Gulfstream Aerospace’s deliveries of completed aircraft more than doubled to 38 (32 large-cabin and six midsize jets) in the third quarter versus 17 large-cabin jets in the same period a year ago, parent company General Dynamics said during its quarterly investor conference call yesterday morning. In the first nine months, Gulfstream (Booth No. N3932) has shipped 103 outfitted airplanes (87 large cabin, 16 midsize), a nearly 81-percent rise from the 57 aircraft (52 large cabin, five midsize) handed over to customers in the same period last year.
Third-quarter revenues at General Dynamics’s aerospace unit, which includes both Gulfstream and Jet Aviation, jumped 17.2 percent year-over-year to $2.152 billion, while profits soared 41.4 percent to $369 million. “This was a better than expected quarter for aerospace,” said General Dynamics chairman and CEO Phebe Novakovic. “It was the highest-ever quarterly revenues to date for this division.” In the first nine months, aerospace revenue is up 18.5 percent year-over-year, to $5.983 billion, and profits climbed 35.4 percent, to $1.068 billion.
Though book-to-bill was only 0.6:1 in the third quarter, Novakovic said that Gulfstream sales year-to-date are up 10 percent year-over-year. “The third quarter started out strong for sales, but contracts took longer than expected to execute,” she noted, adding that customers have been spooked by the U.S. government flirting with “the abyss” of default. “What we need is stability from the government on the debt ceiling,” Novakovic said. “This squabble worries both domestic and international customers alike.”
Aerospace backlog (partly thanks to the shutdown effect) at the end of the third quarter eroded to $13.823 billion, compared with about $16 billion on Sept. 30, 2012. Gulfstream has a 15-month backlog for the G450 and G550, while backlogs for the new G280 and G650 are “quite healthy.”