As Dubai Aerospace Enterprise strives for further investment-grade ratings, its full-year results benefited from the integration with AWAS, the Irish lessor it purchased in 2017.

Total revenue for 2018 was up 70% to $1.4 billion while profits before tax were up 135% to $429 million, the Dubai-based lessor reports.

"2018 was the first full year of the combined leasing company’s operations following the acquisition of AWAS in August 2017," says chief executive Firoz Tarapore in the earnings statement. "During 2018, we recorded strong financial and operational performance across our businesses."

The company posted a 12.8% pre-tax return on equity, while it is leveraged at about 2.57x.

Tarapore says the company has been strengthening its balance sheet, as it strives for investment-grade ratings from the rating agencies.

DAE has nearly doubled its available liquidity year-over-year to $1.6 billion up from $832 million in 2017 as well as doubled its unsecured debt to 46% compared with 23% at the end of 2017. In November, after issuing $1 billion of unsecured three- and five-year note issues, it closed a $720 million unsecured revolving credit facility with nine bank.

KBRA rewarded the company with its first investment-grade rating of "BBB+" in October, noting the company's "strong market position, established track record (including the 30-plus-year history of AWAS), experienced management team, and robust investment and risk management platform".

DAE was upgraded by both Moody's Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings during the year and is rated "Ba1" and "BB+", respectively, by the agencies.

"As we enter 2019, our financial metrics are stronger than ever and we are well positioned on our journey to become an investment grade rated company from all of the major credit rating agencies,” says Tarapore.

DAE's fleet consists of 354 aircraft valued at $14 billion, according to its website. Its owned portfolio has an average age of about six years.

Source: Cirium Dashboard