Bombardier reports smaller adjusted loss as private flying soars

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FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows Bombardier logo

(Reuters) -Bombardier Inc on Thursday reported a smaller quarterly adjusted loss as the Montreal-based business jet maker improved margins on its flagship plane but delivered fewer aircraft.

Bombardier said it expects a lower earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) margin during the second quarter versus the first three months of the year.

Bombardier shares tumbled 3% in morning trade.

Corporate jet makers are reporting swelling order backlogs, as affluent passengers continue flying private during the COVID-19 pandemic. But any downturn in the economy or widening of Russia's invasion of Ukraine could weigh on demand.

Chief Executive Eric Martel told analysts Bombardier would look to reassess 2022 free cash flow guidance of greater than $50 million later this year, after generating $173 million from continuing operations during the first quarter.

"We are clearly tracking well to our free cash flow guidance for 2022," Martel said about the closely watched metric.

Bombardier used $405 million in free cash during the first quarter of 2021.

It said its backlog rose by $1.3 billion to $13.5 billion since the start of the year.

Martel, who said the company is already considering a 15% to 20% rise in production next year, told analysts "2024 looks good too" due to the backlog.

First quarter revenue fell 7% to $1.2 billion due to fewer plane deliveries compared with the first three months of 2021.

The company remains on track to meet full-year guidance of more than 120 deliveries, with second and third quarter deliveries to be flat year over year, followed by a strong fourth quarter.

Adjusted EBITDA rose 36% in the first quarter on higher profits from sales of its flagship Global 7500 jet and cost-cutting measures.

Bombardier reported an adjusted loss of 3 cents per share in the reported quarter, compared with a loss of 7 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average were expecting an adjusted loss of 3 cents per share and revenues of $1.33 billion according to data from Refinitiv.

(Reporting By Allison Lampert in Montreal; additional reporting by Abhijith Ganapavaram in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Will Dunham)