ATSG forecasts better than expected results for 2015

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Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) says that due primarily to better-than-expected results from its airline operations in the fourth quarter (Q4), its financial results for 2015 are likely to exceed management’s earlier guidance.

The aircraft lessor and air cargo transportation firm now projects its Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) from continuing operations, will likely be in a range of $196-200 million for 2015.

That compares with EBITDA guidance first provided last November of $190-195 million for 2015. EBITDA from continuing operations for 2014 was $179.5 million.

ATSG says the change in the 2015 outlook reflects increased demand for ATSG’s services, primarily for the 767 freighters it operates on a contracted ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance) basis as results from the ACMI services segment were greater than projected in the fourth quarter.

The company says Q4 also benefited from more Boeing 767 Freighters that were dry-leased to external customers at year-end – three more compared with the start of the quarter, and six more than at the end of 2014.

ATSG president and chief executive officer, Joe Hete says: “We are very pleased with our 2015 performance, not just from the new business we added but also for how well our teams performed for all of our customers.

“We faced extraordinary challenges in 2015 to quickly place and operate our 767 freighters over new routes and in concert with new ground services, while continuing to provide great service to all of our other customers.

“Those achievements lend even greater support to our conviction that we are the only source of dedicated midsize freighters and logistical support services, and no one can match our deployment speed, scale or service quality.”

Hete adds the trial ACMI express network that its airlines launched in September for a US customer (reportedly Amazon) performed well through the holiday season, and continues to operate.

The network grew to five aircraft in ACMI service, together with related logistics services. ATSG is seeking to extend its provision of network services for this customer. ATSG expects to issue final audited results for 2015 in early March.