Piper Aircraft is bucking the GA industry decline in piston and turboprop deliveries and sales reported in Monday’s dismal GAMA shipment report. During the third quarter of 2011, Piper outpaced its own aircraft deliveries and already profitable revenue performance during the same period a year ago. Year-to-date revenue from new aircraft sales was $92.5 million, compared with $77.6 million during the same period in 2010, an increase of more than 19%.
During the third quarter, Piper delivered 34 aircraft and received $35.3 million in revenue.
That compares with 32 aircraft and $28.1 million in revenue during last year’s third quarter, up two deliveries and more than 25% in revenue, reflecting stronger Piper M-Class aircraft in the delivery mix, the company said. Quarter to quarter, deliveries of M-Class aircraft – Meridian, Mirage and Matrix business airplanes – were up, from 17 a year ago to 21 this year.
“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,” says Piper President and CEO Simon Caldecott.
“Moreover, 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. Piper’s core business is strong. Our turboprop and piston aircraft lines are meeting or exceeding the company’s internal financial and delivery targets.”
Caldecott says the company delivered more aircraft outside the U.S., where there is a strong market for piston trainers, than it sold domestically in the third quarter. But the domestic deliveries generated more revenue, reflecting stronger sales of the company’s flagship Meridian turboprop business aircraft to U.S. customers. He attributes much of the company’s recent sales success to Piper’s strong domestic and international dealer organization.
“Piper’s dealer organization, which spans the globe, is our underlying strength. Feedback from our dealers is essential to us in determining new aircraft product improvements going forward,” Caldecott said. “We are steadfast in listening to our dealers and dedicating the resources required to continually improve our turboprop and piston business aircraft, along with our new training aircraft.”
Caldecott says Piper is stepping up the focus on product improvements through increased investments in existing lines, with numerous upgrades to its M-Class Mirage, Matrix and Meridian offerings announced at the recent NBAA convention.
Piper recently made the strategic decision to focus on the M-Class and its trainer lines, when it decided to shelve development of its lone jet project, the single-jet Altaire.