Despite an increase in revenues at Cessna, the company showed an operating loss for the first quarter of this year, parent company Textron said last week. Revenues were up about 26 percent compared to the first quarter of last year, but low production and delivery levels led to an overall loss of $38 million, compared to $24 million last year. Part of the loss, paradoxically, registered because fewer customers canceled orders, resulting in fewer forfeited deposits to boost the bottom line. Higher engineering and development costs also contributed to the losses, as well as inflation, the company said. Textron CEO Scott Donnelly called the performance "disappointing." He said improvement is expected "as volumes recover and the impacts of our continuing cost reduction and productivity programs take effect."
Cessna delivered 31 new Citation jets in the first three months of the year, equal to the deliveries for last year at the same time. The company did not release any numbers for piston aircraft sales. Bell Helicopter, another Textron company, reported a 23-percent increase in profits over last year. The company delivered nine V-22s and four H-1s in the quarter, along with 15 commercial aircraft.