Excellent sales revenue figures of 1.1 billion Swiss francs ensure continuation of the revenue trend achieved by Pilatus in recent years. Operating results, at 191 million Swiss francs, were also outstanding. 63 new jobs were created in Stans alone during the past year, and there was more major investment in site infrastructure.
The PC-24 development programme is progressing as scheduled; a number of significant programme milestones were reached during the year under review.
2015 was another exceptionally successful business year for Pilatus. Sales revenue, at 1.1 billion Swiss francs, was successfully held on a par with the record results of the previous year. At 191 million Swiss francs, operating results were excellent, too, even with high investment – almost 150 million Swiss francs – in infrastructure and research & development.
Pilatus also more than doubled incoming orders compared to the previous year. Orders in hand at the end of 2015 amounted to a handsome 1.4 billion Swiss francs, providing a comfortable base for the future. The largest fleet order was received from the prestigious Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), which ordered 49 PC-21s in December last year. The PC-21 will be used to train the RAAF's future military pilots.
121 aircraft delivered
In 2015, Pilatus built and delivered 121 aircraft to customers all over the world. Around half were civilian models, the remainder were trainer aircraft. The civilian market is showing signs of recovering from the financial and economic crisis of 2008. In 2015 we delivered a total of 70 PC-12 NGs. Once again, North America, to which 49 PC-12 NGs were delivered, was by far our most important market.
Pilatus presented the new 2016 version of its PC-12 NG, boasting a fiveblade composite propeller and various aerodynamic improvements. Occupying an important place in the Pilatus portfolio, the PC-12 NG will remain the object of further development moving forward into the future.
Generating two-thirds of overall sales revenue, our trainer aircraft business again provided a very stable pillar for our company. Pilatus consistently adheres to a two-pronged business strategy as an effective means of compensating for the inevitable fluctuations.
Pilatus invests in Switzerland
Pilatus continues to invest in the future and in Switzerland as a centre of employment, our goal being to achieve sustainable growth. In 2015 we commissioned our new logistics building in Stans with its 24 metre high, fully automated high-bay storage system, high-performance computer centre and superb light and airy works restaurant. Following on from this investment in a modern logistics facility, we granted further financial resources for a future-oriented production infrastructure: a state-of-the-art surface treatment centre which will meet environmental standards going forward and a project to convert an existing production hall and equip it with seven ultra-modern milling machines. The structural work has already started.
With the start of series production of the PC-24 moving ever closer, preparatory work is well underway. An additional production hangar will be required here in Stans: a preliminary project has already been launched.
The entire region benefits from our success here at Pilatus. Multiple contracts worth millions of Swiss francs are awarded to many companies, both local and further afield. Equally, the purchasing power of new members of the workforce brings additional revenue for local businesses of all sizes. The Pilatus workforce at the headquarters in Stans grew by 63 full-time jobs to a total of 1788 – 3.5 percent more Swiss jobs in one year!
The PC-24 Super Versatile Jet is airborne
2015 was the most important year yet in the development of our PC-24. P01, the first PC-24 prototype, took off for a 55-minute flight on 11 May, becoming airborne for the first time after a takeoff run of just 580 metres. A huge success and another milestone in the history of Pilatus! P02, our second PC-24 prototype, took off on its maiden flight just six months later.
The two PC-24s are currently engaged in a very intensive and challenging programme of test flights scheduled here in Switzerland and abroad. Together, the two prototypes have already flown over 400 hours, successfully completing various essential tests required for certification. Deliveries to customers are scheduled to go ahead from the fourth quarter of 2017.
Oscar J. Schwenk on 2015 and the future
"I am proud that our 2015 results are an almost seamless continuation of last year's record results – and in Swiss francs, it must be said, one of the world's strongest currencies. That is no small achievement, and absolutely not something to be taken for granted! We are a company that believes in Switzerland as a centre of vision and action, and we fully intend to continue to expand our operations here in Switzerland in the future.
The PC-24 development programme is also advancing well. The results of the extremely challenging test flights are very encouraging, and we are satisfied with progress, which continues according to our milestone timetable. I fully expect our first Swiss business jet to meet customer expectations!
2015 was another record year, but we already know that 2016 will not be quite as good. Sales revenue and profits will be lower than in the past simply because the positive impact of fleet orders will not be reflected in our balance sheet before 2017. But we look optimistically to the years thereafter, having laid a very solid basis in 2016!”
Click here for the company’s annual report (54 PDF pages) on its website.