More record figures at Pilatus Aircraft Ltd in 2008: sales (CHF 661 million), incoming orders (CHF 988 million) and order volume at end of 2008 (CHF 1,197 million), were higher than ever. Other results were also encouraging, with a record number of PC-12 deliveries in 2008 (97). All in all, a total of 114 aircraft left the Stans work halls. And Pilatus is entirely debt-free!
In spite of higher sales, operating profit (CHF 55 million) was slightly lower than in 2007 (CHF 59 million), due principally to the weak US dollar.
PC-12 sales remained buoyant
One of the big events of the year was the certification of the new PC-12 NG, which took place on 28 March 2008 in Europe and the USA. Certifications have since also been obtained in Canada, Brazil, South Africa, Australia and Russia.
15 years after the PC-12 was launched, business is still booming, mainly thanks to the new PC-12 NG: 73 of these aircraft have already been delivered to their new owners. Our Business Unit General Aviation contributed 61 percent of total Pilatus turnover in the year under review.
Government Aviation reports a good year too
The orders from the Republic of Singapore Air Force for delivery of 19 PC-21 training systems, and from the Swiss Air Force for delivery of six PC-21 training systems were all completed with success. Our Customer Support and After Sales Service team also reported very good results. An order was received from South Africa, where a new avionics system is to be installed in 35 PC-7 MkIIs.
New orders for our Maintenance unit
A contract for cockpit refits on a further 10 Swiss Air Force PC-7s was signed in 2008. The workshops in Altenrhein had full order books, too, particularly with the maintenance and modification of DHC-6 Twin Otters made by Canadian manufacturer, Viking Air Ltd.
3 new, and 2 second-hand, Pilatus Porter PC-6s were sold. Now a legend in its own lifetime and celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the Pilatus Porter still offers certain flying characteristics which remain unmatched by any other aircraft. We are now developing a modern glass cockpit for the PC-6.
Pilatus: a major employer
Our staff have worked very hard indeed, and will of course reap the rewards of another set of good results, earning themselves a profitsharing bonus equivalent to over a month's salary.
Pilatus is canton Nidwalden's biggest employer. This means we also carry a social responsibility in terms of providing occupational training for youngsters in this region. From August 2009 we will be offering training in a ninth profession, plastics engineering, to a total of 100 apprentices.
Forecast for 2009
In the USA, the real estate crisis became a financial crisis. That, in turn, developed into a global financial and economic crisis. And the scale of the figures, already very worrying, grows more threatening by the day. Contrary to all recommendations, investment is drying up and many major concerns are having to lay off workers in their thousands.
Despite all this, market opportunities for Pilatus remain satisfactory. Our products are technologically excellent, our prices are competitive and our service is second to none.
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