Textron is accelerating its transformation from holding to operating company by creating a corporate centre to apply "best practice" across its business units. The US company - parent of Bell Helicopter and Cessna Aircraft - has already launched major initiatives in supply chain management and e-business.

Considering itself to be undervalued by Wall Street, Textron has adopted a strategy aimed at achieving a 10-15% compound annual growth rate for revenues, "low double-digit" annual growth in earnings and operating margins above 13% by 2004.

Describing Bell and Cessna as "star performers", Textron says it plans to tap into their experience to build other units into market leaders. Fort Worth-based Bell and general aviation and business aircraft specialist Cessna of Wichita together account for 32% of Textron's revenues.

The group's new strategy is focused on improving return on invested capital from 12.6% at the end of 1999 to over 15% by 2004. Capital allocation "will focus on technology and product innovation as well as selective acquisition opportunities", Textron says.

Source: Flight International