The drop in aircraft deliveries at Bombardier Inc. last year was in line with its own guidance and with the expectations of many analysts.
But the company surprised some observers with robust booking activity for new orders.
Montreal-based Bombardier says it shipped 233 aircraft in calendar 2012, compared with 245 units in the previous fiscal year, the 11-month period ended Dec. 31, 2011.
The aerospace and rail giant said the delivery number is in line with the guidance of 235 planes it provided in March of 2012.
On the booking side, Bombardier said it received orders for 481 aircraft, net of cancellations, compared with 249 orders – also net of cancellations – for the previous year.
"The positive surprise comes from Bombardier's solid booking activity for 2012," analyst Benoit Poirier of Desjardins Securities said in a research note Wednesday.
"We believe the market will be encouraged by these numbers."
Mr. Poirier says he expects the number of deliveries in 2013 to be similar to that of last year.
"We expect 2013 to be a good year on the commercial side in terms of booking activity, especially when taking into account the potential opportunities with SkyWest, American Airlines, Air Canada and Qatar Airways, amongst others," he said.
Of the 233 units delivered in 2012, 179 were business jets, 50 were regional aircraft and four were amphibious planes.
"2012 was a year of focus on execution, and our employees demonstrated their resilience and commitment by rallying through a challenging economic environment to meet our delivery targets," Bombardier Aerospace president and chief operating officer Guy Hachey said in a news release late Tuesday.
"Overall, we are seeing positive momentum across our entire product portfolio."