Gulfstream matched last year’s green aircraft delivery output in the third quarter, but a more than doubling of completed aircraft shipments helped propel Aerospace Group’s profit to a 41.4% increase.
Gulfstream parent GD reported that Gulfstream delivered 34 aircraft in the third quarter, 28 of which were large cabin aircraft (the 650, 550 and 450) while the remaining six were mid-cabins (the 150 and 280). Not only did the total mirror last year’s third quarter, but so did the mix of deliveries.
But shipments of completed aircraft more than doubled in this year’s third quarter to 38 aircraft. This included 32 large aircraft, compared with 17 in the same time frame last year. This reflects the ramp-up of G650s, which began shipping in the fourth quarter. It also reflects the smoothing of the bottleneck in completions that plagued the production line earlier in the year. Gulfstream this quarter also delivered six completed mid-cabins, compared with none last year, when the G280 was just receiving its certification.
In addition to completed deliveries, Gulfstream also delivered four used aircraft in the third quarter, compared with one a year ago. All of this contributed to a 17.2% jump in the Aerospace Group’s third-quarter revenues to $2.15 billion, and operating earnings of $369 million.
Through the first nine months, Aerospace Group revenues are up 18.5% to $5.98 billion and operating earnings 35% to $1.068 billion. This comes as green deliveries this year increased by 11 units to 99, while completed deliveries nearly doubled to 103.
The pickup in deliveries, particularly with Gulfstream’s flagship 650, continues to chip away at backlog, which fell again this quarter to $13.8 billion. This is down from $14.7 billion in the second quarter and $16 billion a year ago.