Profits rise at Textron Aviation


First production Citation Latitude rollout and team

Revenues at Textron Aviation were up $266 million for its first quarter mainly thanks to its acquisition of Beechcraft  last year.

Textron Aviation delivered 33 new jets in the quarter, down three from 35 jets in the first quarter of 2014, and 25 King Air turboprops.

It made a profit of $67 million in the first quarter compared to $14 million a year ago. However, the OEM’s backlog continues to fall. It is now $1.3 billion down $99 million from December 2014.

Speaking on an analyst call, Scott Donnelly, chairman and CEO of Textron, says that the company’s backlog should rise when the Citation Lattitude is certficated. “We are getting pretty close, we have done the flight test, we’re done with all the ground test activities or at this point we’re really just into the paperwork exercises,” said Donnelly. “We think there is a lot demand up there for the aircraft, a lot of customer interest and now that we can really dedicate those assets to getting out there and doing customer demos and we would expect to see those orders start to finalize.”

He said that demand for jets is strongest in the US. “I would say in general right now on the jet side of things, the market is very driven by the North American marketplace, probably something around two-thirds to 80: 20 and interestingly enough its almost exactly inverted if you looked at King Air’s,” said Donnelly.