Textron Aviation pulled in a strong quarter with Cessna Citation deliveries increasing by four units to 48 and overall backlog growing another $700 million to $5.8 billion. However, Scott Donnelly, chairman and CEO of the Wichita airframer’s parent, Textron, cautioned that the supply chain is creating “headwinds” that may push some deliveries into 2023 and soften 2022 revenues by a few hundred million from its guidance.
In the second quarter, Textron Aviation delivered four fewer commercial aircraft overall year-over-year, with piston single deliveries off by 10 units, to 61. However, turboprop deliveries increased year-over-year by two units, to 35, and turbine aircraft in total by six units, to 83. The turboprop deliveries included the first SkyCourier to customer FedEx.
The delivery results, coupled with an 18 percent jump in the aftermarket business, pushed up revenues for the quarter by $123 million, to $1.3 billion, and profits by $59 million, to $155 million.
“Aviation had another solid quarter with higher revenues and strong execution, resulting in a 12.1 percent segment, proper margin,” Donnelly told analysts Thursday morning in releasing the quarterly results. “We continue to see strong demand, solid pricing, and increased deliveries for our jets and turboprops and higher market volume from increased aircraft utilization.”
Textron Aviation is trying to ramp up production “given the very strong demand environment,” but that is a more difficult process in light of the supply-chain issues and related disruptions, Donnelly said. “So, I think we'll probably be a little light on revenue. We'll probably miss some deliveries as things push into 2023.”
He added the company has been hiring to bring additional staff on board and working with suppliers to help meet that ramp. This includes holding hiring fairs and recruiting to add “100 people or so a month.” But this takes time and training must follow hiring. “It's a sizable number of people that we need to bring on board to support that ramp,” he said. “We’re working really hard.” As such, Textron Aviation is taking a cautious approach to ensure it makes its delivery commitments.
Donnelly also pointed out how the business has evolved in the changing demand climate, one that has gone from more of spot deliveries to those planned out now well in advance. “Demand's been really strong in that backlog is continuing to grow. It gives us really good visibility, which is terrific—something we didn't have for a long time.”
He further maintained that from a margin and performance standpoint the company will continue to excel. This is particularly true as the aftermarket business remains strong.
As far as market demand, Donnelly pointed to strength in North America but also cited a “significant pickup” in international business, particularly with its King Air lines. Corporate flight activity is returning, he said, and added that the market is continuing to see new entrants. These trends are continuing into the third quarter, he noted.