Hawker Reports Q1 Sales Drop

Weak business and general aviation numbers weigh on Hawker’s earnings report.

Mixed Earnings Reported by Hawker in early 2011
Mixed Earnings Reported by Hawker in early 2011
Mixed earnings reported by Hawker in
early 2011.

Hawker Beechcraft issued a mixed-bag earnings report on Monday, highlighting an increase in deliveries, but a decrease in sales and operational income sparked largely by the continuing underperformance of business and general aviation.

During January through March of this year, the company made a total of 45 deliveries, a significant increase from the 34 deliveries Hawker made over the same period in 2010. The company’s backlog has also increased in 2011, rising $122 million during the first quarter compared to the fourth quarter of 2010.

But Hawker also reported a sales decrease of**** $9.8 million compared to the first quarter of 2010, as well as operational losses of $37.9 million, up $12.8 million from last year. Bill Boisture, chairman and CEO of Hawker Beechcraft, attributed these losses to a variety of factors. "This was driven in large part by loss-making aircraft charges, higher sales and marketing expenses related to our international expansion, expenses associated with our cost reduction initiatives, and continuing weakness in the general aviation market," he said.

Indeed, Hawker’s greatest losses were felt in the business and general aviation. Sales there decreased $48.9 in the first quarter of 2011 when compared with 2010, while operating income took a hit of $20.9 million.

Despite these losses, Boisture tried to keep a positive note when looking forward to the rest of the year. “While 2011 will continue to present challenges as we work our way through what remains to be a soft market, we are confident that we are making sound business decisions and have a unique, diversified product mix,” he said.