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File photo of a Bombardier employee working on the assembly of a company jet. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)
File photo of a Bombardier employee working on the assembly of a company jet. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)

Bombardier aircraft orders fall in 2013 on ‘sluggish’ economy Add to ...

A sluggish global economy and stuttering recovery are among the factors that trimmed Bombardier Inc.’s aircraft order book and total number of plane deliveries last year.

Montreal-based Bombardier Aerospace (BA) said on Monday that it received orders for 388 planes, net of cancellations, in 2013, compared with 481 orders in the previous year.

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The plane and train manufacturing giant says it delivered 238 aircraft in 2013, up from 233 in the previous calendar year, but below Bombardier Aerospace’s own target of 245 units.

“The global economy has remained persistently sluggish, and with its recovery taking longer than originally anticipated, 2013 continued to be a challenging year for aviation,” said Guy Hachey, president and chief operating officer of Bombardier Aerospace.

In business aircraft, Bombardier received 305 net orders compared with 343 in the previous year.

In commercial aircraft, the company booked 81 net orders, down considerably from 138 in 2012.

A total of 180 business jets were delivered in 2013, compared with 179 in the previous year. Bombardier was aiming for 190 units in 2013.

The main reason for falling short of that target was the transition from the Learjet 40 XR and Learjet 45 XR to the Learjet 70 and Learjet 75, which entered service in the fourth quarter of 2013, said Bombardier Aerospace.

On the commercial aircraft side – which includes regional jets and the Q400 turboprop – the company delivered 55 aircraft in 2013, up from 50 in the previous year, in line with guidance.

“Although bizjet deliveries were a bit light, 2013 order activity remained very strong as BA booked 305 bizjet orders, representing a book-to-bill of 1.7x (1.9x in 2012),” Stonecap Securities analyst Scott Rattee said in a research note Monday.

“The BA bizjet division has posted two stellar years of orders, which have been dominated by orders for its larger, higher-margin Challenger and Global family of aircraft.”

Bombardier did not provide 2014 guidance, a decision that is not surprising given the latest delays to the C Series new-jet and Learjet 85 programs, Mr. Rattee said.

The company should provide guidance when it reports fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 13, he said.

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