Officers, corporate and military, really take to Textron: The company's E-Z-GO golf carts enrich their golfing jaunts, while its Cessna airplanes and Bell helicopters whisk them around the world, its auto parts keep their cars running, and its Financial subsidiary provides loans. Besides golf carts and car parts, Textron's industrial segment makes power tools, electrical and fiber optic assemblies, and turf maintenance equipment. The Textron systems segment sells land and marine systems, sensors, and unmanned aerial vehicles to the Defense Department. Various US government entities account for about one-third of Textron's sales; geographically, customers in the US represent around two-thirds of sales.
The company operates about 60 plants in the US and about 50 outside the US.
Bell Helicopter supplies the US military with the V-22 tilt rotor aircraft, which can operate with the features of both a fixed-wing craft and a helicopter, and the H-1 helicopter. Through service sites co-located with Cessna and some 110 independent dealers, Bell Helicopter provides repair and overhaul and customizing services for an installed base of 13,000 helicopters. The segment represents 31% of sales.
Cessna, 26% of sales, produces the Citation jet, Caravan single-engine utility turboprop, and CitationAir single-engine piston aircraft, which are distributed through a direct sales force and independent sales representatives. Textron systems, 17% of sales, serves markets that include aerospace, defense, general aviation, and homeland security. Besides the US military, the segment sells to foreign militaries approved by the US government. Textron systems' Overwatch business supplies intelligence software for the defense, intelligence, and law enforcement markets.
Industrial, 25% of sales, operates through subsidiaries Kautex (blow-molded plastic fuel systems for cars, light trucks, all-terrain vehicles); Greenlee (powered equipment, electrical test and measurement instruments and other products under the Greenlee, Klauke, Paladin Tools, and Tempo brand names); E-Z-Go (golf carts and off-road utility vehicles under the E-Z-Go and Cushman brands); and Jacobsen (professional turf-maintenance equipment and specialized turf-care vehicles). Finance, 1% of sales, includes Textron Financial Corporation and offers financing for new Cessna aircraft, Bell helicopters, E-Z-GO golf carts, and Jacobsen turf-care equipment.
Revenue for the company as a whole increased 7% in 2011 compared with 2010. Important factors in the growth were strong sales of Cessna and Bell. The company reported a net loss of $31 million in 2009 but then a recorded a net income of $86 million in 2010 and one of $242 million in 2011. Most of the company's segments recorded upticks in 2011 sales compared with 2010. Bell Helicopter's 2011 revenue was lifted 9% by strong sales of the V-22 (34 delivered that year) and the H-1 (25 delivered). The segment, however, sold fewer commercial aircraft in 2011 (125) vs. 2010 (130). Revenue for Cessna soared 17% in 2011 compared to 2010 with the delivery of 183 Citation jets that year. Other contributors to the rise included a mix of light- and mid-sized jets and higher aftermarket value.
Industrial worked up an increase of 10% to meet more demand from the automotive industry for fuel systems and functional components and as the result of strong sales in North America and Europe for powered tools and testing and measurement equipment. Textron's revenues fell 5% as the segment struggled with the conclusion of several test and training programs and lower unmanned aircraft systems and intelligence systems volume. The company's smallest segment, finance, weathered a drop of 53% in 2011 revenue compared with 2010 caused by a lower average finance receivable balance.
Textron's strategy for growth emphasizes product development, which received a 30% boost in spending in 2011. The company has also raised its capital expenditures from $238 million in 2009 to $270 million in 2010 and then to $423 million in 2011 to invest in new product development, as well as cost reductions. Recently announced new products include Cessna's Citation M2, an aircraft between the Mustang and CJ2+ that is slated for delivery in 2013, and the Citation Latitude, in a place between the Citations XLS+ and the Sovereign, with an expected delivery in 2015. In 2012 NetJets signed a deal to buy up to 150 Citation Latitude jets. Bell Helicopter recently announced the 525 Relentless, a twin jet-engine commercial helicopter.
Textron's outlook is, however, is hampered by more than $2.4 billion of indebtedness attributable to its manufacturing group (Cessna, Bell, Textron systems, and industrial segments) and more than $1.9 billion attributable to its Finance group. During 2011 the company trimmed 9% of its interest expense over 2010 mainly by liquidating its finance segment's non-captive portfolio. – less