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Thu, Dec 10, 2009

Cirrus Hopes To Restructure Lease In Grand Forks, ND

Wouters Projects Return To Profitability In 2010

Cirrus Design hopes to work with city leaders in Grand Forks, ND in an effort to re-structure a lease on its facility there. According to City Administrator Rick Duquette, the company currently owes $845,000 in back rent.

Cirrus had employed over 300 people in Grand Forks as recently a 2007, but the economic downturn has forced the company, like so many others, into deep cuts in personnel. There are currently about 75 Cirrus employees in Grand Forks.

"The Grand Forks Herald" reports that at a meeting Monday night, Cirrus President and CEO Brent Wouters showed a slide during a presentation that projects a return to profitability for Cirrus in 2010. Wouters said the company has survived the worst of the recession, and that industry analysts expect airplane sales to bottom out in the next few months. His projections show the company could sell at least 300, and as many as 435 airplanes in 2010. Wouters said that would be enough to bring the company back into the black.

Wouters told the city that selling 500 airplanes could produce record profits for Cirrus, although employment levels might never return to previous levels. New efficiencies, he said, mean it takes fewer people to do the same work as just a few years ago. The city, which according to the paper took the unusual step of buying stock in the company back in 1991, deferred the negotiation of Cirrus' repayment of back rent to the Growth Fund Committee.

FMI: www.cirrusaircraft.com, www.grandforksgov.com

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