Fairchild Dornier has revealed its financial figures for the first time, claiming strong net profits of just over $70 million for its latest 1996/7 year to the end of September.

The privately owned US company, which has given out almost no financial information since taking over the troubled Dornier regional-aircraft business 18 months ago, reveals sales at $507 million. The sales are in line with those from rivals Embraer and Saab Aircraft, while Aero International (Regional) has over $1 billion and Bombardier's civil business is closer to $3 billion.

Fairchild Dornier puts its year-end backlog at $436 million, although the company says that the total has already grown to over $800 million with new business since September, including undisclosed orders for the 30-seat 328JET regional jet, which was unveiled on 6 December and is scheduled to have its first flight in late January.

The figures come after write-downs on research-and-development costs, including those for the 328JET, and the company reports a strong year-end balance sheet, with a cash reserve of $183 million and virtually no debt.

President Jim Robinson attributes the improvement to sales growth and "stringent cost reduction". Since the Dornier acquisition, actions have been put into effect to take over $100 million off annual costs, he says. Reports say that the benefits so far have reached $58 million against a $115 million target.

Source: Flight International