Fourth-quarter sales at Stamford’s Hexcel Corp. were a record $511.7 million, an increase of 5.8 percent over the fourth quarter of 2016. However, full year 2017 sales were $1.973.3 billion, a decline of 1.5 percent from 2016.
Hexcel develops, manufactures and markets lightweight, high-performance structural materials including carbon fibers and specialty reinforcements for use in commercial aerospace, space and defense and industrial applications.
In the commercial aerospace sector, fourth-quarter sales were up 3.2 percent to $361.1 million while full-year sales declined 1.4 percent to $1.4 billion. Fourth-quarter space and defense sales were $96.4 million, an increase of 21.9 percent; full-year sales were $343.7 million, up 6.8 percent. Fourth-quarter industrial sales of $54.2 million represented a 0.6 decline; full-year sales of $219.8 million marked a 13.2 percent decrease.
Chairman, CEO and President Nick Stanage characterized 2017 as “a strong year,” adding, “Our results reflect disciplined execution to drive operational excellence, new product developments and new process innovations, all of which strengthen our leadership position in the markets we serve.”
He also said that Hexcel exceeded its expectations on free cash flow by generating $151 million, about 50 percent above its targeted levels, which “reflects the beginning of the transition in our business from a period of cash investment to one of cash generation.”