Piper Aircraft reported some of its best aircraft sales figures since 2008 in the 2018 third quarter, noting expansion in its trainer and M-Class product lines and forecasting continued strong trainer sales driving positive fourth-quarter results.
Aircraft sales and deliveries in the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30, were led by turbine members of the M-Class family of high-performance business and private-travel airplanes, and the piston Archer TX single-engine trainer.
Third-quarter aircraft deliveries worth $69.5 million marked “the largest volume of aircraft delivered since 2008 in a single quarter,” and a $21 million improvement over the 2017 comparable period, the company said in an announcement.
To date in 2018, Piper said, it has delivered 152 aircraft, a 53-unit increase over the first three quarters in 2017.
Revenue from aircraft delivered across the first three quarters grew by $49 million, or 39 percent, in the year-to-year comparison. Leading the way was the Archer TX, a 180-horsepower single-engine trainer that includes the Garmin G1000 NXi avionics package, topping comparable 2017 deliveries by 60 percent.
The M-Class product line continued its show of strength with 51 aircraft delivered so far in 2018, a 54-percent increase.
“Piper's continued growth in both product deliveries and revenue reflects sustained managed growth and highlights our commitment to a made to order business model which has helped drive continued growth and sales expansion,” said Piper Aircraft President Simon Caldecott. “Our year to date performance is at the highest level we have experienced since 2008 and as we look forward to the last quarter of the year, deliveries of our value leading products are expected to continue to increase with deliveries of our robust primary aircraft trainers leading the way.”
In July, Piper reported accelerating growth of sales and deliveries compared to the second quarter of 2017 and noted “sustained and managed” year-to-date growth to the midpoint of 2018.