Textron Aviation recorded a mostly lower fourth-quarter 2020 with declines in jet deliveries, revenue, and profit, although it saw a slight bump in turboprop deliveries, parent company Textron reported on Wednesday. Jet deliveries in the quarter totaled 61, down from 71 a year ago, while deliveries of turboprops also totaled 61, which edged higher from 59 deliveries in fourth-quarter 2019.
Profit in the period was $108 million on revenue of $1.6 billion, which was a decrease of $26 million and $169 million versus the fourth quarter of 2019. The book-to-bill ratio was 0.87:1, down from 1.50:1 in the third quarter and a five-year fourth-quarter average of 0.93:1. Backlog was $1.6 billion, slightly less than the $1.7 billion recorded a year earlier.
Textron CEO Scott Donnelly noted on a conference call with analysts that aftermarket sales were also lower in the quarter. Following Textron Aviation’s August announcement of the King Air 360 and subsequent type certification, the company delivered eight of the turboprop twins, he said.
Expectations for higher deliveries in 2021 are fueled in part by “continued order momentum” and an increase in flight activity for Citations that began last November. “I think people are feeling like things are recovering and demand remains there,” Donnelly said. “Obviously the data you see around used aircraft for sale is at record lows. If you look at Citations that are less than 10 years old, it’s only about 1 percent of the fleet. So I think the market has been strong not just as we’ve seen increased interest and orders on the new side but also very strong on the used side.”
Looking ahead, the Wichita airframer is projected to achieve revenue of $4.5 billion and a 5.5 percent gain in profits in 2021. However, Donnelly cautioned that new jet deliveries and aftermarket sales probably won’t return to 2019 levels until 2022.
Service entry of the company's high-wing, utility twin-turboprop SkyCourier in the second half of this year remains on track, he told analysts.