MONTREAL, June 9, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - Canadian Helicopters Group Inc.
(TSX: CHL.A, CHL.B) ("the Company"), the largest helicopter
transportation services company operating in Canada, today announced
its financial and operating results for the first quarter ended March
31, 2011. These results are the first presented by Canadian Helicopters
following its conversion to a dividend-paying corporation on December
31, 2010 and the adoption, on January 1, 2011, of International
Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS"). Results for the prior year
period have been restated, for comparability.
The Company generated revenue of $46.9 million, representing an increase
of $18.4 million, or 64.6%, over revenue of $28.5 million in the first
quarter of 2010. Visual Flight Rules (VFR) revenue increased $16.6
million primarily due to revenues from medium and heavy aircraft
contracted in Afghanistan. Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) revenue
decreased slightly by $0.3 million primarily resulting from reduced
emergency medical services revenue, partially offset by a slight
increase in customer activity in the oil and gas industry. Ancillary
revenue, including the CFTS contract, grew $2.1 million, mainly due to
the consolidation of maintenance revenues from Heli-Welders and Nampa
Valley Helicopters. Revenue-flying hours increased 19.9% to 10,252
EBITDA for the first quarter of 2011 reached $8.9 million, up from $0.8
million a year earlier. This increase mainly reflects higher revenue
and a more favourable mix resulting from increased activity in
Afghanistan where revenues reflect the significantly higher level of
effort to accomplish the work.
As a result, adjusted net income amounted to $4.8 million, or $0.37 per
share, versus a loss of $0.2 million, or $0.01 per unit in 2010.
Adjusted net income excludes certain significant impacts from
classifying the Fund Units and Exchangeable Class B LP Units as
financial liabilities before the Fund's conversion into an incorporated
entity on December 31, 2010. These significant impacts, mostly of a
non-cash nature, reduced net income by $20.1 million in the first
quarter of 2010.
Reflecting higher net income, cash flows related to operating activities
before net changes in non-cash working capital balances reached $7.8
million in the first quarter of 2011, up from $0.3 million in the
corresponding period a year earlier.
Quarters ended March 31,
(in thousands of dollars, except per share data)
Adjusted net income (loss) (2)
Per share/unit - basic and diluted ($)
Net income (loss)
Per share/unit - basic and diluted ($) (3)
Cash flows related to operating activities (4)
Weighted-average shares/units outstanding (all classes)
Earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization,
gain or loss on disposal of property, plant and equipment and share of
net loss of an associate, distributions to Unitholders and holders of
Exchangeable Class B LP Units and change in fair value of Units and
Exchangeable Class B LP Units
Excluding certain significant impacts, in 2010, from classifying the
Fund Units and Exchangeable Class B LP Units as financial liabilities
before the Fund's conversion into an incorporated entity.
Prior to December 31, 2010, Units and Exchangeable Class B LP Units were
classified as financial liabilities before their conversion into shares
of the Company. Therefore, the concept of earnings per Unit did not
apply before the Fund's conversion into an incorporated entity on
December 31, 2010. Please refer to the adjusted net income (loss) of
$(0.01) per unit as above.
Before net changes in non-cash working capital balances
"Canadian Helicopters performed strongly in the first quarter, as
contracted aircraft in Afghanistan and acquisitions in the repair and
maintenance sector offset the seasonal slowdown in domestic activity,"
said Don Wall, President and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian
Helicopters. "Our ongoing operations in Afghanistan continue to achieve
activity levels consistent with our expectations. This greater
year-over-year business flow had a direct positive influence on the
absorption of fixed costs, which contributed to a significant increase
in operating profitability and reduced the impact of soft domestic Q1
As at March 31, 2011, Canadian Helicopters' financial position remained
strong with cash and cash equivalents of $35.4 million and unused
credit facility. The Company had $40.0 million available under its
revolving operating credit facility, while combined cash and credit
facility amounted to $75.4 million.
Subsequent to the end of the first quarter, on April 12, 2011, Canadian
Helicopters announced it had entered into an agreement to acquire the
assets of Helicopters (N.Z.) Limited ("HNZ") for approximately C$128
million. HNZ is New Zealand's largest and most diverse helicopter owner
and operator with 11 bases and 33 aircraft in support of operations in
New Zealand, Australia, Laos and Cambodia. For the 12-month period
ended December 31, 2010, HNZ had revenues of approximately C$62 million
and EBITDA of nearly C$21 million. HNZ's operations are largely
counter-seasonal to Canadian Helicopters domestic operations.
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2011 and
will be funded with a combination of cash on hand and bank debt. As a
result there will be no dilutive effects on existing shareholders. To
finance the transaction, CHL has secured commitments for a revolving
credit facility totaling C$125 million. This new credit facility will
replace CHL's existing revolving credit facility.
"The acquisition of HNZ is transformational. It represents a major step
forward in the evolution of Canadian Helicopters into a global provider
of transportation services. The many similarities between our two
organizations should facilitate the integration, as HNZ has excellent
people, a very strong brand and is well recognized for providing safe
operations, even in challenging environments. Meanwhile, our operations
in Afghanistan should continue to generate significant revenue in the
year ahead. In the domestic market, momentum continues to gradually
build in the natural resources sector and Canadian Helicopters remains
well positioned to benefit from increased activity. Even considering
the HNZ acquisition, our financial position will remain solid, which
should allow Canadian Helicopters to remain proactive in search of
investment opportunities to further extend its range," concluded Mr.
Canadian Helicopters will hold a conference call to discuss these
results on June 10, 2011 at 2:00 PM (ET). Interested parties can join
the call by dialing 416-644-3425 (Toronto) or 1-877-974-0445 (toll
free). If you are unable to call at this time, you may access a tape
recording of the meeting by calling 416-640-1917 (local) or
1-877-289-8525 (toll free) followed by access code 4445589 followed by
#. This tape recording will be available until June 17, 2011.
ABOUT CANADIAN HELICOPTERS GROUP INC.
Through Canadian Helicopters Limited, Canadian Helicopters Group Inc. is
the largest helicopter transportation services company operating in
Canada and one of the largest in the world based on the size of its
fleet. From over 35 base locations across Canada, Canadian Helicopters
provides helicopter services to a broad range of sectors, including
infrastructure maintenance, utilities, oil and gas, mining, forestry,
construction, and emergency medical services. In addition to helicopter
transportation services, Canadian Helicopters operates two flight
schools, provides third party repair and maintenance services in Canada
and provides military support in Afghanistan. With over 60 years of
experience, Canadian Helicopters is an industry leader in establishing
safety standards and operating procedures.
This press release contains forward-looking statements relating to the
future performance of the Company. Forward-looking statements,
specifically those concerning future performance, are subject to
certain risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ
materially. Consequently, readers should not place any undue reliance
on such forward-looking statements. In addition, these forward-looking
statements relate to the date on which they were made. The Company
disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any
forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information,
future events or otherwise unless being required by applicable laws.
DEFINITION OF NON-IFRS MEASURES: EBITDA, ADJUSTED NET INCOME AND
References to "EBITDA" are to earnings (loss) before net financing
charges (income), income taxes, depreciation and amortization, gain or
loss on disposal of property, plant and equipment, share of net income
(loss) of an associate, distributions to Unitholders and holders of
Exchangeable Class B LP Units and change in fair value of Units and
Exchangeable Class B LP Units as disclosed in the Summary of Selected
Consolidated Financial Information. Since EBITDA is a metric used by
many investors to compare issuers on the basis of the ability to
generate cash from operations, management believes that in addition to
net earnings or loss, EBITDA is a useful supplementary measure.
Adjusted net income and adjusted Earnings per Unit information
["Adjusted EPS"] are provided by management to improve the
comparability information between 2011 and 2010. Adjusted EPS is
calculated by dividing the net income as disclosed in the statement of
comprehensive income, adjusted to add back any distributions to
Unitholders and holders of Exchangeable Class B LP Units and to exclude
the effect of any change in fair value of Units and Exchangeable Class
B LP Units during the 2010 comparative periods, by the weighted average
number of Units and Exchangeable Class B LP Units in issue during these
periods, regardless whether these units were classified as equity or
EBITDA, Adjusted net income and Adjusted EPS are not earnings measures
recognized under IFRS and do not have standardized meanings prescribed
by IFRS. Therefore, EBITDA, Adjusted net income and Adjusted EPS may
not be comparable with similar measures presented by other entities.
Investors are cautioned that EBITDA, Adjusted net income and Adjusted
EPS should not be construed as an alternative to net earnings (loss)
determined in accordance with IFRS as indicators of the Company's
performance, or to cash flows from operating, investing and financing
activities as measures of liquidity and cash flows.
Note to readers: Complete consolidated unaudited interim financial statements and
Management's Discussion & Analysis of Operating Results and Financial
Position are available on Canadian Helicopters' website at www.canadianhelicopters.com and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
SOURCE CANADIAN HELICOPTERS GROUP INC.
For further information:
| Canadian Helicopters Group Inc. |
| Don Wall |
| President and Chief Executive Officer |
| Tel: || 780-429-6919 |
| Tel: || 450-452-3007 |