• Q2 adjusted EBITDA1 of $65.5 million.
  • Q2 adjusted net income1 of $26.7 million, or $0.22. per basic share.
  • Q2 net income of $40.8 million, or $0.33 per basic share, including an unrealized foreign exchange gain of $21.7 million.
  • Chorus' leased fleet diversifies and grows to 56 upon completion of announced leasing transactions for 17 regional aircraft to date by Chorus Aviation Capital.
  • Jazz signed five-year agreement with Bombardier Commercial Aircraft becoming an Authorized Service Facility.
  • Jazz Technical Services completed world's first Extended Service Program on Dash 8-300 aircraft.
  • Five new CRJ900 aircraft entered Jazz's Air Canada Express operation.

Chorus Aviation Inc. ('Chorus') (TSX: CHR) today announced solid financial results for the second quarter of 2017.

"I'm pleased with our financial performance in the second quarter, delivering increases in adjusted EBITDA and adjusted net earnings of 13.3% and 22.3% respectively over the same period in 2016," said Joe Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus. "We're making significant progress in growth and diversification as we build Chorus Aviation Capital into a leading regional aircraft lessor. Our objective is to become one of the top regional aircraft lessors in the world. Aside from the 39 regional aircraft under lease in the CPA, we have announced an additional 17 aircraft, bringing the total to 56. Diversification is made more robust through now securing products manufactured by the three, world leading regional aircraft manufacturers; Bombardier, ATR and Embraer, while adding new, well-established customers geographically dispersed across five continents. Along with the solid performance of our core businesses in Jazz and Voyageur, we're transforming our organization into a global leader in regional aviation. We are now delivering customers a complete suite of regional aviation services including contracted flying, aircraft engineering, maintenance, repair and overhaul, parts provisioning and aircraft leasing solutions."

Q2 2017 Overview

Chorus remains focused on its vision of delivering regional aviation to the world. Chorus once again delivered solid financial results, in line with management's expectations, and made significant progress in its growth and diversification initiatives.

Chorus Aviation Capital ('CAC') is quickly becoming a globally significant regional aircraft lessor through the acquisition of leases with new, high quality customers located across five continents, and a diversified fleet comprising among the best regional jet and turbo-prop offerings from Bombardier, ATR and Embraer. To date CAC has completed the acquisition of six ATR 72-600 aircraft on lease to Flybe and Virgin Australia, and three Bombardier Q400s to Falcon Aviation Services of Abu Dhabi. It also delivered the third of four CRJ1000 regional jets to Air Nostrum, and announced its intention to acquire one Embraer 190 aircraft on lease to KLM Cityhopper, and three Embraer 190 aircraft on lease to Aeromexico Connect. Within the first seven months of its existence, CAC has grown Chorus' fleet of regional aircraft outside of the capacity purchase agreement ('CPA') with Air Canada to 17 aircraft with the average age of this fleet being approximately three years.

While Jazz did experience operational challenges at the hub airports and pilot transitioning activity resulting in a reduction in performance incentive revenues over second quarter 2016, the CPA continues to deliver stable financial results.

Jazz Technical Services completed the world's first Extended Service Program on a Dash 8-300 aircraft, and has been designated as a Bombardier authorized provider of maintenance, repair and overhaul. Voyageur secured a second new flying contract in Europe, and expects to deliver a second converted Dash 8-100 package freighter to Wasaya Airways later this month.

Financial Performance - second quarter 2017 compared to second quarter 2016

In the second quarter of 2017, Chorus reported adjusted EBITDA of $65.5 million versus $57.8 million in 2016; an increase of $7.7 million or 13.3%.

The increase in adjusted EBITDA was primarily driven by:

  • increased aircraft leasing under the CPA with Air Canada of $6.4 million;
  • a $4.6 million increase related to incremental margin attributed to non-CPA aircraft leasing and maintenance, repair and overhaul; and
  • new contracts for international ACMI flying in the Voyageur operation contributed $0.7 million.

These increases were partially offset by:

  • a decline of $2.4 million in CPA performance incentive revenue; and
  • an increase of $1.6 million in stock-based compensation expense.

Adjusted net income was $26.7 million for the quarter, an increase from the second quarter of 2016 of $4.9 million, or 22.3%. The change was a result of the $7.7 million increase in adjusted EBITDA previously described, plus a $3.5 million decrease in income taxes; partially offset by:

  • $2.7 million of additional depreciation primarily related to new aircraft; and
  • $5.3 million of added interest costs related to increased aircraft debt and the convertible units.

Net income was $40.8 million for the quarter, an increase of $17.2 million from the second quarter of 2016. The increase was due to the previously noted $4.9 million increase in adjusted net income and:

  • an increase of $16.3 million in unrealized foreign exchange gains on long-term debt; offset by:
  • $3.1 million of foreign exchange losses on US dollar denominated cash held on deposit for investment in the aircraft leasing business; and
  • $4.5 million in employee separation program costs in the second quarter of 2017, versus $3.6 million in the second quarter of 2016.

Year to date 2017 compared to year to date 2016

For the six months ended June 30, 2017, Chorus reported adjusted EBITDA of $119.6 million versus $108.7 million in 2016; an increase of $10.8 million or 10.0%.

The increase in adjusted EBITDA was primarily driven by:

  • increased aircraft leasing under the CPA with Air Canada of $10.7 million;
  • a $7.2 million increase related to incremental margin attributed to non-CPA aircraft leasing and maintenance, repair and overhaul; and new contracts for international ACMI flying in the Voyageur operation contributed $1.2 million.

These increases were partially offset by:

  • a decline of $3.3 million in CPA performance incentive revenue;
  • an increase of $0.5 million in stock-based compensation expense; and
  • an increase of $4.5 million, mostly attributable to increased crew costs including travel and training related to incremental flying activity.

Adjusted net income was $42.5 million for the period, an increase from 2016 of $0.5 million, or 1.1%. The change was a result of the $10.8 million increase in adjusted EBITDA previously described, plus a $2.4 million decrease in income taxes; partially offset by:

  • $6.1 million of additional depreciation primarily related to new aircraft; and
  • $8.2 million of added interest costs related to increased aircraft debt and the convertible units.

Net income was $67.5 million for the period, a reduction of $11.5 million, or 14.6% from the same period of 2016. The decrease was due to the previously noted $0.5 million increase in adjusted net income and:

  • a decrease of $13.9 million in unrealized foreign exchange gains on long-term debt;
  • $8.8 million in employee separation program costs in the first half of 2017, versus $3.6 million in the first half of 2016; offset by:
  • no signing bonuses in the first half of 2017, versus $5.5 million in signing bonuses in the first half of 2016; and
  • $1.6 million of foreign exchange gains on US dollar denominated cash held on deposit for investment in the aircraft leasing business.

2017 OUTLOOK

(See cautionary statement regarding forward-looking information below)

Chorus' subsidiaries continue to deliver results within management's expectations, supporting positive operating income and cash flows from operations. Chorus is determined to create additional long-term shareholder value by strengthening the foundational CPA business, growing and diversifying aircraft leasing revenues, and pursuing additional growth opportunities.

Chorus intends to grow its regional aircraft leasing business through CAC by leveraging the proceeds from the private placement of convertible debt units to acquire aircraft for lease to regional aircraft operators. CAC intends to deploy the capital within the next six to 12 months leveraging that capital with further debt financing at a ratio ranging between three and four to one, to acquire new to mid-life regional aircraft for lease to high quality operators.

Given the breadth of its expertise and capabilities in regional aviation, Chorus believes it has the opportunity to become one of the world's largest regional aircraft lessors. The progress made in advancing the diversification strategy through growth in aircraft leasing is expected to continue with the delivery of the fourth CRJ1000 to Air Nostrum by the end of September 2017, and the anticipated closing of the leasing transactions with KLM Cityhopper and Aeromexico Connect.

Based on the 2016-2017 winter schedule, the 2017 summer schedule and updated planning assumptions received from Air Canada, Billable Block Hours for 2017 are expected to be between 358,000 and 363,000 hours based on 117 Covered Aircraft as at December 31, 2017. The actual number of Billable Block Hours for 2017 may vary from this anticipated range due to several factors, (see Section 9 - Risk Factors in the second quarter 2017 MD&A). However, the CPA fleet transition to larger aircraft will generate approximately 10% more available seat miles in fiscal 2017 over the same period in 2016.

Capital expenditures for 2017, excluding those for the acquisition of aircraft and the extended service program, and including capitalized major maintenance overhauls, are expected to be between $45.0 million and $55.0 million.