BOC Aviation records $107 million after-tax profit
BOC Aviation recorded a net profit after tax of $107 million for 2008, 32% higher than the $81 million earned in the previous year. This is the first year that BOC Aviation has achieved a net profit after tax of more than $100 million.
The company says it attained the solid performance from the implementation of its plan for the downturn. It was a net seller of aircraft in the first half of 2008 and a strategic buyer in the final quarter as competition reduced. Throughout the year, continued emphasis was placed on forward placements of its own orders with airlines. With this strategy, BOC Aviation ended the year with only one new aircraft due to be placed in 2010. Thereafter, the next new aircraft is available in May 2011.
BOC Aviation recorded higher lease rentals from a bigger portfolio as forward placements of aircraft on long-term leases in previous years generated a steady stream of rental revenue. The company took delivery of a total of 26 aircraft during the year, of which 13 were delivered in the last quarter.
The Bank of China subsidiary took advantage of favourable market conditions in the first half of the year to sell 12 aircraft. BOC Aviation’s fleet remains one of the youngest in the industry with an average fleet age of four years and comprises a broadly diversified base of carriers in all major continents. At year end the company had a portfolio of 92 aircraft, 73 owned and 19 managed, and an orderbook of 71 aircraft for delivery through to 2013.
Reflecting on the financial performance, Robert Martin, CEO and managing director of BOC Aviation, remarked, “Global economic and financial upheavals during 2008 presented a set of unprecedented challenges for the aviation industry. With a dynamic and forward-looking strategy, we were able to achieve this significant profit milestone in our company’s history. Our balance sheet remains robust with a debt to equity ratio of less than 3.5:1. As of 31 December 2008, we have a strong cash position and backstop lines of $855 million available. We are well positioned to handle the challenges and opportunities of a downturn.”