Bombardier ended 2016 with higher revenues, margins and aircraft deliveries than forecast. Ramp-up of CSeries airliner production is on track with the company’s turnaround plan, Bombardier president and CEO Alain Bellemare said as the company’s 2016 full-year results were posted Feb. 16.

Overall, Bombardier ended 2016 with better-than-expected revenues of $16.3 billion, versus $18.2 billion the previous year, and earnings of $427 million before interest, taxes and special items. The net loss was $981 million.

For the fourth quarter, the company posted revenues of $4.4 billion versus $5 billion the previous year and a net loss of $259 million.

The company reaffirmed its 2017 guidance for low single-digital revenue growth as a 35% increase in earnings as CSeries deliveries increase.

The plan calls for Bombardier to break even on cash flow in 2018 after the past heavy investment in its two new aircraft, the CSeries and the Global 7000 business jet.

In addition to the first seven CSeries, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft delivered 46 CRJs and 33 Q400s; six aircraft more than in 2016. CRJ and Q400 deliveries will reduce to 50 in 2017 because of the market cycle, CFO John Di Bert said, but the manufacturer expects to deliver 30-35 CSeries, most in the second half.

Bellemare said the CSeries had logged more than 4,300 flight hours and 3,600 revenue flights with five CS100s at Swiss International Air Lines and two CS300s at airBaltic. Performance and reliability was exceeding expectations, boosting confidence of securing further orders in 2017, he said.

Bombardier reduced deliveries for 2016 because of a lack of Pratt & Whitney PW1500G engines. For 2017, Bellemare said, “so far Pratt is tracking to their recovery plan. They have added capacity and it is a top priority for them. There is no reason to believe they will not deliver on their commitment.”

A key part of the company’s turnaround plan is cutting cash consumption, Bombardier invested more than $1.1 billion in 2016, including $392 million in the CSeries and $721 million in the Global 7000/8000. This is expected to reduce to around $1 billion in 2017, mostly for the Global 7000 as it ramps up.

Graham Warwick/Aviation Week