INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — In what was a down year for most of the general aviation industry, Piper Aircraft reported robust fourth-quarter deliveries and showed a nearly 78 percent increase overall in shipments from the year before.
Piper reported deliveries of 160 aircraft for 2010 to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, up from 90 in 2009. The company reported nearly a 38 percent increase in year over year sales from $87.2 million to $120.2 million.
Deliveries for all general aviation aircraft was down 7.7 percent and Cessna, which competes in the same turboprop/piston segment as Piper saw its deliveries in that category drop from 451 aircraft in 2009 to 334 in 2010.
“Despite the pain caused by the downturn, we are now seeing strong GDP growth on a global level and corporate profits are up,” said Gama Chairman John Rosanvallon. “This bodes well for general aviation’s future as shipments have traditionally lagged an economic recovery by one to two years.”
Piper was in need of a strong fourth quarter to reach its estimate of a 75 percent increase deliveries in 2010. It sold 10 of its high-end Meridian turboprops, which has a list price of over $2 million.
The company sold 53 aircraft overall in the fourth quarter, helped by the delivery of four Piper Seneca Vs and 10 Piper Archer IIIs to the Qatar Aeronautical College in December.
“Piper Aircraft is very pleased with 2010 progress and performance in terms of market penetration, deliveries and dollar volume,” said Piper Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Berger. “The increases reflected our aggressive efforts toward globalizing the profile of the company.”
Sales in the fourth quarter for Piper were $42.6 million, up from 21 aircraft valued at $18.8 million in 2009.