Textron Aviation saw better-than-expected business jet deliveries and a significant increase in its order backlog in the first quarter, parent company Textron reported today. Citation jet deliveries for the first quarter, historically its lightest delivery and new-order three-month period in any year, totaled 28 jets, including five copies of the recently announced CJ4 Gen2. This compares with 23 jet handovers in the quarter a year ago.
Order intake also jumped, with backlog at the end of the quarter totaling $2.1 billion, resulting in a book-to-bill ratio of 1.57:1. That compares with $1.6 billion in backlog and a 0.9:1 book-to-bill ratio in the fourth quarter.
“I think the overall demand environment is…more positive,” Textron president and CEO Scott Donnelly said on a conference call this morning with analysts. “You’ve got more people looking to acquire aircraft than we’ve seen in quite some time, so the level of activity, the number of customer interactions, is certainly quite strong.”
He also noted on the call that “virtually every model of jet and turboprop we have is seeing strong activity.” Despite the strong showing on jet deliveries in the quarter, turboprops were down by 2 units, to 14, compared with the same quarter last year.
Interest in the acquisition of new jets was still largely driven by “personal travel,” Donnelly explained, but “corporate aviation departments are starting to come alive.”
Donnelly added that new aircraft order intake for the quarter was likely helped by a shrinking pool of young, used jets for sale. “At this point, we’re down below 1 percent of the fleet that’s out there that’s under 10 years old that’s available for sale,” he said.
Revenue for the quarter was $865 million, down $7 million from the first quarter of 2020, primarily due to lower aftermarket volume. But the quarterly segment profit of $47 million was up by $3 million from a year ago.