Significant investment during downturn to ensure company is poised to benefit from market recovery
CHESTER, United Kingdom (Jan. 13, 2011) – Over the next five years, Hawker Beechcraft expects sales growth outside of North America to continue to outpace sales growth within North America. As an example, ten years ago, the U.S. market accounted for more than 70 percent of new sales. Accordingly, the company is devoting additional resources to capture such growth.
”We are seeing growth potential in emerging markets including Africa, Asia, China, India, the Middle East, Russia and South America,” said Sean McGeough, Hawker Beechcraft President of Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Overall, the drivers of demand for new aircraft purchases are slowly returning to pre-financial crisis levels, and demand is currently stronger in these emerging markets than in North America and Europe.”
The installed base of aircraft in Russia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America is between 20 and 25 percent of the installed base in the U.S. In Asia, the corresponding figure is just six percent.
“There are a number of reasons for this variation around the world, including the availability of financing tools, customer service issues and a lack of parts supply programmes,” McGeough said. “We see many of these issues as an opportunity for Hawker Beechcraft. With increased globalisation and regulatory liberalisation, barriers to growth in these markets are falling.”
Hawker Beechcraft is beginning to see stabilisation in key market indicators and is cautiously optimistic that market recovery will begin in 2012. Despite the recent difficult market conditions, Hawker Beechcraft has invested significantly in its operations, including the placement of leadership in the regions, product development, customer support and sales financing programmes. These investments will enable the company to take full advantage of the expected recovery in the business/private aviation sector. Hawker Beechcraft has also streamlined production, improved aircraft performance and enhanced the customer experience.
Throughout last year, Hawker Beechcraft carried out in-depth discussions with more than 3,000 owners and operators and established a customer advisory board consisting of 50 owners from 30 countries. These have been qualitative discussions using survey techniques designed to focus on the company’s brand, offerings and competitive positioning. Hawker Beechcraft has analysed the data and used its insights to drive product and service improvements.
“A key result of this strategic approach is that we have developed new aircraft that are created with more than just the U.S. market in mind,” McGeough said. “The future of our company is based on listening very closely to our customers, as well as owners of aircraft manufactured by others, and carefully designing our products to exceed their expectations. The new Beechcraft King Air 250 and Hawker 200 are examples of how we listened to our customers and are moving to the next level in the way we develop, sell and support our aircraft around the world.”
Hawker Beechcraft also continues to make significant investments in its customer support and parts infrastructure. It recently expanded its relationship with ExecuJet to provide service for all Hawker products at facilities in Dubai, UAE; Lagos, Nigeria; Cape Town, South Africa; Lanseria, South Africa; and Melbourne and Sydney, Australia. It is also committed to ensuring the best parts distribution and service around the world. Last year, Hawker Beechcraft invested in critical spare parts and signed an agreement with Schenker Logistics to facilitate international parts distribution in London, Dubai and Singapore.
Hawker Beechcraft Corporation is a world-leading manufacturer of business, special mission and trainer aircraft – designing, marketing and supporting aviation products and services for businesses, governments and individuals worldwide. The company’s headquarters and major facilities are located in Wichita, Kan., with operations in Salina, Kan.; Little Rock, Ark.; Chester, England, U.K.; and Chihuahua, Mexico. The company leads the industry with a global network of more than 100 factory-owned and authorized service centers. For more information, visit www.hawkerbeechcraft.com.
This release may contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, including statements that address activities, events or developments that we or our management intend, expect, project, believe or anticipate will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s assumptions and assessments in light of past experience and trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other relevant factors. They are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results may differ significantly from those envisaged by our forward-looking statements. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described or implied in the forward-looking statements are general business and economic conditions, production delays resulting from lack of regulatory certifications and other factors, competition in our existing and future markets, lack of market acceptance of our products and services, the substantial leverage and debt service resulting from our indebtedness, loss or retirement of key executives and other risks disclosed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.