Textron Bullish on Bizjet Market in North America

 - July 28, 2015, 9:24 AM

Textron chairman and CEO Scott Donnelly is optimistic about the outlook for Textron Aviation, as the dominant North American business jet market remains “fairly strong,” he said this morning during a second-quarter investor conference call. Meanwhile, Donnelly categorized the business jet market in Russia and China as “weak” and said that Latin America and Europe are “very challenging.”

During the quarter, revenues at Textron Aviation slid $59 million year-over-year, to $1.124 billion, due to fewer deliveries of King Airs and jet mix. However, it did log a quarterly profit of $88 million, up $60 million from a year ago, due to improved performance and efficiencies in the integration of Beechcraft and Cessna.

Textron Aviation delivered 36 Cessna Citations and 30 Beechcraft King Airs in the quarter, compared with 36 Citations and 34 King Airs in the same period a year ago. First deliveries of the new Citation Latitude will start next month, Donnelly said.

Thanks in part to NetJets firming up orders for delivery in 2016 and the first half of 2017, Textron Aviation logged a book-to-bill ratio of 1.2:1 in the second quarter. Backlog at the end of June was $1.4 billion, up $145 million from March 31.

At sister company Bell Helicopter, second-quarter revenues decreased $269 million year-over-year, to $850 million, mainly due to lower aircraft deliveries. It shipped 39 helicopters in the quarter versus 46 last year. Bell’s quarterly profit fell by $40 million, to $101 million. Backlog at the end of June was $4.8 billion, down $477 million from the end of the first quarter.