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Bombardier Inc reports fall in operating profits

The parent company of Bombardier Shorts in Belfast has reported a slight drop in revenues and profits for 2009 and indicated conditions in the aviation sector remain challenging.

Canadian-owned manufacturer Bombardier Inc reported full-year revenues of $19.4bn ($12.7bn) for the year ended January 31, compared to $19.7bn the previous fiscal year, with operating profits slipping from $2bn to $1.6bn.

For the last three months of the year operating profits were $417m, down from $577m a year earlier, while revenues slipped slightly to $5.35bn.

“Against a challenging economic backdrop, we delivered good financial results. We took the downturn as an opportunity to fine-tune the way we operate in order to execute better and cut costs intelligently,” said Pierre Beaudoin, President and chief executive of Bombardier.

“In Aerospace, we took the necessary steps to adapt to the economic reality by carefully monitoring capital expenditures and reducing our production rates for both business and regional jets. We met our target deliveries and increased our market share in both segments. Keeping our sight on the long-term, we continued to invest in the development of our new flagship products, the Learjet 85 business jet and the CSeries commercial aircraft for which we have now received 90 orders.”

The company, which is the world’s number three civil aircraft maker, said it expects to deliver about 15% less business aircraft and 20% fewer commercial aircraft in the 2011 fiscal year.

Bombardier said its aerospace division had an order backlog of $16.7bn at the end of January, a sizeable reduction on the $23.5m backlog a year ago.

The division delivered delivered 176 business aircraft in 2009, compared to 235 aircraft the previous year, although it also raised its market share in the business and commercial aircraft markets.

The decrease reflects significantly higher business aircraft order cancellations, as well as an overall level of new orders lower than revenues in business aircraft and in regional jets during fiscal year 2010, partially offset by |orders received for the CSeries family of aircraft in the first quarter of fiscal year 2010.

Bombardier is building a new factory in Belfast for the design and production of the composite wings for its new CSeries jets.

The Toronto-based company noted that the development of its new aircraft programmes was evolving as planned, with the Belfast facility among several under construction.

In February, Republic Airways Holdings signed an agreement to purchase 40 CSeries CS300 aircraft, with options for an additional 40 CS300 aircraft, a deal which is valued at $3.1bn, potentially rising to $6.3bn, based on list price. The backlog for the CSeries family of aircraft now stands at 90 firm orders, the company said.

Belfast Telegraph