Profits soared last year at Warren Buffett’s holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, though not all of the company’s divisions did well. In his annual letter to shareholders released last month, the investment mogul summarized the reduced performance of FlightSafety International and NetJets– the two largest companies in their respective fields of simulator training and fractional ownership.
A “much improved situation is emerging at NetJets,” according to Warren Buffett, chairman of parent company Berkshire Hathaway. In his annual letter to stockholders, published February 28, Buffett said NetJets has “never had a problem growing. But profits had been erratic.”
In his annual letter to shareholders published early last month, investment mogul Warren Buffett said earnings improved last year at Berkshire Hathaway’s flight services division, which includes FlightSafety International (FSI) and NetJets. Last year the unit saw its pre-tax profits rise to $191 million on revenues of $3.24 billion, up substantially from the previous year’s $72 million profit on revenues of $2.43 billion.
Long-time business aviation leader Jim Christiansen might be feeling a little déjà vu after his appointment last month as president of NetJets Aviation in Columbus, Ohio. From 1990 to 1992 he was president of Executive Jet Aviation, as the company was known then.
NetJets chairman and CEO Richard Santulli announced that long-time business aviation leader Jim Christiansen “will be assuming the position of president of NetJets Aviation,” in Columbus, Ohio. Santulli said, “With Jim's depth of experience, there is no one who knows our business better.” The position has been unfilled since Bill Boisture resigned in January 2006 after joining the fractional operator in October 2003.
Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett, in his latest annual letter to shareholders issued Saturday, said the company’s flight services division–FlightSafety and NetJets–reported $120 million in pre-tax earnings versus $191 million in 2004. According to Buffett, “Earnings improved at FlightSafety as corporate aviation continued its rebound…[but] operating results at NetJets were a different story.
A little over two years after joining NetJets as president, Bill Boisture Jr. resigned from his position and formed W. Boisture & Associates. Immediately thereafter, he announced he would be retained as a consultant to NetJets under a long-term agreement. About five months later, he joined The Carlyle Group as senior advisor.
Fractional ownership operator NetJets has increased its flights to Le Bourget airport by 70 percent since the last Paris Air Show in 2003, the U.S.-based company announced here on Monday. NetJets figures show a jump from 1,400 movements over the five first months of 2003 to 2,400 movements over the equivalent period this year.
If Berkshire Hathaway’s first-quarter results are any indication, its NetJets subsidiary will record a profit this year, which would be a reversal from $80 million in losses incurred by the fractional aircraft provider last year.
NetJets Europe has placed a “historic” $1.1 billion order for 24 Dassault Falcon 7Xs scheduled for delivery between the first quarter of 2008 through 2014. NetJets chairman and CEO Richard Santulli said the transaction, signed in Paris this morning with Dassault Aviation chairman and CEO Charles Edelstenne, is the “largest business jet order in European history and the second largest order ever” in terms of billings.