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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

With New Parent and Low Oil, Sikorsky Focuses on Service

Sikorsky [Booth 2617] is focusing at this Heli-Expo on its efforts to create greater efficiency and reliability for operators of its helicopters through improved customer support services.

That makes sense, especially since operators in the slumping offshore oil and gas support segment have spent the last year scrambling to figure out how to make more with less as their customers cut back on or canceled contracts.

Executives of Sikorsky’s new parent, Lockheed Martin, remain confident that the aerospace and defense giant will benefit from its November acquisition of the pioneering aircraft manufacturer.

In late January, L-M reported that Sikorsky is a roughly $5 billion business, on par with L-M recently restructured Information Systems & Global Solutions division.

Sikorsky’s financial data shows substantially increased profits throughout most of 2015 in spite of its changing hands, L-M said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). That report broke down Sikorsky’s financial data over the past two years, separated from that of its former parent company, United Technologies Corp.

The “unaudited interim condensed combined statement of operations” showed that during the first nine months of 2015, Sikorsky made a net income of $52 million with revenues of roughly $4.35 billion. A similar report made in 2014 would have seen Sikorsky suffer a net loss of $38 million despite 19% higher revenue of $5.37 billion, the new parent said.

L-M had to readjust its financial expectations with the rest of the rotorcraft industry due to the oil price drop. Commercial rotorcraft sales, it said, had peaked at $1.5 billion in 2014. L-M originally expected to see half that much in 2016 but now predicts far lower commercial sales closer to $375 million. (Sikorsky is completing orders for its Schweizer line of light helicopters. That work should continue into 2017. But it is not taking new orders for such aircraft.)

Sikorsky’s exhibit will include a Customer Support Zone, with support services representatives available to meet with operators. The company also will be highlighting its new Customer Care Center.

In a related move, Sikorsky is expected to publish a Flight Crew Operating Manual (FCOM) for the S-92. Developed with offshore operators, the FCOM provides OEM guidance to pilots for enhanced operational safety during both routine and abnormal situations. 

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