Wednesday 20 March 2019

Record profits of $85m for Dublin lessor Fly Leasing

High flyer: Fly Leasing CEO Colm Barrington said the growth strategy is bearing fruit
High flyer: Fly Leasing CEO Colm Barrington said the growth strategy is bearing fruit
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

SHARES in Dublin-based aircraft lessor Fly Leasing soared as much as 10pc in New York yesterday after it reported record results for 2018.

The company, whose chief executive is former Aer Lingus chairman Colm Barrington, said that its net income for 2018 hit $85.7m (€76.2m), compared to $2.6m in 2017.

"Based on these strong trends, Fly is expecting another great financial result in 2019, starting with first quarter expected pre-tax income of more than $45m (€40m)," said Mr Barrington.

He added that the group's renewed and larger fleet resulted in a 26pc increase in operating lease rental revenue in the final quarter of 2018, compared to the final three months of 2017.

"The strategy that we have implemented at Fly over the last few years is bearing fruit," said Mr Barrington, who's also a former GPA executive.

"During 2018 we increased our fleet significantly, and since then we have reduced our leverage through profitable aircraft sales and now have ample financial capacity for growth."

At the end of 2018, Fly Leasing had 113 aircraft and seven engines in its portfolio.

Its total assets were valued at $4.2bn (€3.7bn).

Of those 113 jets, 100 were held for operating lease, one was classified as an investment in finance lease, while 12 were held for sale.

The company's aircraft are on lease to 46 airlines in 26 countries.

Its portfolio includes 44 Airbus A320s, 42 Boeing 737s, and four Boeing 787s.

The average age of its portfolio at the end of 2018 was 7.2 years. The average lease term was 5.8 years.

At the end of December, its portfolio, excluding jets held for sale, was generating annualised rental revenue of approximately $453.2m (€403.4m).

Fly Leasing pointed out that air traffic growth around the world remains robust, while airlines are expected to make cumulative profits of $35bn this year.

Yesterday, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said 2019 started on a positive note, with global passenger traffic in January rising 6.5pc year-on-year.

That's the fastest pace of growth in six months.

Global capacity in January was up 6.4pc, while the worldwide load factor - or percentage of available seats sold - edged 0.1 percentage points higher to 79.6pc, according to IATA.

Irish Independent

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