Gulfstream Finishes 4Q Strong, but 2020 Deliveries Down

 - January 27, 2021, 12:57 PM
Demand for Gulfstream's G650 still remains strong, with the ultra-long-range jet a close second to the company's top-selling G500. (Photo: Gulfstream Aerospace)

Gulfstream Aerospace finished the fourth quarter on a strong note, but aircraft deliveries for 2020 still slipped by 15.7 percent year-over-year, to 127 jets (105 large-cabin, 22 midsize). In the final quarter, the company handed over 40 jets (34 large-cabin, six midsize) versus 44 (35 large, nine midsize) in the same period a year earlier.

But thanks to expected higher service revenues at Gulfstream and sister company Jet Aviation, 2021 revenues at General Dynamics’ aerospace division is anticipated to be flat year-over-year at about $8 billion. Last year, the division reported revenues of $8.075 billion, down from $9.8 billion in 2019, due to effects of the pandemic. Corresponding profits for the division were $1.08 billion last year, down from about $1.5 billion in 2019.

In a quarterly financial conference call this morning, Phebe Novakovic, chairman and CEO of Gulfstream parent General Dynamics, projected about 10 fewer deliveries in 2021 due to the continuing pandemic and G550 production ending last year. However, she said sales were strong at the end of last year—with a book-to-bill of 0.96:1 in the fourth quarter and 0.88:1 for the full year—and will continue to rebound this year, especially in the second half as business travel recovers. Aerospace backlog at year-end stood at nearly $11.63 billion, compared with $13.349 billion a year earlier.

According to Novakovic, Gulfstream’s top-selling jet is the G500, closely followed by the G650. She pointed out that demand for the G650 remains strong despite the company's development of the G700 flagship and competition from the Bombardier Global 7500.