Bombardier is ramping up its business jet production with planned deliveries of 180 aircraft in 2012, up from the 163 delivered in 2011. But the gap between its business jet and commercial aircraft production is expected to widen, with commercial deliveries anticipated to fall to 55 this year. That compares with the 97 commercial aircraft delivered in 2010 and 78 last year.

“On the regional front, we had a low level of orders in 2011, but we’re off to a good start in 2012 with 40 orders and options and many more campaigns in the pipeline,” says Pierre Beaudoin, president and CEO of Bombardier Inc. He added that the company is having success with an increased focus on emerging markets. “It is competitive markets,” Beaudoin says, but “there is a good pipeline for both CRJ and Q400 in emerging markets.”

Bombardier continues to pick up orders for its new CSeries of airliners, saying it has orders, letters of intent and options for more than 300 of the aircraft. The firm orders for 138 aircraft represent the first 2 1/2 years of production, says Beaudoin.

Overall, backlog grew last year from $19.2 billion as of Jan. 31, 2011 to $22 billion by the end of 2011. The Aerospace group netted 249 orders in the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, for a book-to-bill ratio of 1.0, compared with 201 net orders, for a book-to-bill of 0.8, the previous fiscal year. The book-to-bill was in line with the company’s guidance, Beaudoin notes.

Due to a change in accounting procedures, Bombardier’s fiscal year was one month shorter in 2011 than the previous years. With the shorter year, Bombardier Aerospace reports $8.6 billion in revenues for 2011. Bombardier Aerospace took in $8.8 billion in revenues the previous fiscal year, covering a 12-month period. Earnings before interest and taxes were $502 million in the most recent fiscal year, compared with $554 million a year earlier.

Bombardier Aerospace’s margins are expected to decline to 5% this year, down from 5.8% posted in the most recent fiscal year. But the company believes the margins will be better in the second half of the year than in the first, he says. Beaudoin believes the margins will be impacted by increased pension expenses and by the fact that the “Canadian dollar is a headwind.”

In addition, Bombardier’s research and development spending will reach peak levels at $2 billion in 2012 as the company moves toward first flights of both the Learjet 85 and CSeries CS100 aircraft, he says. First flight on both is targeted by year’s end. “We’re seeing components coming together,” he says of the CSeries, but he notes the process is very complex, particularly since the company is incorporating fly-by-wire for the first time. “We have a good plan, but we’re going to need to follow it day by day.”

Business jet output is expected to pick up pace through the year, Beaudoin says. The Global aircraft line will be a little slower in the first quarter since the company will be introducing the Global Vision cockpit, and has “some ramping up to do with the completion center.”