Bell delivers 39 helicopters in Q3, profits up


Bell 407GXP

Bell delivered 39 commercial helicopters in the last quarter and recorded a profit of $106 million.

The Fort Worth-based manufacturer delivered 25 more helicopters year-on-year in Q3 2017 and profits rose $9 million.

Bell generated $812 million in revenues in the third quarter of 2017, up $78 million on last year’s figure of $734 million. Its backlog at the end of the quarter was $5 billion, down $413 million from the end of the previous quarter.

Increased demand across multiple helicopter operations has seen sales rise for Bell’s 407GXP and the 429 Jet Ranger models this quarter. Patrick Moulay, executive vice president, commercial sales and marketing, said: “We are seeing the commercial market for helicopters recover across most sectors and this is reflected in our sales performance.

“The Bell 429 continues to prove itself for Helicopter Emergency Services and police missions with customers operating in the harshest environments, such as Air Zermatt choosing the Bell 429 over the competition. Our global footprint is growing steadily as we continue to deliver the new Jet Rangers around the world.”

Global footprint

Bell has closed deals in emerging markets such as Africa and is continuing to push sales in Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Europe.

Moulay continued: “Just last week, Nautilus Aviation accepted the first aircraft into Asia-Pacific. There has been continued success for the 407GXP this quarter, with Caverton Helicopters confirming their fleet order in Africa and steady interest in private customers from Latin America and Europe for corporate transport.”

Caverton ordered eight 407GXPs in late August for offshore logistics support, maritime surveillance, EMS and SAR operations in Nigeria. This follows the landmark order from Chinese operator Shaanxi for 100 407GXPs in June.

Textron growth

The strong commercial helicopter demand elevated parent company Textron’s overall figures this quarter. Textron CEO and chairman Scott C. Donnelly said: “Growth in the third quarter was the result of strong commercial demand at Bell, increased deliveries at Textron Systems, and higher revenues at Industrial due to the acquisition of Arctic Cat.”

Revenues are up 7.2% for Textron this quarter but its segment profit was down $15 million to $295 million.