General Dynamics Soars on Gulfstream’s Wings

 - April 26, 2012, 4:10 PM

First-quarter revenues at General Dynamics’s aerospace division, which includes Gulfstream Aerospace and Jet Aviation, climbed by 20 percent from a year ago, to $1.62 billion, while segment profits ascended 17.8 percent to $271 million.

“This healthy top-line growth was driven by more large-cabin deliveries [at Gulfstream], including G650s and continued growth in aircraft service demand,” General Dynamics chairman and CEO Jay Johnson said yesterday. Backlog at the division fell from $17.91 billion at the end of last year to just less than $17 billion as of March 31 partially because of a few G650 cancellations, which Johnson said were “in line with our expectations,” and a widebody completions cancellation at Jet Aviation attributable to the death of the customer.

Gulfstream delivered 28 green aircraft (26 large-cabin and two midsize) versus 24 last year (20 large, four midsize). While the book-to-bill ratio was 0.7, meaning deliveries outpaced sales during the quarter, Johnson said Gulfstream’s order intake is still good, with “improved interest” being seen for the super-midsize G280, and the G450/G550 backlog remaining in the “sweet spot” of 12 to 18 months. Johnson predicted 15-percent growth at the aerospace unit through the rest of the year.