ADA Group open to partnership or investment in subsidiaries

It would be 'easier' to do a deal involving Royal Jet or Maximus because they are not publicly traded – unlike the group’s third and biggest unit, the helicopter operator Abu Dhabi Aviation.

ADA Group is open to having a “strategic investor or a partner” for its Royal Jet and Maximus Air Cargo subsidiaries.

“Maybe [an investor] would be of benefit for our subsidiaries,” company chairman Nadir Al Hammadi said.

“We are talking about charter. We are talking about cargo.”

Mr Al Hammadi said ADA would seek a partner with a similar profile and knowledge of the business – “an investor that wants to work with us, a company that has the network, clients and know-how”.

He said it would be “easier” to do a deal involving Royal Jet or Maximus because they are not publicly traded – unlike the group’s third and biggest unit, the helicopter operator Abu Dhabi Aviation.

Mr Al Hammadi’s comments came before yesterday’s release of ADA Group’s results for 2014.

Net profit at the parent company rose 9 per cent to Dh244.6 million, versus Dh223.7m the year before.

Revenue slipped to Dh1.61 billion from 1.64bn.

Royal Jet, the charter subsidiary that ADA Group and the Presidential Flight Authority jointly own, made a net profit of Dh60.05m in 2014, versus Dh41m in 2013, as debt recovery and a reduction in aircraft leasing cost helped its operations.

Royal Jet’s revenue was hurt in 2014 from a decline in its VIP business, and fell to Dh520.2m from Dh610.6m a year earlier.

Maximus, the cargo subsidiary, reported a net profit of Dh23.7m in 2014, compared to a loss of Dh215.19m in 2013. Maximus revenue fell 5 per cent in 2014 to Dh268m.

“Maximus returned to profitability after the sale of its loss- making A300 fleet and its quick restructuring to eliminate the associated costs,” ADA Group said in yesterday’s earnings statement.

Abu Dhabi Aviation reported the highest revenue in ADA Group’s three divisions.

The unit is the largest commercial helicopter operator in the Middle East with a fleet of 61 helicopters.

Abu Dhabi Aviation’s revenue was at Dh829.27m in 2014, compared to Dh751.45m in 2013.

Net profit was down 39 per cent last year at Dh160.9m.

Mr Al Hammadi said that demand from oil companies – the biggest clients for his helicopter leasing business – would not be immediately hit by the decrease in oil prices.

“As international companies cut down in their investments eventually, the opportunities [for business] will decrease in the future,” Mr Al Hammadi.

“However, the company’s diverse business portfolio should mitigate the effect of lower demand from oil companies.”

selgazzar@thenational.ae

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