Profit at Irish aircraft lessor SMBC rises 7.5% in first half of 2018

‘Technologically advanced’ fleet entices investors into upcoming €1bn capital injection

Profit at Irish aircraft-leasing company SMBC Aviation Capital rose in the six months to September 30th, the company said.

Pretax profit was up 7.5 per cent to $168 million, with core lease revenue rising 3.5 per cent to $490 million. Operating margin was 42.2 per cent, up from 41.5 per cent in the first half of 2017.

The company said it had aircraft assets in excess of $11.2 billion, including 231 owned aircraft and pre-delivery payments

During the period, SMBC said it sold eight aircraft, with profit on disposal of $11.4 million. It has also signed a contract for the sale of a 29-aircraft portfolio from its managed fleet


"I am pleased to report another solid half year performance, driven by our core lease rentals as a result of a transitioning of our portfolio into new technology aircraft, a strong period for trading aircraft and an overall strengthening of our capital base," said chief executive Peter Barrett.

“This performance again proves the strength of our strategy which has been centred on managing the quality of a young, technologically advanced and fuel efficient portfolio. This is coupled with our approach to risk management and the ongoing support of our shareholders which will be further evidenced with the injection of new capital of $1 billion, expected in the coming weeks.”

SMBC Aviation Capital is one of the world's top-five largest aircraft lessors. The company has about 90 customers in 44 countries and owns, manages or has committed to buying 663 craft. Along with Asia, it leases craft to carriers in Europe and the Americas.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist