General Dynamics said yesterday that its third-quarter earnings soared 25 per cent on the back of increasing demand for its Gulfstream business jets, as well as combat systems.
The company''s aerospace segment, which includes Gulfstream, saw its earnings rise 37 per cent, to $226 million, while sales climbed 21 per cent, to $1.31 billion. International sales are rising and accounted for 53 per cent of Gulfstream''s orders in the three-month period, a trend in consonance with the rest of the industry.
General Dynamics CEO Nicholas Chabraja said he expects sales to go up in the fourth quarter, though he admitted, "We could use a little let-up in demand since it''s outpacing our production capacity. For example, the next available G550 slot is in the second or third quarter of 2011."
Gulfstream shipped 37 green business jets (21 large cabin, 16 midsize) in the third quarter, compared with 29 (18 large cabin, 11 midsize) in the same period last year. In the first nine months, the company has delivered a total of 103 Gulfstreams - 60 large cabin and 43 midsize.