulfstream expects to deliver 80 large-cabin jets–including 10 to 12 G650s–and 15 to 20 midsize aircraft this year. In the second quarter, General Dynamics’s aerospace division, which also includes Jet Aviation, posted $1.38 billion revenues and a profit of $209 million.