Dubai lessor DAE annual net profit soars 116%

Company's revenue jumped 70% to $1.4 billion in 2018

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, the Middle East's biggest aircraft lessor, more than doubled its annual profit due to gains from disposal of jets and a rise in revenue-generating fleet.

The Dubai lessor made $372.9 million (Dh1.37 billion) in profit attributable to shareholders in 2018, up from $172.6m the previous year, it said in a statement on Monday. Annual revenue jumped 70 per cent to $1.4bn year-on-year.

"During 2018, we recorded strong financial and operational performance across our businesses," said Firoz Tarapore, chief executive of DAE.

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. Gains on disposal of aircraft increased for the year ending December 31 to reach $52.1m in 2018, from a loss of  $14.9m in 2017.

In 2018, DAE sold 26 owned aircraft compared to 25 owned planes in 2017. The lessor also bought 28 aircraft last year, versus 37 jets in 2017. Its fleet comprised of 354 jets as of December 31, which include 312 owned aircraft, 37 managed planes and five committed aircraft.

DAE's net debt-to-equity ratio was 2.57 times in 2018, compared to 3.17 times a year before. The company's available liquidity reached $1.66bn last year, up from $832m in 2017.

Its total cash and cash resources as of December 31 reached $408.8m, decreasing from $724m in the same period last year.

In July, Moody's Investor Services revised upwards its outlook of DAE's credit ratings to positive from stable.

"As we enter 2019, our financial metrics are stronger than ever and we are well positioned on our journey to become an investment grade rated company from all of the major credit rating agencies," Mr Tarapore said.