Canadian manufacturer Bombardier plans to boost aircraft production to meet rising demand for its business aircraft and regional jet products, but the company´s net income figures are still well below levels achieved by other aerospace manufacturers.
For the quarter ended Oct. 31, Bombardier Aerospace received orders for 112 business aircraft, compared with 57 during the same period a year ago, including "the largest single order for Challenger 300 aircraft as U.S.-based XOJET placed a firm for 20 such jets, with options for an additional 60," the company said (BA, Oct. 1/146).
Bombardier received orders for just 12 regional aircraft during the quarter, but "based on the growing number of firm orders on a year-to-date basis, in addition to the production rate increase for the CRJ700 and CRJ900 announced last August," the company said it "elected to further step up its production rate to one aircraft every three days." As a result, Bombardier expects to produce about 50 CRJ700/CRJ900 aircraft in the fiscal year that ends Jan. 31, and approximately 64 regional jets during fiscal 2009.
The Aerospace backlog jumped to $ 19.6 billion, an increase of $ 6.4 billion compared with the total as of Jan. 31, 2007. Firm orders for the quarter - including both business jets and regional jets - totaled 124, compared with 95 for the same period last fiscal year. Deliveries for the quarter jumped to 90, of which 50 were business jets, compared with 73 total deliveries in the same period a year ago.
While company officials cited the growing order backlog in painting a rosy picture of the future, Bombardier is still having trouble boosting profits. Consolidated revenues totaled $ 4.2 billion for the third quarter, an increase of $ 826 million over the same period a year ago. For the first nine months, revenues totaled $ 12.2 billion, an increase of $ 1.8 billion from a year ago. Those revenue increases "mainly reflect higher manufacturing revenues for business aircraft and regional aircraft" and "higher revenues in Transportation," the company said. Net income for the quarter reached $ 91 million, up $ 17 million from the same period last year. However, net income for the first nine months of Bombardier´s fiscal year totaled $ 99 million, $ 57 million less than for the same nine-month period last year.