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Republic Airways Holdings Announces Fourth Quarter and Calendar Year 2011 Financial Results

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Republic Airways Holdings Announces Fourth Quarter and Calendar Year 2011 Financial Results

Republic Airways Holdings Announces Fourth Quarter and Calendar Year 2011 Financial Results

INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: RJET) reported operating revenues of $697.8 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011, an increase of 7.4%, compared to $649.8 million for the same period last year. The increase in revenues is primarily due to an 11.0% increase in Frontier Airlines’ unit revenues.

“Our restructuring efforts during 2011, coupled with strong unit revenue growth at Frontier, enabled us to produce significantly improved ex-item results this quarter, in spite of more than $35 million of increased fuel costs.”

During the quarter, the Company recorded an impairment charge of $191.1 million to reduce the carrying value of certain assets, mainly its 42 owned 37-50 seat aircraft. The Company also recorded non-cash charges of approximately $24.1 million related to the expected return of four leased A319 aircraft in 2012 and approximately $9.0 million related to the renegotiation of its E190 purchase order and the expected return of certain leased Embraer aircraft in 2012.

Therefore, on a GAAP basis, the Company reported a net loss of $123.5 million, or $2.55 per diluted share, for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011, compared to a net loss of $1.3 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, for the same period last year. On an ex-item basis, the Company is reporting net income of $17.0 million, or $0.34 per diluted share, compared to an ex-item net income of $7.4 million, or $0.18 per diluted share, for the three month periods ended Dec. 31, 2011 and 2010, respectively.

“We are very pleased with our fourth quarter results, especially in light of significant fuel price headwinds on our branded operations,” said Bryan Bedford, Chairman and CEO of Republic Airways Holdings. “Our restructuring efforts during 2011, coupled with strong unit revenue growth at Frontier, enabled us to produce significantly improved ex-item results this quarter, in spite of more than $35 million of increased fuel costs.”

The following tables present the reconciliation of results on a GAAP basis to the reported ex-item results for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2011 and 2010:

        Three months ended Dec. 31, 2011
Pre-tax by Segment     After-tax
($ in millions) Fixed-fee   Branded   Other   Consolidated Consolidated
GAAP income (loss) $ (139.4 )   $ (37.1 )   $ (22.6 )   $ (199.1 ) $ (123.5 )
Adjustments:
Integration and fleet transition expenses 1 1.2 40.1 - 41.3 25.7
Non-recurring impairment 160.0 8.3 22.8 191.1 118.5
Fuel mark-to-market hedge adjustments - (3.5 ) - (3.5 ) (2.2 )
Gain on sale of assets   -       -       (2.4 )     (2.4 )   (1.5 )
Ex-item income (loss) $ 21.8     $ 7.8     $ (2.2 )   $ 27.4   $ 17.0  

1 Includes $6.0 million of expenses associated with the successful Frontier restructuring effort and $2.2 million of other integration expenses

        Three months ended Dec. 31, 2010
Pre-tax by Segment     After-tax
($ in millions) Fixed-fee   Branded   Other   Consolidated Consolidated
GAAP income (loss) $ 22.1   $ (26.3 )   $ 1.2   $ (3.0 ) $ (1.3 )
Year-end tax adjustment (0.5 )
Adjustments:
Integration and aircraft return expenses - 17.0 - 17.0 10.4
Fuel mark-to-market hedge adjustments   -     (1.9 )     -     (1.9 )   (1.2 )
Ex-item income (loss) $ 22.1   $ (11.2 )   $ 1.2   $ 12.1   $ 7.4  
 

Fixed-fee Segment Summary
Excluding fuel reimbursement from our partners, fixed-fee service revenues increased 2.8%, compared to the prior year’s fourth quarter on a 2.6% increase in block hours. Ex-item income before taxes for the fixed-fee operations was $21.8 million for the quarter, compared to a pre-tax income of $22.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2010. Cost per Available Seat Mile (CASM), including interest expense but excluding fuel and the impairment charge, increased to 8.29¢ for the fourth quarter of 2011, from 7.78¢ for the same quarter of 2010, primarily as a result of significantly higher maintenance expenses and an increase in the unit cost of labor and benefits.

In September 2011, the Company began a program to install first-class seating on 58 E170/E175 aircraft operating on behalf of US Airways. During the program, operations for US Airways were significantly reduced to allow for the fleet configuration changes. The program was completed in October, and we are now operating a full schedule on behalf of US Airways with 20 dual-class, 69-seat E170 aircraft and 38 dual-class, 80-seat E175 aircraft.

As of Dec. 31, 2011, the Company operated 56 aircraft with 44-50 seats and 126 aircraft with 69-80 seats under our fixed-fee commercial agreements. Two 50-seat aircraft that were supporting our fixed-fee agreements as spares during the peak summer months were reallocated to charter operations during the fourth quarter.

Branded Segment Summary
The Company’s branded business segment includes all operations flown as Frontier Airlines and Frontier Express. Total branded revenues increased 8.9% to $422.4 million for the quarter, compared to $387.9 million for the same period in 2010. Capacity on Frontier, as measured by ASMs, was down 1.9% from the prior year’s fourth quarter. Load factor for the fourth quarter was a record 86.8%, an increase of 5.6 points from the fourth quarter of 2010. Total revenue per ASM (TRASM) was 11.90¢, up 11.0% from the same quarter in 2010. For the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011, our branded business posted ex-item pre-tax income of $7.8 million compared to a loss of $11.2 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2010.

The operating unit cost for branded operations, excluding fuel and impairments, was 7.93¢ for the quarter. However, excluding integration and fleet transition expenses of $40.1 million, or 1.13¢ per ASM, the unit cost was 6.80¢ for the fourth quarter of 2011.

Fuel costs for branded operations were $164.4 million for the quarter. The fuel cost per gallon, including into-plane taxes and fees, increased 27.3% to $3.22 for the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to $2.53 for the prior year’s fourth quarter. The fourth quarter 2011 result includes a gain on fuel hedges of $3.5 million, or $0.07 per gallon. The Company realized gains of $1.5 million, or $0.03 per gallon for hedges that were settled during the quarter. The Company currently has no hedge positions for 2012.

Other Segment Summary
The Company’s Other business segment includes revenues from aircraft subleases, license fees on airport slots and expenses associated with those activities, as well as any unassigned aircraft expenses. The Company reported ex-item pre-tax loss of $2.2 million in the fourth quarter, compared to a pre-tax income of $1.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2010.

During the fourth quarter, the Company sold airport slots for a total of $47.5 million and recorded a gain on the sale of approximately $2.4 million, which is reflected in the Other segment.

As of Dec. 31, 2011, the Company has a total of 25 aircraft included in its Other segment that are not reflected as operating aircraft in the branded or fixed-fee operating highlights tables in this release. This includes 11 E145 aircraft that are being subleased offshore, eleven 37-50 seat aircraft that are being utilized for charter operations or are temporarily parked, and two Q400 aircraft and one E170 aircraft that are temporarily parked. During the quarter, the Company incurred approximately $2.7 million of expenses in its Other segment for aircraft that are temporarily parked. The Company is attempting to sell, place into fixed-fee service or otherwise sublease aircraft that are excess to its projected operating needs.

Full Year 2011 Highlights
For the full year 2011, the Company reported revenues of $2.86 billion, compared to $2.65 billion for 2010. On a GAAP basis, the Company reported a net loss for 2011 of $151.8 million, or $3.14 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $13.8 million, or $0.38 per diluted share for the full year 2010.

The Company reported significant items for 2011 and 2010. The tables below outline those items and reconcile the Company’s GAAP results to the reported ex-items results for each year:

        Twelve months ended Dec. 31, 2011
Pre-tax by Segment     After-tax
($ in millions) Fixed-fee   Branded   Other   Consolidated Consolidated
GAAP income (loss) $ (89.4 )   $ (135.5 )   $ (17.5 )   $ (242.4 ) $ (151.8 )
Adjustments:
Integration and fleet transition expenses 4.4 48.6 - 53.0 33.2
Non-recurring impairment 160.0 8.3 22.8 191.1 119.7
Fuel mark-to-market hedge adjustments - (3.8 ) - (3.8 ) (2.3 )
Gain on sale of assets - - (2.4 ) (2.4 ) (1.5 )
Severe storm/hailstorm impact   2.0       12.0       -       14.0     8.8  
Ex-item income (loss) $ 77.0     $ (70.4 )   $ 2.9     $ 9.5   $ 6.0  
 
        Twelve months ended Dec. 31, 2010
Pre-tax by Segment     After-tax
($ in millions) Fixed-fee   Branded   Other   Consolidated Consolidated
GAAP income (loss) $ 77.3   $ (99.4 )   $ 0.6   $ (21.5 ) $ (13.8 )
Year-end tax adjustment (0.5 )
Adjustments:
Integration and aircraft return expenses 2.2 54.2 - 56.4 34.4
Other impairment charges - 11.5 - 11.5 7.0

Fuel excise tax and mark-to-market hedge adjustments

2.6 3.6 - 6.2 3.8
Severe storm impact 2.0 5.5 - 7.5 4.6
Reduction of Midwest lease obligation   -     (5.2 )     -     (5.2 )   (3.2 )
Ex-item income (loss) $ 84.1   $ (29.8 )   $ 0.6   $ 54.9   $ 32.3  
 

Excluding items reported during the year, the Company is reporting net income of $6.0 million, or approximately $0.12 per diluted share, compared to an ex-item result of $32.3 million for 2010, or $0.90 per diluted share.

Fixed-fee Segment
Excluding fuel reimbursement from our partners, fixed-fee service revenues increased $13.8 million, or 1.4% for the full year 2011 due to a 1.5% increase in block hours. Income before taxes, ex-items, was $77.0 million for the full year 2011 compared to an ex-item result of $84.1 million for the full year 2010. The decrease in ex-item pre-tax income was mainly due to increased maintenance expenses on the Company’s 50-seat regional jets.

Branded Segment
Total revenues for the year for Frontier were $1.76 billion, up 10.0% from the 2010 result of $1.60 billion on 1.1% fewer ASMs. Load factor was a record 85.8% for the year, up more than three points from the 2010 result, and TRASM was 11.74¢, up more than 11% from the 2010 result. Excluding items, Frontier reported a pre-tax loss of $70.4 million in 2011, compared to a pre-tax loss of $29.8 million in 2010.

Frontier fuel costs were approximately $718 million for the year, up 31%, or approximately $170 million from the 2010 level, on 8.1% fewer block hours. The fuel cost per gallon, including into-plane taxes and fees, was $3.25 for the year, up 35.4% from the 2010 level of $2.40.

Other Segment
The Company’s Other business segment includes revenues from aircraft subleases, slot rentals and expenses associated with those activities. The Company reported an ex-item pre-tax profit of $2.9 million for the year for this segment.

Fleet
The Company’s total operational fleet increased from Sept. 30, 2011, by two aircraft, to 281 aircraft, as of Dec. 31, 2011. The Company purchased two E190 aircraft and leased one A320 aircraft during the fourth quarter of 2011. These aircraft were placed into branded operations during the quarter. The Company also sold one Q400 aircraft in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Balance Sheet and Liquidity
The Company’s total cash balance decreased $59.6 million to $370.7 million as of Dec. 31, 2011, compared to Dec. 31, 2010. Restricted cash increased $12.3 million, to $151.4 million, from Dec. 31, 2010. The Company’s unrestricted cash balance decreased $71.9 million, to $219.3 million, from Dec. 31, 2010. A condensed cash flow statement for the years ended Dec. 31, 2011 and 2010 has been provided in the tables section of this release.

The Company’s debt decreased to $2.36 billion as of Dec. 31, 2011, compared to $2.58 billion at Dec. 31, 2010. As of Dec. 31, 2011, approximately 85% of the total debt is fixed-rate. The Company has significant long-term lease obligations for aircraft that are classified as operating leases and are not reflected as liabilities on the Company’s consolidated balance sheet. At a 6.0% discount factor, the present value of these lease obligations was approximately $1.20 billion as of Dec. 31, 2011. A condensed balance sheet as of Dec. 31, 2011 and 2010 has been provided in the tables section of this release.

Corporate Information
Republic Airways Holdings, based in Indianapolis, Indiana is an airline holding company that owns Chautauqua Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America, collectively “the airlines.” The airlines offer scheduled passenger service on nearly 1,500 flights daily to 133 cities in 42 states, the Bahamas, Canada, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Mexico under branded operations at Frontier, and through fixed-fee airline services agreements with five major U.S. airlines. The fixed-fee flights are operated under an airline partner brand, such as AmericanConnection, Continental Express, Delta Connection, United Express, and US Airways Express. The airlines currently employ approximately 10,000 aviation professionals and operate 267 aircraft. For more information on Republic Airways please visit our website at www.rjet.com.

The Company will conduct a telephone briefing to discuss its fourth quarter tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. EST. This call is being webcast by Thomson/Reuters and can be accessed at Republic Airways Holdings’ website at www.rjet.com. For those wishing to participate, please call 866-362-4666, and for international calls please dial 617-567-5313; the password is 27010260.

Additional Information
In addition to historical information, this release contains forward-looking statements. Republic Airways Holdings Inc. may, from time to time, make written or oral forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements encompass Republic Airways’ beliefs, expectations, hopes or intentions regarding future events. Words such as “expects,” “intends,” “believes,” “anticipates,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “plan,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential,” “continue,” or “likely” and similar expressions as well as the negative of such expressions are used to identify forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements included in this release are made as of the date hereof and are based on information available to Republic Airways as of such date. Republic Airways assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement. Actual results may vary, and could differ materially, from those anticipated, estimated, projected or expected in these forward-looking statements for a number of reasons, including, among others, the risk factors disclosed in the Company’s most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Business Wire

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REPUBLIC AIRWAYS HOLDINGS INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(In millions, except per share amounts)
(Unaudited)
 
Three Months Ended Dec. 31, Twelve Months Ended Dec. 31,
2011 2010 Change 2011 2010 Change
OPERATING REVENUES
Fixed-fee service $ 270.1 $ 257.5 4.9 % $ 1,079.0 $ 1,030.3 4.7 %
Passenger service 402.8 370.8 8.6 % 1,694.5 1,541.3 9.9 %
Cargo and other   24.8       21.5     15.3 %   91.0       82.1     10.8 %
Total operating revenues 697.8 649.8 7.4 % 2,864.5 2,653.7 7.9 %
 
OPERATING EXPENSES
Wages and benefits 134.8 126.0 7.0 % 560.6 549.9 1.9 %
Aircraft fuel 187.7 158.3 18.6 % 821.1 616.9 33.1 %
Landing fees and airport rents 41.7 41.3 1.0 % 167.7 170.7 -1.8 %
Aircraft and engine rent 57.7 58.3 -1.0 % 251.5 240.6 4.5 %
Maintenance and repair 68.5 65.7 4.3 % 297.2 255.8 16.2 %
Insurance and taxes 9.7 12.0 -19.2 % 42.1 45.5 -7.5 %
Depreciation and amortization 48.6 51.4 -5.4 % 200.2 204.5 -2.1 %
Promotion and sales 27.8 31.4 -11.5 % 133.6 134.8 -0.9 %
Other impairment charges 191.1 - nm 191.1 11.5 nm
Other   96.2       68.6     40.2 %   305.0       290.1     5.1 %
Total operating expenses   863.8       613.0     40.9 %   2,970.1       2,520.3     17.8 %
OPERATING INCOME (LOSS) (166.0 ) 36.8 nm (105.6 ) 133.4 nm