ATR chief executive Filippo Bangnato expects 2014 turnover to reach $1.8 billion, versus $1.63 billion last year, and wants to continue holding the company’s backlog steady despite rising deliveries.

Increasing production is a big challenge for the Franco-Italian turboprop manufacturer. At one point, Bagnato had forecast achieving 90 deliveries in 2013. Reaching just 74, though a record, evidenced supply-chain issues being faced by all aircraft makers in a fast-growing market. Specifically, Bagnato says, aerostructure manufacture is the choke point ATR must resolve.

For 2014, he says, “we must – not should – deliver a minimum of 80 aircraft”, adding that in both 2015 and 2016 “we must go beyond 90” or risk losing out on orders. “The most important asset of ATR is the confidence of the customer,” says Bagnato.

Some 85% of sales of aircraft under 90 seats in Latin America and Southeast Asia over the past five years went to ATR.

Last year’s 2013 intake came from 14 clients, and ATR’s total operating fleet is spread among 189 operators in 93 countries.

But when it comes to one notable exception, China, Bagnato has no expectations for the foreseeable future. “Step by step”, he says, a market for regional aircraft “will become a reality, but it doesn’t exist today”.

Noting that China’s 24% import tax on aircraft with fewer than 90 seats “is not in line with international commercial practice”, Bagnato observes that, if the country has any hope of becoming and exporter in this sector, it will have to “adhere” to international norms.

ATR turned in a record year both for sales and deliveries in 2013, as turnover grew 13% to $1.63 billion – up 30% over three years – while 74 aircraft deliveries eclipsed the 64 handed over in 2012 and 54 in 2011.

A sales total of 195 aircraft – 89 firm orders (up 20%) and 106 options – held the Airbus Group-Alenia Aermacchi joint venture’s backlog steady at a historical high of 221.

Growth was also profitable, with a 9% return on sales taking the bottom line to about $150 million, while net cash generation for 2013 reached $200 million.

Source: Cirium Dashboard