27% earnings fall for Bombardier as deliveries drop
Bombardier Aerospace, one of Northern Ireland's biggest employers, has said that it expects customer numbers for its new C-Series planes to increase, despite forecasting a drop in aircraft deliveries this year.
The wings of the C-Series are being made at a specially-built plant in east Belfast.
Overall, the plane and train maker's fourth-quarter earnings dropped 27%, hurt in part by lower aircraft deliveries due to a shorter reporting period after a change in year-end.
At Bombardier Aerospace revenues were $8.6bn (£5.4bn), compared to $8.8bn (£5.5bn) a year earlier.
Earnings before tax totalled $502m (£314m), or 5.8% of revenues, compared to $554m (£347m), or 6.3%, in 2010.
Bombardier Aerospace's revenues amounted to $2bn (£1.3bn) for the two-month period ended December 31, 2011, compared to $3.1bn (£1.9bn) for the three-month period the previous year.
During the year ended December 31, 2011, Bombardier Aerospace delivered 245 aircraft (163 business, 78 commercial and four amphibious) compared to 256 aircraft the year previous.
Pierre Beaudoin, president and chief executive officer at Bombardier Inc, said that the aerospace division "navigated through another demanding year with skill and efficiency".
"We maintained our profitability, increased our level of net orders, grew our backlog, further enhanced our industry leadership in business jets, and continued to invest in many new programmes while addressing the challenges in our regional aircraft business," Mr Beaudoin said.
Bombardier expects deliveries for 2012 of about 180 business aircraft and 55 commercial.
However, the firm said that there is a growing number of customers for the C-Series, with firm orders representing two-and-a- half years of production.
Five new operators were signed up, which brought total orders, letters of intent and options to over 300.
Following the end of the financial year, Bombardier Aerospace received a firm order for five CS100 airliners and options for an additional five CS100 aircraft from PrivatAir.
A firm order was placed by PT Garuda of Indonesia for six C Series regional with options for another 18.
There was also an order from Ethiopian Airlines for five Q400 NextGen airliners, and an order from Horizon Air for two Q400 NextGen aircraft. The new orders are valued at $220m (£137m).
Totalled earnings of the plane and train maker before tax