Deliveries of business jets and turboprops in the first quarter at Textron Aviation rose 18.2 percent year-over-year, while “strong bookings” so far this year yielded a 1.3:1 book-to-bill ratio, Textron chairman and CEO Scott Donnelly told investors this morning. The division delivered 36 business jets and 29 turboprops in the quarter, compared with 35 jets and 20 turboprops in the first three months of 2017.
According to Donnelly, the jet deliveries and sales increases are thanks to increased demand from U.S. buyers—buoyed by the red-hot economy—for replacement aircraft. “Business confidence is strong, so people are looking to invest,” he said. “There is a lot of natural demand for operators to upgrade.” International buyers are driving the boost in turboprops, Donnelly added.
First-quarter revenues at the division increased by $46 million from a year ago, to $1 billion, while segment profits doubled to $72 million. Backlog stood at $1.6 billion at the end of last month, up $400 million from the end of last year.
Meanwhile, Textron now expects its super-midsize Citation Longitude to obtain FAA certification by the end of next month. Donnelly said the program hit some unanticipated delays and that “some last test flights are now being accomplished.”