Leasing firm soars with pre-tax profits of $32.7m

The aircraft leasing firm at the centre of the biggest deal in Irish corporate history recorded pre-tax profits of $32.7m (€24m) last year.

The Dublin-based SMBC Capital Aviation Ltd — formerly RBS Capital Aviation Ltd — was last year purchased by Japan’s second-biggest bank, Sumitomo Mitsui for over $7.3bn (€5.8bn) from RBS.

The firm is one of the top five commercial airline lessors worldwide by scale and new figures show the firm recorded pre-tax profits of $32.7m in the three months to the end of Mar 31 last.

This followed the firm recording revenues of $150.9m.

The prior period was for a 12-month period when the firm recorded pre-tax profits of $179.1m on revenues of $617.4m.

The firm has total assets of $6.39bn at the end of March last.

SMBC Aviation Capital focuses on specific aircraft types and today 94% of the firm’s fleet is comprised of Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 Next Generation family aircraft with an average age of 4.5 years.

The firm had 33 B737-800 and 38 A320-200 aircraft on order.

A note attached to the accounts states that “going forward from Jun 1, 2012, the company has continued to manage its financial risks in line with guidance and facilities provided by the consortium.

The note states: “As a consequence, the directors believe that the company is well placed to manage its business risks successfully despite the current uncertain economic outlook”.

Staff costs at the firm totalled $6.9m for the three months with the numbers employed increasing from 65 to 68.

The figures show that directors’ emoluments totalled $1.74m for the three months that included bonus payments of $1m. This compared to total directors’ remuneration of $6.7m for the 12-month prior period.

RBS Aviation Capital was spawned from International Aviation Management, a company established by Co Clare-born entrepreneur Domhnal Slattery.

Mr Slattery sold International Aviation Management to RBS in 2001 for an estimated £30m (€36m).

He eventually went on to establish aircraft leasing firm Avolon, which is also based in Dublin.

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