Chorus Aviation Announces First Quarter 2019 Financial Results

Provided by Chorus Aviation Inc/CNW

Delivering regional aviation to the world

Q1 Financial Highlights and Year-to-Date Accomplishments

  • Net income of $33.4 million, inclusive of an unrealized foreign exchange gain of $16.8 million.
  • Adjusted net income1 of $19.0 million, or $0.13 per basic share.
  • Adjusted EBITDA1 of $74.7 million, a decrease of $2.9 million inclusive of the changes under the amended capacity purchase agreement (‘CPA’) and a $7.7 million quarter-over-quarter increase in stock-based compensation due to the strengthening of the share price.
  • Amended and extended the CPA with Air Canada to 2035.
  • Achieved an unprecedented 17-year collective agreement with Jazz pilots.
  • Completed a $97.26 million equity investment by Air Canada to enable fleet modernization and leasing growth.
  • Entered into a firm purchase agreement with Bombardier for nine CRJ900s.
  • Secured US $300.0 million credit facility to support the growth of the Regional Aircraft Leasing segment.
  • Diversified and grew the Regional Aircraft Leasing fleet to 45 regional aircraft acquired at approximately US $960.0 million inclusive of 10 transactions pending completion*.
  • Re-aligned executive team to support further growth and diversification.

HALIFAX, May 8, 2019 /CNW/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (‘Chorus’) (TSX: CHR) today announced first quarter 2019 financial results.  

“Our financial performance in the first quarter of 2019 met our expectations with operating income being relatively consistent with the same period in 2018,” stated Joe Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus. “In the quarter we generated $74.7 million in adjusted EBITDA and net income of $33.4 million, inclusive of an unrealized foreign exchange gain of $16.8 million.

I’m very pleased with the execution of our growth and diversification strategy, which continues to build on the momentum achieved in 2018. Our strengthened partnership with Air Canada was a pivotal development in our transformation, securing Jazz’s place in the Air Canada Express network for an unprecedented 17 years to the end of 2035. The implementation of the amended CPA is progressing well, and we expect Jazz’s fleet modernization to commence with the delivery of five CRJ900s, leased from Air Canada, beginning in June.

In less than five months we’ve grown our third-party leasing portfolio by 11 aircraft and welcomed SpiceJet as a new customer.  India is one of the fastest-growing air travel markets in the world, and we’re pleased to add this award-winning and growing airline to our portfolio of lessees. Once all pending deliveries have been completed, we’ll have grown our portfolio to 45 aircraft acquired at approximately US $960.0 million with nearly US $745.0 million in future contract lease revenue. When combined with the 47 aircraft leased under the CPA, our fleet of leased aircraft has reached 92* aircraft with a net book value of approximately US $1.6 billion.

We’re maturing and building scale as a worldwide lessor.  Our core business with Air Canada is established for the long term; we’re now focusing more deeply on leveraging our vast expertise in regional operations to secure further growth.  The recent re-alignment of our chief executives places further emphasis on strategic and corporate planning to bolster our lines of business.

We are well positioned for the future. I extend my sincere thanks and gratitude to the Chorus team for these significant accomplishments,” concluded Mr. Randell.

Of the 10 pending transactions as at March 31, 2019, three aircraft were received prior to May 8, 2019.


Financial Performance – first quarter 2019 compared to first quarter 2018

In the first quarter of 2019, Chorus reported adjusted EBITDA of $74.7 million a decrease of $2.9 million or 3.7% relative to the first quarter of 2018.

The Regional Aviation Services segment decreased by $9.3 million quarter-over-quarter.  The results of the first quarter of 2019 reflect the 2019 CPA Amendments which reduced the fixed margin and incentive revenue as Chorus moves to market-based compensation rates. These reductions were offset by the implementation of the controllable cost guardrails that mitigated the expected first quarter CPA margin shortfall related to reduced fees.  Beyond the changes related to the amended CPA, the first quarter results were impacted by:

  • increased stock-based compensation of $7.7 million due to the strengthening of the share price;
  • decreased capitalization of major maintenance overhauls on owned CPA aircraft over the previous period; offset by
  • increased aircraft leasing under the CPA.

The decrease in the Regional Aviation Services segment was partially offset by an increase of $6.5 million in the Regional Aircraft Leasing segment related to the growth in aircraft acquired and under lease.

Adjusted net income was $19.0 million for the period, a decrease from 2018 of $7.7 million or 28.6% due to:

  • the $2.9 million decrease in adjusted EBITDA previously described;
  • an increase in depreciation of $3.1 million related to additional aircraft in the regional aircraft leasing segment;
  • an increase in interest costs of $1.9 million related to additional aircraft debt; offset by other of $0.2 million.

Net income was $33.4 million for the period, an increase of $28.2 million over 2018.  The increase was primarily due to the quarter-over-quarter change in unrealized foreign exchange gains on long-term debt of $34.7 million and decreased employee separation program costs of $3.1 million; offset by the previously noted $7.7 million decrease in adjusted net income and one-time signing bonuses of $2.0 million related to changes to the Jazz  pilot collective agreement.