Aircastle's net income fell to $29.8 million in the fourth quarter 2012, down from $35.6 million in the year-earlier period.
Total revenues at the lessor improved 13% to $176.6 million compared with the fourth quarter 2011, according to an earnings statement released today.
The fourth quarter results include aircraft impairment charges totalling $7.7 million, primarily reflecting charges associated with one Airbus A320-200 that came off lease during the quarter for $6.7 million. These charges were "largely offset" by end of lease maintenance revenue related to the impaired aircraft totalling $7.5 million.
Commenting on the results, Ron Wainshal, Aircastle's chief executive officer, says: "Aircastle continued to execute on its value-oriented growth strategy in 2012, finishing the year with solid top line growth thanks to $843 million of investments and 99% portfolio utilisation."
Looking ahead, Wainshal believes the market for new acquisitions "looks good" and the lessor will continue to pursue investment opportunities in a "disciplined way".
Lease rental revenue for the fourth quarter was $158.1 million, up 6% from the year-earlier period, due to the impact of $25 million in new aircraft acquisitions, partially offset by lower revenue on aircraft sales of $5.2 million.
Total revenues for the fourth quarter were $176.6 million, an increase of $19.7 million from the previous year, reflecting increased lease rental revenue of $8.2 million and higher maintenance revenue of $4.2 million.
During 2012, Aircastle acquired 24 "aircraft investments" for $843 million. It also sold or disposed of eight aircraft, which resulted in a pre-tax gain of approximately $5.7 million for the year.
Aircastle ended the year the 159 owned aircraft with a net book value of $4.8 billion.
The lessor raised approximately $1.6 billion in debt financing during the year, including more than $730 million during the fourth quarter.
In December, Aircastle closed a $150 million unsecured revolving credit facility with Citibank, Goldman Sachs Bank, JP Morgan Chase Bank and an affiliate of RBC Capital Markets. The deal has a three-year term scheduled to expire in December 2015. This facility is currently undrawn.
In late November, Aircastle issued $500 million in unsecured 6.25% senior notes due 2019. The proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes, including the purchase of aviation assets. The notes were issued at par value.