Heroux-Devtek aiming for big sales growth as it bids on new civil aircraft work

MONTREAL – Heroux-Devtek Inc. says it is bidding on several contracts to supply landing gear for commercial aircraft, part of the Quebec-based aerospace company’s effort to nearly double its full-year revenues to $500 million within five years.

CEO Gilles Labbe was coy about specifics of the new contract opportunities, only saying they were for helicopters and other smaller types of aircraft.

Heroux-Devtek was expected to earned 10 cents per share on $77.8 million of revenues, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

The company, based near Montreal in Longueuil, makes landing gear and other aircraft equipment for both military and commercial aircraft. It’s benefiting from the acquisition of APPH for $128 million and the ramp up of work for Boeing and Embraer, a Brazilian rival of Bombardier that makes a range of smaller passenger jets for commercial airlines.

Heroux-Devtek is also spending $90 million over two years, including $58 million this year, to build a plant in Cambridge, Ont., and equip several U.S. and Canadian facilities with the tools to make full landing gears for the Boeing 777 and 777X — two large commercial passenger jets.

The company said Friday it expects stable sales for the full year as gains in commercial aerospace will be offset by lower sales to the military aerospace market.

But with the civil aerospace market for commercial and business aircraft growing, Labbe said the company can achieve its $500 million sales target, despite ongoing military budget challenges.

“This objective can be achieved without further acquisitions,” Labbe told analysts.

During the quarter, commercial aerospace sales increased 39 per cent to $37.5 million due to the contribution from APPH, higher production rates for the Boeing 777 and 787 aircraft and the entry into production of the Embraer Legacy 450/500.

Military sales reached $46.6 million, up 58.6 per cent due to APPH and higher sales volumes on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and CH-47 helicopter programs.

Analyst Cameron Doerksen of National Bank Financial said the results were positive and support the company’s long-term revenue target.

“We also expect margin improvement as volumes increase as new proprietary programs ramp up production and as the company fully integrates the APPH operations,” he wrote in a report.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version incorrectly stated the analyst estimates and that the company missed expectations.