Pilatus sees even better results in 2011, but outlook dims

Pilatus Aircraft Ltd has announced another excellent set of results for 2011. Turnover and operating profit have never been higher. And in Stans alone Pilatus created 65 new jobs.

Turnover was up by just under 14 percent to CHF 781 million, and operating profit rose almost 23 percent to CHF 108 million. At CHF 67 million, investment in Research and Development was also higher than ever before.

Incoming orders totalled CHF 416 million, up slightly on the previous year, but the value of orders in hand fell again, this time by over 50 percent, down to CHF 325 million.

Government Aviation contributed 60 percent of total turnover. This high share is due to the very large order from the United Arab Emirates. Sixteen of the 25 PC-21s, plus virtually all the training and simulator systems, were delivered to the customer in 2011.

A contract for five new PC-7 MkII training aircraft was signed with the Botswana Defence Force at the end of April. These aircraft are due for delivery at the end of 2012.

Pilatus delivered 44 PC-12 NGs to customers in North and South America during 2011, including one to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, an early adopter of the PC-12 and still one of Pilatus’ most loyal customers ever.

Overall, however, total sales suffered another dip. Whereas Pilatus sold a record number of 100 PC-12s in 2009, sales had fallen to 63 PC-12s just two years later, i.e. in 2011. That figure still represents a good sales effort given the very difficult market situation in the field of General Aviation. In 2011, the PC-12 ranked second in terms of best-selling turboprop aircraft.

Pilatus also sold six Pilatus Porter PC-6s in 2011. Having obtained the requisite certification in China and Brazil, the first of these legendary aircraft were sold to customers in these growing markets.

Oscar J. Schwenk, Chairman and CEO, notes that the current year is likely to be more difficult, with 2012 results expected to be less good than in the past. “Even a major order will not be enough to compensate for the low level of orders in hand this year.”

 He remains upbeat, nevertheless: “Pilatus has the best know-how and the best products in the industry. We shall tighten our belts, and step forward confidently, with our eyes firmly on the future. Development work continues apace on our innovative new aircraft, the PC-24. I am sure that this project will see us lift off again to write yet another milestone in the successful history of Pilatus.”

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