Commercial jet deliveries from Brazil's Embraer SA beat its outlook for 2015, and the executive aviation unit hit its targets due to a late surge in deliveries of larger private aircraft. The world's third-largest commercial planemaker delivered 33 jets to airlines in the fourth quarter, according to a Thursday filing, up from 30 a year earlier. Executive jet deliveries slipped to 45 aircraft from 52. The late flurry in 2015 lifted full-year commercial deliveries to 101 aircraft, just above the target of 90 to 100 set in March.
Embraer's E-Jets have dominated the regional jet segment as rival Bombardier Inc turned its focus to the larger C-Series program. Healthy demand is helping the Brazilian planemaker maintain a strong backlog of firm orders until its re-engined regional jets, known as E2, start entering service in 2018. Embraer's backlog, a measure of expected revenue, slipped to $22.5 billion at year-end from $22.8 billion in September. Smaller E170 and E175 regional jets, which carry slimmer profit margins, made up 22 of the commercial jet deliveries in the quarter and 84 in the full year.
The company's shares, which touched an all-time high last month, rose nearly 1 percent in Sao Paulo trading. Embraer delivered 20 larger executive jets in the quarter, accounting for more than half of the 38 deliveries in the full year. Bigger executive jet deliveries were up sharply from 24 aircraft in 2014 and squarely within Embraer's outlook of 35 to 40 in the category.
Twenty-five deliveries of Phenom light jets brought full-year deliveries of smaller business aircraft to 82 in 2015, down from 92 the year before, but within expectations of 80 to 90. Embraer did not disclose quarterly delivery data for its defense and security division, which has suffered as the dollar value of Brazilian military contracts tumbled.