Bombardier's 2013 aircraft orders fall, blames 'sluggish' economy

Reuters

TORONTO, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Canada's Bombardier Inc said on Monday that aircraft deliveries nudged slightly higher in 2013, but its order book fell 19 percent, as a persistently sluggish global economy created a "challenging year for aviation." Montreal-based Bombardier said it delivered 238 aircraft last year, five more than in 2012, but aircraft orders dropped to 388 from 481.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Walter Spracklin said the deliveries were in line with his estimates and he expects 2014 delivery guidance when the company reports fourth-quarter financial results on Feb. 13.

Shares of Bombardier rose 2 Canadian cents to C$4.13 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday. Last week, the stock fell 9 percent last week after the company again delayed the schedule of its new CSeries jetliner.

Bombardier said commercial aircraft orders fell 41 percent in 2013, to 81 from 138 in 2012, and business jet orders slipped to 305 from 343. There were two orders for amphibious aircraft.

It delivered 180 business jets, 55 commercial aircraft and three amphibious aircraft in 2013. Business jet deliveries lagged a forecast of 190 planes because new Learjet aircraft entered service in the fourth quarter, the company said.

"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 Bombardier Aerospace president Guy Hachey in a statement.

Bombardier rival Embraer SA delivered 90 commercial planes and 119 executive jets in 2013, meeting its targets after a fourth-quarter surge in sales.

Boeing was the world's largest planemaker in 2013, with a record 648 jetliners outpacing rival Airbus' 625 deliveries.

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