When Canadian private equity firm Onex Corp. and investment bank Goldman Sachs agreed to pay $3.3 billion to acquire corporate aircraft manufacturer Raytheon Aircraft, some industry observers thought the price was rather steep. But the investment is paying off handsomely.
The renamed Hawker Beechcraft announced today that its backlog has hit a record $7.4 billion, more than double the $3 billion it stood at when Raytheon's sale closed in March 2007. That includes $1.7 billion in new orders booked in the second quarter of 2008 alone.
Hawker's second quarter sales topped $1 billion, up 47% from the same period a year earlier. The Wichita, Kan.-based company posted operating income of $86 million, compared with an operating loss of $37 million in the second quarter of 2007.
The company's sales have been bolstered by surging demand outside the U.S.-- which are more than making up for economic doldrums in its home market -- and the appeal of the new Hawker 4000 business jet. Non-U.S. customers now account for more than half of sales.
Hawker has scheduled an Aug. 13 conference call to provide more details on its second quarter earnings.