Editor's note: A previous version of this story reflected inaccurate figures for Cessna's revenue and profit
After steep losses in the first three months of the year, Cessna Aircraft returned to profitability in the second quarter with increased aircraft deliveries and after-market sales, its parent company reported Wednesday.
Textron said Cessna recorded $652 million in revenue and $5 million in profit for the three months ending July 2, compared with $635 million in revenue and $3 million in profit for the same time a year ago.
For the first six months, Cessna recorded $1.2 billion in revenue and a loss of $33 million.
The company delivered 38 Citation jets in the quarter, down from 43 for the same time a year ago.
It also delivered 24 Caravans and 91 single-engine piston aircraft — a total of 153 aircraft. That's down from 163 in the second quarter a year ago.
The company still expects to deliver slightly more business jets this year than it did in 2010, Scott Donnelly, CEO and chairman of Textron, said in a conference call.
Cessna's backlog at the end of the second quarter was $2.5 billion, down $113 million from the first quarter this year.
Given the level of customer interest and order activity, the company expects demand to pick up in the second half of the year.
There is "positive momentum at this point," Donnelly said.
While the market for business jets has improved, "it's not taken off," Donnelly said.
He expects cancellations to be "bottoming this year," Donnelly said. "I expect we'll see some trickle of cancellations this year, but that's probably about it."
The mix in demand has been shifting from the lower end of the business jets line, like the Citation Mustang, to larger business jets in its lineup, such as the Citation XLS, the CJs and Sovereigns, he said.
New Cessna CEO Scott Ernest, a former GE executive, has made some changes in his short time he's been with the company, Donnelly said.
"We're excited to have Scott on board," he said. "His strong leadership, deep industry experience and focus on talent development should have an impact on growth and performance at Cessna going forward."
Ernest has put into place regular operations reviews, a focus on improving accountability and cross-function coordination of the business, Donnelly said.
"He's been looking at the organization and looking at what we need to do," he said.
Cessna will talk about some new products in October at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Las Vegas, Donnelly said.
Analysts have been watching to see whether the company was planning to announce new products at the show.
Investment in product development is "pretty broad across all the various platforms," Donnelly said. "Some of those are upgrades; others are brand new aircraft."
The development runs from the Citation CJ-size aircraft through the Citation Ten, he said.
Textron announced it recorded $2.72 billion in revenue in the second quarter, up from $2.71 billion from the same time a year ago. Net income was $90 million, compared with $82 million a year ago.