November 7, 2011
By Dan Namowitz
Piper Aircraft reported better revenue, growth in aircraft deliveries, and a strong order backlog in third-quarter figures released Nov. 7.
Revenue from new aircraft sales rose to $92.5 million, or 19 percent, through the end of the third quarter, compared to $77.6 million during the same period in 2010, the company said.
Piper delivered 34 aircraft and booked revenue of $35.3 million during the third quarter, up from 32 aircraft and $28.1 million in the 2010 third quarter. Deliveries of Piper’s M-Class aircraft (Meridian, Mirage, and Matrix business airplanes) increased from 17 to 21.
"Operational efficiencies, along with matching new aircraft deliveries to a solid understanding of the evolving market, continue to contribute to the company's performance, which exceeds industry trends for turboprop and piston aircraft," said Simon Caldecott, who took over as Piper’s president and CEO last month.
Caldecott added that Piper's backlog "is the strongest it has been in four years, with aircraft earmarked for retail customers well into next year all across the product lines.” Turboprop and piston aircraft lines "are meeting or exceeding the company's internal financial and delivery targets,” in evidence of core-business strength, he said.
International deliveries led domestic market activity in the third quarter. Revenue was higher domestically, however, reflecting strong sales of Meridian business turboprops.
Caldecott attributed much of the sales strength to robust domestic and international dealer organizations. The company was focused on investment in existing product lines and stepped-up product improvement, he said.
Piper’s news came as an upbeat development in a week in which the General Aviation Manufacturers Association reported overall worldwide deliveries of general aviation airplanes for the first nine months of 2011 down 9.8 percent from the same period in 2010.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
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