IAI changes tack to improve financial results

Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) second-quarter financial results did not surprise anyone.

While sales were up by 5%, from $896 million in the second quarter of 2013 to $939 million in the same period this year, the other parameters were not impressive.

Net income was $12 million, compared to $18 million in the corresponding quarter of 2013.

The company says the decrease is mainly a result of the weakening of the US dollar to the New Israeli shekel, and of a slowdown in the commercial aviation market.

IAI’s backlog totals $9.7 billion – a number that does not improve the results.

The largest Israeli defence company has for some years faced the same problems – and has been busily trying to find a way to change its financial situation.

While the state-owned company faces difficulties in trimming its workforce to the scope of its workload, it is also looking to a new direction it hopes will increase both revenue and profit.

As I reported recently, the company is planning a programme to develop a new light jet – but is this the niche that will establish IAI as a major aircraft manufacturer?

It seems that after looking for the “next big thing”, the Israeli company has made a decision.

There is a still a long way to go, but the company’s future direction is set.

IAI revealed it is involved once again in an effort  to develop a small executive jet that will offer low-cost travel up to 1,300nm (2,410km).

The Israeli company has only confirmed that the small jet is designed to seat six passengers, and that the basic operational costs will be low.

IAI is working with an as-yet undisclosed partner, and has completed the initial design.

IAI is also manufacturing business jets marketed by Gulfstream. The company has considerable capabilities in design and manufacturing of aircraft, and the new programme may signal a change in strategy that will try to make best use of the available resources.

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