March 18, 2010
By Alton K. Marsh
Despite dire warnings about 2010 for most of the industry, Cirrus Design is having a better year than expected. “Other companies would like to be in our shoes,” President and CEO Brent Wouters said.
“A number of key business measurements suggest stronger performance in 2010 than previously anticipated,” Wouters recently told employees, customers, and suppliers. “The punch line is that with all the indicators I see, tangible and intangible, a difficult 2010 may turn out quite a bit better,” he said.
In recent comments to employees, customers, and suppliers, Wouters said the company was seeing signs of a strengthening market for aircraft sales.
First quarter sales are on a pace with the results of the first quarter of 2008. Total deliveries in 2008 were 550 new airplanes. While Wouters does not expect that total for this year, he expects results to surpass earlier predictions for 2010.
“When you couple that level of sales performance with a greatly improved business that—because of our successful restructuring—has cut our breakeven point to less than half its 2008 level, 2010 is on track to be much better than expected,” Wouters told employees.
He noted Purdue University recently ordered 16 aircraft. “We see many more new fleet opportunities on the horizon,” he said. “While much work remains to be done, by pulling together, the Cirrus community is overcoming the economic headwinds and helping us quickly and quietly grow a very strong company.”
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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