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Bombardier Aerospace announces Learjet 85 delay, disappointing 4Q12 results

Bombardier Aerospace announced a new delay for the Learjet 85 programme while posting a 30% decline in operating earnings during the fourth quarter.

The all-composite Learjet 85 will be delivered in the third quarter of 2014, or six to nine months later than expected, Bombardier says. The delay comes three months after Bombardier delayed first flight of the CSeries from late December to the no later than the end of June.

The first CSeries flight test aircraft, meanwhile, has continued to make progress in final assembly since 1 January. The aircraft's structures are now fully assembled and Bombardier is integrating the newly-certificated Pratt & Whitney PW1500G engines. A software load with the first flight configuration has now been loaded in a ground-based simulator called the complete integrated aircraft systems test area, or Aircraft 0.

Besides the new delay for the latest member of the Learjet family, Bombardier says its disappointing results in the fourth quarter and for the full year in 2012 mark the low ebb of the impact of the post-2008 global financial crisis.

"Our results for 2012 are not reflective of our potential," says Pierre Beaudoin, Bombardier's president and chief executive. "With our outstanding backlog of $66.6 billion, an increase of 19% over last year, we're forging ahead with breakthrough products and expanding our reach in pivotal growth areas."

The Bombardier Aerospace division finished the quarter with a 30% year-on-year increase in revenues to $2.6 billion, but that was matched by a 30% reduction operating earnings to $89 million.

In 2012 overall, revenues remained flat at $8.63 billion Bombardier Aerospace division, while expenses increased less than 1% year-on-year to $7.42 billion.

Full-year revenue growth within the aerospace division tilted heavily in favour of the business jet group, which improved revenues by 7.7% $4.59 billion. Commercial aircraft sales, however, declined 35.2% year-on-year to $1.12 billion.

Bombardier delivered 233 aircraft in 2012, or 4.9% fewer than the previous year.

As output fell, Bombardier re-stocked its backlog on both sides of the business and commercial aviation ledger. The business jet backlog increased with 343 net orders, an 80% jump compared to the 191 orders signed in 2011. Commercial aircraft orders in 2012 finished at 138, or 156% more than Bombardier signed the previous year. Bombardier has not disclosed net orders for commercial aircraft in 2012.

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