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Q1 2021 Key Metrics
Net loss of $38.1 million, or $0.24 per basic share; a period-over-period decrease of $20.8 million due to one-time restructuring costs related to the 2021 capacity purchase agreement ('CPA') amendments of $81.8 million as outlined below, offset by the changes in unrealized foreign exchange of $45.4 million and income taxes.
Adjusted net income1 of $15.7 million, or $0.10 per basic share; a decrease of $8.1 million quarter-over-quarter primarily due to the impact of COVID-19.
Adjusted EBITDA1 of $84.0 million; a decrease of $4.5 million over first quarter 2020.
Liquidity of $171.3 million.
Collected approximately 62% of lease revenue billed in the first quarter consistent with fourth quarter 2020 collections.
Revised CPA with Air Canada, enhancing Jazz's position as the exclusive Air Canada Express operator of 70-78 seat regional capacity until the end of 2025 and is currently the sole provider of Air Canada Express services.
Completed a public offering and concurrent private placement for gross proceeds of $145.1 million.
Remarketed three Dash 8-400s to two new leasing customers, Sky Alps of Italy (two aircraft) and one Dash 8-400 to National Jet Express, a subsidiary of Australian aviation operator, Cobham Aviation Services.
Secured a three-year contract with Purolator for air cargo charter services, executing on Chorus' growing capabilities in this market segment.
Awarded a 3-year contract to upgrade and modify Transport Canada's National Aerial Surveillance Program fleet of Dash 8-100 and Dash 7 aircraft with new surveillance equipment.
Awarded a new five-year contract to provide fixed-wing air ambulance service for Ambulance New Brunswick further extending its 25-year relationship.
HALIFAX, NS, May 12, 2021 /CNW/ - Chorus Aviation Inc. ('Chorus') (TSX: CHR) today announced first quarter 2021 financial results and an update on the impact of COVID-19.
"I am proud and encouraged by our accomplishments so far this year," commented Joe Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus. "While our industry continues to be challenged by the negative effects of COVID-19, we have made considerable progress towards ensuring we emerge from the pandemic in the strongest position possible."
"In March we revised our CPA with Air Canada to our mutual benefit. The two primary highlights are the transfer of 25 Embraer 175 aircraft to Jazz, and the introduction of a cap on the controllable cost guardrail receivable. With the transfer of the aircraft, Jazz is currently the sole operator of Air Canada Express flights and has the exclusive right to operate 70 - 78 seat regional capacity until 2025. As our work with Air Canada on recovery plans continues, these revisions further strengthen our relationship and provides significant network efficiencies and planning flexibility – elements that are vital as service resumptions are implemented. The new cap on the controllable cost guardrail reduces our financial exposure and minimizes draws on our working capital. Finally, the recent support of the Canadian government to Air Canada was a welcomed announcement as it helped preserve regional services across our nation."
"While there remains uncertainty, our industry is starting to experience some encouraging signs of renewed travel demand, most particularly in regional and short-haul markets. This was evidenced by our recent long-term lease agreements with two new leasing customers, Sky Alps of Italy, and Cobham Aviation Services of Australia. The aircraft, three Dash 8-400s, were repossessed by Chorus in 2020 and underwent reconfiguration and return-to-service work at Voyageur and Jazz Technical Services. This is what differentiates Chorus from the competition – not only are we an airline operator, we offer a broad range of solutions to remarket aircraft in the midst of one of the most challenging periods in aviation history."
"Although we paused our growth and diversification strategy in 2020 to focus on liquidity, it remains a corporate priority. Our capital raise in April was over-subscribed and generated gross proceeds of $145.1 million, thus enabling us to improve our balance sheet and prudently seek growth opportunities."
"The recent contracts awarded to Voyageur by Purolator, Transport Canada and Ambulance New Brunswick are a testament to the incredible skill and ingenuity of the team and clearly position us as a premiere special mission service provider. We are pleased to grow our relationships with these important customers and are very excited to be expanding our capabilities to include cargo contract flying on behalf of Purolator. We view the cargo market as a growth opportunity that is benefiting from the successes of e-commerce and look forward to participating in this evolving sector."
"We are proud of the way we are managing through this pandemic and have centered our attention on the future. I'm very grateful to our employees for delivering terrific accomplishments despite all the challenges associated with the global pandemic. We are well positioned to take advantage of future opportunities," concluded Mr. Randell.
As of March 31, 2021, Chorus' liquidity was $171.3 million including cash of $136.0 million and $35.3 million of available room on its operating credit facility. Liquidity decreased from the fourth quarter of 2020 by $29.7 million primarily due to certain payments related to the 2021 CPA amendments of approximately $17.0 million and debt repayments of $56.0 million, offset by the collection of the 2020 Controllable Cost Guardrail receivable of $44.2 million.
On April 6, 2021, Chorus completed a concurrent public offering and private placement of Equity Units and 6.00% Unsecured Convertible Debentures for gross proceeds of $145.1 million. The net proceeds, after transaction costs, were $138.0 million.
In connection with the issuance of the 6.00% Unsecured Convertible Debentures, Chorus repaid deferred amounts outstanding under secured aircraft loans in the amount of $33.9 million.
First Quarter Summary
In the first quarter of 2021, Chorus reported adjusted EBITDA of $84.0 million, a decrease of $4.5 million relative to the first quarter of 2020.
The Regional Aircraft Leasing segment's adjusted EBITDA decreased by $9.5 million primarily due to lower lease margins attributable to off-lease aircraft, a $2.5 million expected credit loss provision and a lower US dollar exchange rate partially offset by additional aircraft earning leasing revenue.
The Regional Aviation Services segment's adjusted EBITDA increased by $4.9 million. The first quarter results were impacted by:
a decrease in stock-based compensation of $7.1 million due to the change in the share price inclusive of the change in fair value of the Total Return Swap;
an increase in aircraft leasing revenue under the CPA of $2.5 million primarily due to nine incremental CRJ900s, partially offset by the removal of the Dash 8-300s and a lower US dollar exchange rate;
an increase in other revenue due to an increase in third-party maintenance, repair and overhaul activity and contract flying; and
a decrease in general administrative expenses; offset by
a decrease in fixed margin of $2.4 million in accordance with the CPA contract; and
a decrease in capitalization of major maintenance overhauls on owned aircraft operated under the CPA of $2.4 million.
Adjusted net income was $15.7 million for the quarter, a decrease of $8.1 million due to:
a $4.5 million decrease in adjusted EBITDA as previously described;
an increase in net interest costs of $4.6 million primarily related to new credit facilities added in April 2020 and additional aircraft debt; and
an increase of $1.2 million in realized foreign exchange and unrealized foreign exchange losses on working capital; offset by
a $2.0 million decrease in adjusted income tax expense resulting from a reduction in EBT of $23.3 million offset by tax recovery on adjusted items of $21.3 million; and
a decrease in depreciation of $0.3 million.
Net loss increased $20.8 million due to the previously noted decrease in Adjusted net income of $8.1 million, one-time restructuring costs related to the 2021 CPA Amendments of $81.8 million and a change in net lease repossession costs of $7.0 million; offset by the change in net unrealized foreign exchange on long-term debt of $45.4 million, tax recovery on adjusted items of $21.3 million, decreased impairment of $5.9 million in the RAL segment and decreased employee separation program costs of $3.5 million, exclusive of the cost attributable to the pilot early retirement program.
One-time restructuring costs related to the 2021 CPA amendments of $81.8 million are as follows:
Non-cash impairment and inventory provisions on the Dash 8-300s of $42.8 million;
Early retirement program costs of $26.3 million to incentivize early departure of senior Jazz pilots enrolled in the defined benefit pension plan;
Non-cash defined benefit pension plan curtailment provision of $10.0 million;
Integration and E175 aircraft related transition costs of $2.0 million; and a
Signing bonuses of $0.7 million for Jazz pilots.
Consolidated Financial Analysis
(expressed in thousands of Canadian dollars)
Three months ended March 31,
Operating (loss) income
Net interest expense
Foreign exchange gain (loss)
Gain on property and equipment
Loss before income tax
Income tax recovery (expense)
Adjusted net income(1)
These are non-GAAP financial measures.
(See cautionary statement regarding forward-looking information below)
The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting government restrictions have created unprecedented challenges for the passenger aviation industry around the world. Although, Chorus' business model does not directly expose it to the market risks ordinarily faced by airlines, substantially all its source revenue is derived from airline customers, through its CPA and its leasing of aircraft to airline customers globally. The full extent of the duration and therefore the impact of this pandemic are unknown. Chorus continues to work with Air Canada and its leasing customers to help them manage the economic pressures they are facing as a consequence of the sustained reduction in demand for passenger air travel.
Regional Aviation Services:
On March 15, 2021, Jazz amended the CPA with Air Canada on a retroactive basis to January 1, 2021. The principal changes include:
25 E175s will be added to the Covered Aircraft fleet in 2021, increasing the Fixed Margin over the remaining term of the CPA by $46.0 million;
Jazz will be the exclusive Air Canada Express operator of 70 – 78 seat regional capacity until the end of 2025;
19 Dash 8-300s were removed from the Covered Aircraft fleet effective January 1, 2021, thereby reducing aircraft leasing revenue under the CPA by $56.0 million over the remaining term of the CPA; and
The Controllable Cost Guardrail receivable is now capped at $20.0 million, improving working capital with no change to the $2.0 million Controllable Cost Guardrail exposure.
All other material components of the CPA, including the December 31, 2035 expiry date, are unchanged.
The Fixed Margin under the CPA for 2021 is based on the number of Covered Aircraft which will be no less than $65.7 million.
Chorus estimates the carrying value of the owned Dash 8-300sto be approximately $65.0 million, and can sell, lease, or convert them for cargo operations.
In the first quarter of 2021, Jazz operated approximately 15% of its first quarter 2019 pre-COVID-19 flying levels. In the second quarter of 2021, Jazz expects to operate approximately 20% to 25% of its second quarter pre-COVID-19 flying levels.
Voyageur continues to perform overseas humanitarian flights and cargo services, and the air ambulance operation in New Brunswick. Voyageur's contract flying, charter sales and MRO services revenues all improved over the fourth quarter of 2020 and the momentum is expected to be sustained in 2021.
Regional Aircraft Leasing:
Chorus has received requests from substantially all its Regional Aircraft Leasing segment customers for some form of temporary rent relief, as they cope with an unprecedented reduction in demand for passenger air travel. In connection with the rent relief arrangements, that include lease term extensions, the repayment terms vary but typically coincide with the lease term extensions.
Chorus Aviation Capital's gross lease receivable was $67.7 million (US $53.8 million) as of March 31, 2021 (December 31, 2020 - $56.3 million; US $44.2 million). The gross receivable may increase to approximately $75.0 million (US $60.0 million) by the end of 2021. The increase over previous estimates is due to additional and anticipated rent relief requests from certain customers resulting from continued travel restrictions as the number of COVID-19 variants and cases continue to climb.
The net lease receivable, after the expected credit loss provision, was $57.4 million (US $45.6 million) as at March 31, 2021 (December 31, 2020 $48.3 million (US $38.0 million). CAC's lease deferral receivable exposure is also partially mitigated by security packages held of approximately $24.0 million (US $19.0 million). The net lease receivable, after the expected credit loss provision, is $57.3 million (US $45.6 million) as at March 31, 2021 (December 31, 2020 million $7.9 million (US $6.2 million). Chorus collected approximately 62% of lease revenue billed in the first quarter from its lessees, excluding repossessed aircraft which is consistent with fourth quarter 2020 collections. Consistent with market norms, these leases are generally for a fixed term, contain an absolute payment obligation on the part of the lessee, and cannot be terminated early for convenience.
On April 6, 2021, Chorus completed a concurrent public offering and private placement of Equity Units and 6.00% Unsecured Convertible Debentures for aggregate gross proceeds of $145.1 million. A portion of the net proceeds has been used to pay down secured indebtedness.
In connection with the issuance of the 6.00% Unsecured Convertible Debentures, Chorus repaid deferred amounts outstanding under secured aircraft loans in the amount of $33.9 million. Chorus also plans to pay down additional secured indebtedness by approximately $75.0 million. Repayment on these secured debt facilities will bring the carrying value of CAC's unencumbered fleet to approximately $140.0 million (US $110.0 million) and will also reduce Chorus' restricted cash requirements by approximately $10.0 million.
The remaining net proceeds will be used to position Chorus to prudently pursue growth opportunities (including purchasing additional aircraft to continue expanding Chorus' regional aircraft leasing business and expanding into additional contracted flying operations), provide additional balance sheet flexibility, and for general corporate purposes.
The following table provides the number of aircraft that earn or will earn leasing revenue for closed and pending transactions(1) announced to-date:
Total Regional Aircraft Leasing(6)
Total Regional Aviation Services(6)(7)(8)
Chorus Total Aircraft(6)
All pending transactions are subject to the satisfaction of customary conditions precedent to closing.
Total announced transactions as of May 12, 2021.
Consists of three ATR72-600s and two E195s.
In April 2021, CAC delivered one Dash 8-400 under lease to National Jet Express, a subsidiary of Cobham Aviation Services.
In April 2021, CAC executed leases for two Dash 8-400s with Sky Alps with deliveries expected in the second quarter of 2021.
As of May 12, 2021, the RAL segment had 10 off-lease aircraft repossessed in 2020 which it is currently in the process of remarketing, and the RAS segment had 18 Dash 8-300s which exited the Covered Aircraft fleet under the CPA. Of the 10 off-lease aircraft in the RAL segment, eight aircraft have amortizing debt obligations outstanding against them. All 18 Dash 8-300s in the RAS segment are pledged as security for the 6.00% Debentures but do not have amortizing debt obligations outstanding against them.
The RAS segment changes includes 2021 CPA Amendments resulting in the removal of the Dash 8-300s. In addition, the table has also been changed to reflect only actual owned aircraft earning leasing revenue under the CPA thereby resulting in the removal of the five to be determined 75-78 seat aircraft transactions.
RAS segment aircraft breakdown: 34 Dash 8-400s and 14 CRJ900s.
Capital expenditures in 2021, including capitalized major maintenance overhauls but excluding expenditures for the acquisition of aircraft and the ESP, are expected to be between $26.0 million and $35.0 million. Aircraft related acquisitions and ESP capital expenditures in 2021 are expected to be between $35.0 million and $45.0 million.(1)
Three months ended
March 31, 2021
December 31, 2020
Capital expenditures, excluding aircraft acquisitions and ESP
8,000 to 12,000
Capitalized major maintenance overhauls(2)
18,000 to 23,000
Aircraft related acquisitions and ESP
35,000 to 45,000
61,000 to 80,000
The 2021 plan includes one CRJ900 in the RAS segment and reconfiguration costs on off-lease aircraft in the RAL segment which have been converted using a foreign exchange rate of 1.2575, the March 31, 2021 closing day rate from the Bank of Canada.
The 2021 plan includes between $8.0 million to $12.0 million of costs that are expected to be included in the Controllable Costs. Actual 2021 and 2020 cost includes $1.4 million and $6.1 million, respectively which were included in Controllable Costs.
Use of Defined Terms
Investor Conference Call / Audio Webcast
Chorus will hold an analyst call at 8:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, May 13, 2021 to discuss the first quarter 2021 financial results. The call may be accessed by dialing 1-888-231-8191. The call will be simultaneously audio webcast via:
This is a listen-in only audio webcast.
The conference call webcast will be archived on Chorus' website at www.chorusaviation.com under Investors > Reports > Executive Management Presentations. A playback of the call can also be accessed until midnight ET, May 20, 2021 by dialing toll-free 1-855-859-2056, and using passcode 1552856#.
1NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES
This news release references several non-GAAP financial measures to supplement the analysis of Chorus' results. Chorus uses certain non-GAAP financial measures, described below, to evaluate and assess performance. These non-GAAP measures are generally numerical measures of a company's financial performance, financial position or cash flows, that include or exclude amounts from the most comparable GAAP measure. As such, these measures are not recognized for financial statement presentation under GAAP, do not have a standardized meaning, and are therefore not likely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other public entities.
Adjusted Net Income, Adjusted EBT and Adjusted EBITDA
Chorus revised its definition of Adjusted net income in the first quarter of 2021 to include the Dash 8-300 inventory provision, the defined benefit pension curtailment resulting from the pilot early retirement program and integration costs related to the 2021 CPA Amendments to facilitate comparability of its results.
Adjusted net income and Adjusted net income per Share are used by Chorus to assess performance without the effects of unrealized foreign exchange gains or losses on long-term debt and lease liability related to aircraft, signing bonuses, employee separation program costs, impairment provisions, lease repossession costs net of security packages realized, Dash 8-300 inventory provision, defined benefit pension curtailment, integration costs, strategic advisory fees and the applicable tax expense (recovery). Chorus manages its exposure to currency risk on such long-term debt by billing the lease payments within the CPA in the underlying currency (US dollars) related to the aircraft debt. These items are excluded because they affect the comparability of Chorus' financial results, period-over-period, and could potentially distort the analysis of trends in business performance. Excluding these items does not imply they are non-recurring due to ongoing currency fluctuations between the Canadian and US dollar.
Chorus revised its definition of Adjusted EBT and Adjusted EBITDA in the first quarter of 2021 to include the Dash 8-300 inventory provision, the defined benefit pension curtailment resulting from the pilot early retirement program and integration costs related to the 2021 CPA Amendments to facilitate comparability of its results. Adjusted EBT and EBITDA should not be used as an exclusive measure of cash flow because it does not account for the impact of working capital growth, capital expenditures, debt repayments and other sources and uses of cash, which are disclosed in the statements of cash flows, forming part of Chorus' financial statements.
EBT is defined as earnings before income tax. Adjusted EBT (EBT before signing bonuses, employee separation program costs, impairment provisions, lease repossession costs net of security packages realized, Dash 8-300 inventory provision, defined benefit pension curtailment, integration costs, strategic advisory fees and other items such as foreign exchange gains and losses) is a non-GAAP financial measure used by Chorus as a supplemental financial measure of operational performance. Management believes Adjusted EBT assists investors in comparing Chorus' performance by excluding items, which it does not believe will re-occur over the longer-term (such as signing bonuses, employee separation program costs, impairment provisions, lease repossession costs net of security packages realized, Dash 8-300 inventory provision, defined benefit pension curtailment, integration costs and strategic advisory fees) as well as items that are non-cash in nature such as foreign exchange gains and losses.
EBITDA is defined as earnings before net interest expense, income taxes, depreciation, amortization and impairment and is a non-GAAP financial measure that is used frequently by companies in the aviation industry as a measure of performance. Adjusted EBITDA (EBITDA before signing bonuses, employee separation program costs, strategic advisory fees, impairment provisions, lease repossession costs net of security packages realized, Dash 8-300 inventory provision, defined benefit pension curtailment and integration costs, and other items such as foreign exchange gains or losses) is a non-GAAP financial measure used by Chorus as a supplemental financial measure of operational performance. Management believes Adjusted EBITDA assists investors in comparing Chorus' performance by excluding items, which it does not believe will re-occur over the longer-term (such as signing bonuses, employee separation program costs, impairment provisions, lease repossession costs net of security packages realized, Dash 8-300 inventory provision, defined benefit pension curtailment, integration costs and strategic advisory fees) as well as items that are non-cash in nature such as foreign exchange gains and losses. Adjusted EBITDA should not be used as an exclusive measure of cash flow because it does not account for the impact of working capital growth, capital expenditures, debt repayments and other sources and uses of cash, which are disclosed in the statements of cash flows, forming part of Chorus' financial statements.
This news release includes 'forward-looking information'. Forward-looking information is identified by the use of terms and phrases such as "anticipate", "believe", "could", "estimate", "expect", "intend", "may", "plan", "predict", "project", "will", "would", and similar terms and phrases, including references to assumptions. Such information may involve but is not limited to comments with respect to strategies, expectations, planned operations or future actions. Forward-looking information relates to analyses and other information that are based on forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable and other uncertain events. Forward-looking information, by its nature, is based on assumptions, including those referenced below, and is subject to important risks and uncertainties. Any forecasts or forward-looking predictions or statements cannot be relied upon due to, among other things, external events, changing market conditions and general uncertainties of the business. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking information.
Examples of forward-looking information in this news release include the discussion in the Outlook section, as well as statements regarding expectations as to Chorus' future liquidity and financial strength and contracted revenues, the recovery of domestic air traffic in Canada and around the world, Chorus' future growth and the completion of pending transactions (including the delivery of the Dash 8-400 aircraft to Sky Alps) referenced in this news release. Actual results may differ materially from results indicated in forward-looking information for a number of reasons, including a prolonged duration of the COVID-19 outbreak and/or further restrictive measures to contain its spread, the evolving impact of COVID-19 on Chorus' contractual counterparties, changes in aviation industry and general economic conditions, the continued payment (in whole or in part) of amounts due under the CPA, the risk of disputes under the CPA, Chorus' ability to pay its indebtedness and otherwise remain in compliance with its debt covenants, the risk of cross defaults under debt agreements and other significant contracts, the risk of asset impairments and provisions for expected credit losses, as well as the factors identified in the Risk Factors section of Chorus' Annual Information Form dated February 18, 2021, and in Chorus' public disclosure record available at www.sedar.com. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release represent Chorus' expectations as of the date of this news release (or as of the date they are otherwise stated to be made) and are subject to change after such date. Chorus disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise such statements to reflect new information, subsequent events or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities laws. Readers are cautioned that the foregoing factors and risks are not exhaustive.
About Chorus Aviation Inc.
Chorus is a global provider of integrated regional aviation solutions. Chorus' vision is to deliver regional aviation to the world. Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Chorus is comprised of Chorus Aviation Capital a leading, global lessor of regional aircraft, and Jazz Aviation and Voyageur Aviation - companies that have long histories of safe operations with excellent customer service. Chorus provides a full suite of regional aviation support services that encompasses every stage of an aircraft's lifecycle, including aircraft acquisitions and leasing; aircraft refurbishment, engineering, modification, repurposing and preparation; contract flying; aircraft and component maintenance, disassembly, and parts provisioning.
Chorus Class A Variable Voting Shares and Class B Voting Shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol 'CHR'. Chorus 6.00% Senior Debentures, 5.75% Senior Unsecured Debentures, and 6.00% Convertible Senior Unsecured Debentures trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbols 'CHR.DB', 'CHR.DB.A', and 'CHR.DB.B', respectively. www.chorusaviation.com
SOURCE Chorus Aviation Inc.
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