Exhibit 99.1

 

 

 

CONTACT:

Brad Forsyth

 

 

Chief Financial Officer

 

 

(415) 408-4700

 

NEWS RELEASE

 

Willis Lease Finance Reports Record 2008 Net Income of $26.6 Million

 

NOVATO, CA –March 25, 2009 –

Willis Lease Finance Corporation (NASDAQ: WLFC), a leading lessor of commercial jet engines, today reported record revenues, net income and earnings per share in 2008, reflecting continued growth in the lease portfolio, high utilization of lease assets and historically low interest rates. Willis Lease’s net income available to common stockholders increased 61% to $23.5 million, or $2.68 per diluted share in 2008, compared to $14.5 million or $1.66 per diluted share a year ago.

 

2008 Highlights (at or for the year ended December 31, 2008 compared to December 31, 2007)

 

·                  The lease portfolio increased 11% from a year ago to $829.7 million.

·                  Average utilization was 93%, in line with a year ago.

·                  Lease rent revenues rose 19% to $102.4 million, contributing to a 25% increase in total revenue of $152.3 million.

·                  Maintenance reserve revenues contributed $33.7 million to revenue compared to $28.2 million a year ago.

·                  Earnings per diluted share grew 61% to $2.68 compared to $1.66 in 2007.

·                  Book value per common share was $17.66 at year end versus $16.93 at the end of 2007.

·                  Purchased 43 engines and sold or consigned 27 engines, ending the year with 160 engines in the portfolio.

·                  Liquidity available from warehouse and revolving credit facilities decreased to $242 million at year end, down slightly from $300 million a year ago.

 

“We had a great year,” said Charles F. Willis, President and CEO.  “I’m very proud of our outstanding performance in 2008.  We set new records for total revenue, net income, earnings per share and capital expenditures. We have a great team that worked hard to make this happen. A large part of our success in 2008 was the business volumes created from our lease pools in North America and China, developed several years ago. As a result of our in-roads in these markets, we generated more revenue in North America and China in 2008 than ever before. Having the engines that customers want has also contributed greatly to our success. Our long-term engine purchase agreement with CFM International has provided us with access to the most popular engine types available today, which has opened doors for us all over the world with customers that otherwise we may not have been able to attract.

 

“We can be successful in good times and bad,” continued Willis.  “In good times, demand for our leased engines rises along with the growth of the worldwide fleet of aircraft.  In bad times, demand is fueled by our customers desire to conserve cash.  That’s what I see happening now.  Many of our customers are deferring shop visits on their engines, choosing to lease our engines instead.  I expect that the desire to conserve cash will continue to generate healthy demand for our engines during these difficult economic times.”

 

“The fourth quarter of 2008 was our busiest ever,” said Donald A. Nunemaker, Executive Vice President & General Manager-Leasing.  “During the quarter, we purchased 11 engines totaling $89 million, entered into 23 new leases and raised the utilization rate from 88% at the end of September 2008 to 92% at year-end.  Most of our 2008 new engine deliveries were back-end loaded to the second half of the year. This accelerated pace of engine deliveries provided a significant challenge to our marketing, contracts and technical teams. Everyone worked together and did an exceptional job of quickly placing the engines into service and on lease at favorable terms.”

 

(more)

 


The following information was filed by Willis Lease Finance Corp (WLFC) on Thursday, March 26, 2009 as an 8K 2.02 statement, which is an earnings press release pertaining to results of operations and financial condition. It may be helpful to assess the quality of management by comparing the information in the press release to the information in the accompanying 10-K Annual Report statement of earnings and operation as management may choose to highlight particular information in the press release.

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