Bell’s parent Textron released unaudited first quarter results recently, with Chairman and CEO Scott C. Donnelly quoted as saying“Revenues at Textron Aviation and Industrial were up during the quarter, while revenues at Bell and Textron Systems were down, as we expected”. The detailed section for Bell – like its sister companies within the group – was brief, and said this:-
Bell revenues decreased $76 million, primarily the result of lower commercial and military aircraft deliveries partially offset by higher military product support volume. Bell delivered 8 V-22’s and 5 H-1’s in the quarter, compared to 9 V-22’s and 6 H-1’s in last year’s first quarter and delivered 34 commercial helicopters, down from 40 units last year.
Segment profit decreased $33 million, primarily reflecting an unfavorable mix of commercial aircraft deliveries and the lower volumes.
Bell backlog at the end of the first quarter was $6.3 billion, down $197 million from the end of 2013.
There remains a continued pressure by military customers to reduce procurement, which is affecting other manufacturers too. Bell continues research and development of new models including the 505 JetRanger X, 525 Relentless and V-280 Valor – each of which will take a few years more of investment until income is seen from customer deliveries.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com