Piper, Beech Report Major Sales Increases

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The General Aviation Manufacturers Association is holding its annual luncheon today to announce the sales numbers of its members from last year but some companies just couldn't wait to spread their good news. On Tuesday, Piper jumped the gun with a news release saying its sales and revenue increases were in double digits in 2013, thanks to its focus on the training market. Piper delivered 188 aircraft last year, up 30 from the previous year, and reported revenue of almost $169 million. Piston-powered aircraft accounted for 154 of those sales, up 24 percent over 2012 and a direct reflection of the training market. "The economics of our single-engine aircraft and our line of sophisticated and proven training aircraft is compelling to many aviators and pilot training institutions around the world," said CEO Simon Caldecott. Meanwhile, Beechcraft announced its rosy numbers as part of its Singapore Air Show news last week.

Beech, which will soon be owned by Textron, reported a whopping 64 percent increase in deliveries with 205 civilian aircraft going out the door after emerging from bankruptcy early in the year. That included 135 King Airs, up from 89 in 2012, and 35 each of the Baron and Bonanza pistons, which was almost twice as many as the previous year. On the military side, Beechcraft sent 34 T-6 trainers to training units all over the world. In addition to the impressive full-year delivery numbers, we saw our highest booking rates in years and had solid revenue from servicing Hawker and Beechcraft aircraft in both the commercial and military segments," said CEO Bill Boisture. "Its safe to call our first year as a standalone company a success.