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Cessna jet sales slip over summer quarter


Despite earlier indicators this year that buyers where picking up new business jets in greater numbers, Cessna said this week that its business jet sales in the third quarter of the year, from July through September, was lower than in the same period in 2011. The company delivered just 41 new jets, compared with 47 last summer. That’s also two fewer than the 49 jets the company delivered in the spring quarter of this year. And more customers canceled orders that had been on the books. Despite the disappointing numbers, Cessna’s parent company Textron reported quarterly profits of $151 million, an improvement over the same quarter last year. But even with lower numbers of business jet deliveries, Cessna’s order backlog shrunk, since more orders were cancelled and the company gained fewer new orders. Generally a bigger order backlog is seen as a good thing for aircraft manufacturers. While orders for small and midsize jets have been down since the recession, larger jets made by companies like Bombardier and Gulfstream have been selling well.