King Air suffers during Q1-2017



According to Textron Aviation’s Q1-2017 numbers, revenues were down $121 million, “primarily due to lower military and commercial turboprop volumes,” and a strong dollar pusing down international sales.

The Wichita, KS-headquartered OEM delivered one more Citation jet than in Q1-2016, reaching a total of 35 jet deliveries for Q1-2017. The King Air segment suffered significantly, with a mere 12 turboprops delivered compared to 26 in Q1-2016, a 54% drop.

Also read: Third Citation Longitude joins test fleet

Consequently, Textron’s overall aviation segment profit dropped to $36 million in Q1-2017 compared to $73 million in Q1-2016, “primarily due to lower volume and mix,” the report reads. The company’s backlog at the end of Q1-2017 was $1.0 billion, approximately flat from the end of Q4-2016.

During an investor conference call, Textron Chairman & CEO Scott Donnelly explained that the King Air line of turboprop hasn’t become less popular, but suffered due to a postponement of purchasing plans from international buyers because of “unfavorable currency exchange rates.” Nevertheless, Donnelly expects deliveries for 2017 to reach similar levels as 2016, which logged 106 units shipped.

In related news, Textron subsidiary Bell Helicopter also logged a decrease in revenue, down $117 million, with 27 commercial helicopters delivered compared to 30 units in Q1-2016, and less deliveries in its military aviation segment as well. Segment profit was up $1 million despite the decline in revenues, primarily due to improved performance.