DAE's posts $121.7 million in first-half net profit

Dubai-based plane lessor granted 34 aircraft rent deferral requests by airline customers as of July 31

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), the Middle East’s biggest plane lessor, posted a $121.7 million (Dh446.9m) net profit in the first six months of the year.

"Our financial results for the first half of 2020 were characterised by excellent and abundant liquidity, strengthening balance sheet and lower reported profitability," Firoz Tarapore, chief executive of DAE, said.

Net income for the six months ending June 30 declined from $197.1m in the prior-year period, DAE said in a statement on Wednesday. First-half revenue dropped 8.5 per cent year-on-year to $672.6m.

"The reported net income in H1 2020 was lower attributable primarily to 23 fewer aircraft in the owned aircraft portfolio, fewer asset sales resulting in lower gains on sale of assets, reduced finance income, and higher provisions for trade receivables offset by lower interest expense," Mr Tarapore said.

The company granted 34 aircraft rent deferral requests by airline customers as of July 31, totalling aggregate rent of approximately 16 per cent of annual reported revenue, it said.

DAE is currently evaluating rent deferral requests from an additional 24 airlines, totalling aggregate rent of approximately 13 per cent of annual reported revenue.

"We expect to provide additional assistance to our clients and we also expect arrears to climb," the plane lessor said.

The aviation industry is grappling with the worst crisis in its history after the Covid-19 pandemic obliterated air travel demand and grounded planes, leaving airlines cash-strapped.

DAE holds $2.8 billion in cash and available liquidity as of June 30, it said.

During the first half of the year, it repurchased $187m of its bonds and has $229m of remaining repurchase authorisation.

DAE, which consists of a leasing division and an engineering division, is 100 per cent owned by Investment Corporation of Dubai.

As of June 30, the company's leasing division had a total fleet of 351 aircraft, of which 297 aircraft are owned and 71 are managed.

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