Cessna hopes for modest gains in 2013 after bleak Q4

Washington DC
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Cessna's deliveries will be "modestly higher" in 2013 despite an unexpectedly slow conclusion to 2012, parent company Textron says.

Fourth-quarter revenues for the business and general aviation manufacturer plunged 10% year-on-year to $901 million as jet deliveries declined from 67 to 53. Jet deliveries for the full year declined by two to 183 compared with 2011.

Cessna's hopes for a rebound this year are based mainly on the slightly delayed arrival of three new aircraft types, including a new Sovereign, the Citation M2 and the Citation X.

The timing of the three new arrivals - with the Sovereign appearing in the third quarter and M2 and X now appearing in the fourth quarter - means any Cessna recovery will be delayed to the second half of the year, says Textron chief executive Scott Donnelly.

new cessna citation x cessna

 Cessna    

As the new aircraft models appear, an improving fiscal environment could also help boost the company's recovery.

"We also believe we'll see a degree of uncertainty in the jet market as Washington works through its fiscal challenges, but we believe demand will solidify as those uncertainties are reduced," says Donnelly.

Meanwhile, the company will seek to keep production rates steady despite the trend of reduced demand for aircraft in the light and midsize jet categories, Donnelly says.

Cessna's hopes for modest gains in revenues are based partly on an estimate of deferred demand from 2012, when fiscal policy remained deadlocked and a stand-off ensued over raising the debt ceiling.

At the same time, Cessna's growth prospects remain Donnelly's biggest worry because "we don't have a whole lot of control over what the market is doing".