Aircastle revenues and profits drop in fourth quarter
STAMFORD — Aircraft-leasing firm Aircastle reported Thursday lower quarterly returns and confirmed that the planned sale of the company was on track.
In the fourth quarter, Aircastle’s revenues totaled about $244 million, down 17 percent year over year. The decline reflected a nearly $73 million drop in maintenance revenues, which arose from terminating the leases of 11 aircraft with the bankrupt Avianca Brazil.
As a result of the decreased revenues, quarterly profits plunged by more than 50 percent, to about $47 million.
“Our professional placement capability and fleet of high-quality, in-demand aircraft enabled Aircastle to deliver strong financial results in a shifting market environment throughout 2019,” Aircastle CEO Michael Inglese said in a statement. “During the fourth quarter, we continued to execute our strategy focused on acquiring narrow-body aircraft.”
After the release of the quarterly numbers, Aircastle shares closed Thursday at $32.22, flat compared with their final price on Wednesday.
In November, Aircastle agreed to be acquired for $7.4 billion by affiliates of Japanese companies Marubeni Corp. and Mizuho Leasing Co.
The acquisition values Aircastle at about $2.4 billion, while the remaining $5 billion factors in debt obligations.
Aircastle shareholders would receive $32 for each common share, a 34 percent premium over the firm’s closing stock price on Oct. 23, the last trading day before it announced it was evaluating “strategic alternatives.”
On Thursday, the company reiterated that the sale was scheduled to close in the first half of this year.
“We expect this strong, high-quality sponsorship, and our disciplined investment approach, will enable our company to continue to grow profitably, increase sustainable cash flow and generate attractive, long-term returns,” Inglese said. “Both now and following the anticipated acquisition, we will remain consistently focused on the responsible stewardship of investor capital for the benefit of our owners and Aircastle’s fixed income investors.”
It is not clear whether the acquisition would affect Aircastle’s long-term presence in Stamford. Its main offices are located downtown, at 201 Tresser Blvd. It moved there in 2017, after formerly operating in the First Stamford Place complex in the city’s Waterside section.
The company also has offices in Dublin and Singapore.
At the end of 2019, Aircastle’s owned a fleet of 278 aircraft, with an average age of about 10 years. In the past quarter,it acquired 16 aircraft for a total of about $284 million and sold eight for a total of about $133 million.
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