HONG KONG – China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings Limited, the largest independent operating aircraft lessor in China, today announced strong financial and operating results of the Company and its subsidiaries for the year ended 31 December 2015.
For the year ended 31 December
(in million Hong Kong dollars, unless otherwise stated) 2015 2014 Change
Revenue and other Income 1,549.3 1,145.0 +35.3%
Profit before income tax 480.2 380.7 +26.1%
Profit attributable to owners of the Company 380.2 302.8 +25.6%
EPS (Basic) (HK cents) 63.6 57.7 +10.2%
Total dividend per share (HK$) 0.22 0.16 +37.5%
Final dividend per share (HK$) 0.18 0.16 +12.5%
During the period under review, the Group’s revenue comprising lease income, gains from realised lease receivables and government subsidies amounted to HK$1,549.3 million (2014: HK$1,145.0 million) , representing an year-on-year increase of 35.3%. Profit before income tax was up by 26.1% to HK$480.2 million (2014: HK$380.7 million), while profit attributable to shareholders of the Company surged by 25.6% to HK$380.2 million (2014: HK$302.8 million). Basic earnings per share increased by 10.2% year-on-year to HK$0.636 (2014: HK$0.577).
The Board has declared a final dividend of HK$0.18 per share in respect of year ended 31 December 2015 (2014: HK$0.16), bringing the total dividend for the year to HK$0.22 (2014: HK$0.16) per share including the interim dividend of HK$0.04 per share.
“CALC has experienced another year of healthy and rapid growth in 2015,” Mr. Chen Shuang, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of CALC commented on the Group’s business development. “We have successfully established a presence in Europe and South-East Asia to realise our globalisation strategy while further consolidating CALC’s unique positioning as a full value-chain aircraft solutions provider with the establishment of the first aircraft disassembly centre in China. During the year, we have also further broadened our financing channels in Hong Kong, Mainland China, as well as in the global market to support our fast-developing business. In particular, we have stepped up our efforts for lease receivables realisation.”
“In 2015, we are proud to earn two encouraging recognitions. The Group was included as a constituent stock of the Hang Seng Global Composite Index and the Hang Seng Composite Index in September 2015. It affirmed that CALC has been able to secure support and recognition from investors home and abroad in just one year since its floatation. Moreover, the Group was named “Aircraft Lessor of the Year” 2015 by Global Transport Finance for its expertise in delivering outstanding services and providing effective financing solutions to its clients, making CALC the first Chinese aircraft lessor to be awarded this international title.”
Expanded fleet size to 63 aircraft with globalised clients base
During the Year, CALC successfully established a presence in Europe and South-East Asia to further realise its globalisation strategy. It delivered 19 aircraft in 2015, increasing its fleet size to 63 aircraft at the end of 2015. Of the 19 aircraft delivered, five Airbus A320 aircraft were delivered to its first non-Chinese customer, Air India, and two to Air Macau. CALC also entered into a letter of intent with Pegasus, its first European client and the fastest growing airline in Turkey on the lease of two aircraft; and entered into a letter of intent with Vietnam’s Jetstar Pacific Airlines on the lease of a total of four aircraft.
Diversified financing channels to facilitate business development
The Group strategically opened up a number of overseas financing channels during the year in order to support its fast-developing business. CALC secured its UK first Export Credit Agencies (ECA) guaranteed loan for the financing of three A320 aircraft delivered to Air India in 2015, and obtained its first financing support from Korean Banks for two aircraft delivered to Air Macau.
CALC issued convertible bonds of HK$892.2 million. We also become the first Chinese domestic aircraft lessor to have successfully issued medium-term notes in the Mainland. The Group also completed two transactions for its signature lease receivables realisation in 2015 to facilitate its capital flow.
Extension of aircraft value chain
After reaching an agreement with the Harbin Municipal Government for the establishment of disassembly facilities, the Group won the bid for a plot of land with an area of approximately 300,000 square metres in the south of the Harbin Taiping International Airport within the Harbin Airport Economic Zone in July 2015. It officially launched a project for the construction of an aircraft disassembly base, taking an important step forward for the establishment of the first aircraft disassembly centre in China and extending its aircraft value chain. The first phase of this project, capable of disassembling 20 aircraft annually, is scheduled for completion in 2018.
Fleet expansion to 172 aircraft by the end of 2022
Having observed airline clients’ robust demand for its aircraft in 2016, CALC believes that the aviation industry will continue to grow steadily. The Group purchased a total of four additional aircraft from Airbus at the end of last year and the beginning of this year, bringing CALC’s order book to 144 A320 series aircraft. The Group plans to deliver no fewer than 17 aircraft in 2016 and increase the fleet to at least 80 aircraft by the end of 2016. Based on the order commitments, our fleet will increase to 172 aircraft by the end of 2022.
Dual growth strategies – more value-added aircraft full-life solutions and globalization
Taking its own initiative in the aircraft leasing market, the Group will share its favourable advantages with airline operators by providing them with effective fleet management and business flexibility, thus boosting the sustainable growth of the aviation industry overall. While consolidating its leading position in the home country, the Group will seek to open up this fast-growing market, especially in areas having strong synergies with the Chinese market, while collaborating with leading international airlines to broaden our existing client base and increase overseas market share.
Innovative financing channels to support business growth
The Group will continue to explore more different and innovative financing channels as a means of lowering its financing costs, so as to support its rapid business growth. Given that the devaluation of the Renminbi has boosted the demand of investors for fixed-income assets denominated in US dollars, the Group expects the market demand for the realisation of lease receivables to become stronger. CALC will step up the number of the realisation of lease receivables in 2016 and grasp the opportunities arising from the market for aircraft asset realisation.
“Despite the challenges still being posed to the global economy in 2016, we believe the aviation industry will continue to grow steadily. Against the backdrop of the Chinese Government’s strong support for the development of the aviation industry coupled with the fluctuation of oil prices at low levels and low interest rates in various nations, we have confidence in the outlook for the aviation industry. Taking its own initiative in the aircraft leasing market, the Group will extend its favourable advantages through proactive enhancement and management of our aircraft portfolio, in order to capture valuable opportunities arising from the growing aviation market and to support its sustainable development. CALC will continue to implement two key strategies – providing more aircraft full-life solutions and achieving globalisation – to increase market share and open up more new markets, so as to add value for all of its partners and shareholders,” Mr. Chen Shuang added.