DAE posts 3% rise in first-quarter profit

Dubai-based lessor's revenue in the first three months climbs 2.2% to $360m year-on-year

DAE reports an increase in full-year profit in 2019. Courtesy Dubai Aerospace Enterprise
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Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, the Middle East's biggest aircraft lessor, posted a 3 per cent increase in first-quarter profit as revenues rose.

DAE's net income for the three months ending March 31 reached $99 million (Dh363.6m) compared to $96m in the same period a year ago, the lessor said on Thursday. First-quarter revenues climbed 2.2 per cent to $360m year-on-year.

The company did not provide a comment on reasons for first-quarter earnings growth.

Last year was the first full year of combined operations after DAE acquired Irish lessor Awas in August 2017, a deal that propelled the Dubai company into the league of top 10 global jet lessors.

During the first three months of the year DAE purchased six aircraft and sold 17 jets, leaving its fleet size at 354 planes by March end.

Gains from the disposal of the aircraft increased to a gain of $28.6m in the first quarter from a loss of $0.1m year-on-year.

DAE's fleet consists of 301 owned aircraft, 52 managed jets and one : one aircraft on order from Airbus to be delivered this year. The fleet is a mix of Airbus and Boeing aircraft including A320 family narrowbodies, A330s, A350s, 737 narrowbodies, 777s and 787s as well as ATR-72 turboprops.

The company drew down $1.1 billion in borrowings in the first quarter. Its net debt-to-equity ratio stood at 2.56 times during the period.

DAE's cash and cash equivalents, as of March 31, was $189.3m, down from $251.9m in the same quarter last year.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amoritisation increased to $349.4m for the three months ended 31 March, from $315.5m in the prior-year period.

DAE's largest customer is Emirates airlines, which contributed 16.6 per cent of lease revenue during the three months of the year. Both companies count as their shareholder the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD).

In 2018, DAE more than doubled its annual profit due to gains from disposal of jets and a rise in revenue-generating fleet.

The Dubai lessor made $372.9m in profit attributable to shareholders in 2018, up from $172.6m the previous year. Annual revenue jumped 70 per cent to $1.4bn year-on-year.

DAE has 108 airline customers across 55 countries. Besides Emirates, it counts among its customers Gulf Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Aeroflot, Egyptair and Vietnam Airlines.