Company Says It Had A Strong Year
“During 2010, the first full year since Imprimis acquired Piper, the company made memorable and notable progress in a number of important areas,” said Piper CEO Geoffrey Berger. “We delivered considerably more aircraft, introduced and stepped up development of an all-new single-engine business jet, and readied the company for an unprecedented global push in 2011.”
While fourth quarter and full-year Piper deliveries will not be publicly announced until an industry-wide event in February 2011, production activity at the company’s Vero Beach, Fla., manufacturing campus during 2010 was up by more than 75 percent compared to 2009, despite a significant overall decline in industry deliveries by other manufacturers. This substantial market share increase reflected Piper’s aggressive globalization efforts.
The company announced the all-new PiperJet Altaire in October and added more than 140 engineers to the business jet’s development team with planned certification and deliveries set for 2014. Moreover, total Piper employment grew by several hundred employees to support the increased production.
Piper opened two new global sales offices: one to serve the Americas region and one in Amsterdam to support the European, Middle East and Africa region. The company’s third regional sales office in Brunei was reinforced with the addition of the company’s director of global fleet sales to enlarge the company’s presence in this expanding segment, particularly in the Asia/Pacific region.
Already, Piper extended its global reach in 2010 with fleet sales of more than 45 aircraft to pilot training institutions throughout Asia/Pacific and the United States. While Piper is not disclosing fleet purchase prices, retail value of the single-engine and twin-engine aircraft sold to flight training institutions worldwide in 2010 totals about $21 million, up considerably from the previous year.
In addition, the overall globalization initiative has already begun to pay off with foreign sales accounting for more than half of the company’s new aircraft sales by dollar and unit volume for the first time in recent Piper history. Piper streamlined its senior leadership team and added strong talent in a number of important functional areas, including sales, marketing, customer support, engineering and operations.
Following the Imprimis acquisition in 2009, Piper says it has developed a financial strategy to invest new capital alongside internal free cash flow in the company’s long-term success focused in a number of critical areas. The most important step was to update the promise of the PiperJet program by creating an all-new efficient design with much larger cabin, announced during NBAA in October as the clean-sheet PiperJet Altaire. With Imprimis’ support in a challenging economic environment and a weak market for new aircraft, Piper has been able to expense significant PiperJet Altaire development investments as incurred. The company’s shareholders are dedicated to bringing the innovative single-engine business jet to fruition while also investing to modernize Piper’s existing products and operations to ensure that Piper products are profitable and sustainable going forward.
This long-term investment approach, funded with equity rather than debt, is providing Piper with a more stable capital backing compared to some of its peers. Simultaneously, Piper made significant strides in realigning costs through targeted cutbacks at a time when the company was overall growing employment and accelerating PiperJet Altaire development. Collectively, the company’s substantial accomplishments in 2010 were impressive in a challenging industry environment.