Bristow reports results for six months to 30th September

Bristow reports results for six months to 30th September

8-Nov-2011 Source: Bristow Group

Bristow Group Inc. (NYSE: BRS) today reported net income for the September 2011quarter of $2.7 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, compared to net income of $38.9 million, or $1.06 per diluted share, in the same period a year ago. Adjusted net income, excluding non-cash asset impairment charges of $27.3 million and asset disposition effects, for the September 2011 quarter was $23.3 million, or $0.63 per diluted share, compared to $37.1 million, or $1.01 per diluted share, in the September 2010 quarter.

Operating revenue for the September 2011 quarter increased 4% to $297.1 millionfrom $286.5 million in the September 2010 quarter. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“Adjusted EBITDA”), which excludes special items and asset disposition effects, was $62.1 million for the September 2011 quarter compared to $72.7 million in the same period a year ago. Net cash provided by operating activities increased to $64.1 million in the September 2011 quarter from$43.5 million in the September 2010 quarter and to $117.0 million for the six months ended September 30, 2011 from $69.2 million in the prior fiscal year-to-date period.

The September 2011 quarter’s financial performance was negatively affected by several factors, including:

  • A $24.6 million write-down of inventory spare parts to lower of cost or market as management has made the determination to operate certain older aircraft types for a shorter period than originally anticipated,
  • An $8.8 million decrease in earnings from unconsolidated affiliates, primarily resulting from an unfavorable impact of exchange rate changes on earnings from our investment in Lider in Brazil, which is reflected in our Other International Business Unit,
  • An impairment charge of $2.7 million recorded in depreciation and amortization resulting from the abandonment of certain assets located in Creole, Louisianaand used in our North America Business Unit as we ceased operations from that location, and
  • A loss on disposal of assets of $1.6 million, primarily due to a $1.1 million loss on the disposal of a fixed wing aircraft previously operating in Nigeria that was damaged in an incident upon landing and a $0.4 million impairment charge to reduce the carrying value of three aircraft held for sale, which compares to a gain on disposal of assets of $1.9 million in the September 2010 quarter.

In addition to these items, cost increases across most of our business units have outpaced revenue growth when compared to the prior year quarter. We continue to see significant growth opportunities across most of our major markets as tender activity is robust and as new work starts in the second half of fiscal year 2012 and in fiscal year 2013. However, costs we incurred in advance of this activity (either to start up new operations or to maintain resources that will be needed in future periods), have resulted in increased operating expense in excess of revenue growth in theSeptember 2011 quarter.

Our management reviews our operating results when adjusted for certain items not considered to be part of our normal and recurring operations, which includes gains or losses on asset dispositions and any special items during the reporting period. During the September 2011 quarter, the write-down of inventory spare parts, and the impairment charge on the abandonment of assets at the Creole, Louisiana location have been identified as special items. After adjusting for these items and for losses on asset dispositions, our adjusted operating income, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted net income and adjusted earnings per share were $38.5 million, $62.1 million, $23.3 million and $0.63, respectively, which all decreased from the prior year quarter as a result of reduced earnings from Lider and the cost increases noted above. No special items were identified for the September 2010 quarter.

“Growth across all of our regions is accelerating with new aircraft adding value for our clients in the latter half of this fiscal year and in fiscal year 2013,” said William E. Chiles, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bristow Group. “However, we are dissatisfied with the quarter’s results which were impacted by the need to incur additional costs ahead of this activity. This has resulted in increased operating expense in excess of revenue growth in the current quarter and deterioration in operating margin today to support future growth.”

Mr. Chiles reiterated, “Going forward, we are expecting stronger levels of activity in our Europe, Australia and Other International Business Units; but the higher costs for future growth during the first half of this fiscal year have led to a revision of our earnings per share guidance range for the current fiscal year. Despite these costs, we continued to generate record operating cash flows during fiscal year 2012 which were considerably stronger than fiscal year 2011. We also expect sequential improvement in our financial results and continue to anticipate a stronger second half compared to the first half of fiscal year 2012, particularly in the fourth quarter.”

SECOND QUARTER FY2012 RESULTS

  • Operating revenue increased 4% to $297.1 million compared to $286.5 millionin the same period a year ago.
  • Operating income decreased $44.0 million to $9.6 million in the September 2011 quarter compared to $53.6 million in the September 2010 quarter. Adjusted operating income decreased 25.5% to $38.5 million compared to$51.7 million in the September 2010 quarter.
  • Net income decreased by $36.2 million to $2.7 million, or $0.07 per share, compared to $38.9 million, or $1.06 per diluted share, in the September 2010quarter. Adjusted net income decreased 37.3% to $23.3 million, or $0.63 per diluted share, compared to $37.1 million, or $1.01 per diluted share, in theSeptember 2010 quarter.
  • Adjusted EBITDA was $62.1 million for the September 2011 quarter compared to $72.7 million in the same period a year ago.

Our Europe Business Unit saw an increase in flying activity over the prior year quarter as a result of new contracts with existing clients, which resulted in increased operating income. However, operating margin decreased slightly despite the increase in operating revenue and operating income as a result of increased salaries and benefits, maintenance, insurance and fuel costs.

Our West Africa Business Unit saw increased flying activity over the prior year quarter as activity associated with three new contracts and activity under existing contracts offset the impact of the non-renewal of a major contract in the prior fiscal year. Despite the increase in operating revenue, operating income and margin for West Africa decreased in the September 2011 quarter primarily as a result of an increase in operating expense and the non-renewal of the major contract in the prior fiscal year.

Our North America Business Unit saw some benefit in the current quarter from an increase in activity as drilling and completion permits are being issued at an increasing pace. We are also seeing the benefit from a reduction in cost structure. Operating revenue, operating income and operating margin improved sequentially over the June 2011 quarter. When excluding the impact of the impairment of theCreole, Louisiana assets, operating margin improved from 3.6% in the June 2011quarter to 11.0% in the September 2011 quarter. Based on current discussions with our major clients, especially concerning activity for large aircraft, we anticipate the level of activity in the Gulf to continue to improve during the second half of fiscal year 2012.

Our Australia Business Unit saw a decrease in revenue over the prior year quarter resulting from the loss of a major contract in May 2011, which has not been offset by new work. We are expecting a turnaround in this market over the second half of fiscal year 2012, especially in the fourth quarter, as new work begins. This new work is expected to replace the work from the contract loss in May 2011. The level of fixed cost we are carrying in anticipation of the increased activity, coupled with the decrease in revenue, has resulted in a substantial decrease in operating income and operating margin compared with the prior year period. We expect to see considerable improvement in operating income and operating margin in the second half of fiscal year 2012.

We continue to see substantial growth opportunity in our Other International Business Unit. However, in the current quarter we realized a loss from Lider due to foreign currency exchange rate changes. Additionally, our results were impacted by cessation of operations in Libya. We are also incurring start up costs in new markets for operations that will begin later in fiscal year 2012. Depending on exchange rate movements in Brazil and the timing of the start ups, we expect to recover much of the lost income and margin over the second half of the fiscal year.

YEAR-TO-DATE FY2012 RESULTS

  • Operating revenue increased 4.5% to $583.8 million compared to $558.5 million in the same period a year ago.
  • Operating income decreased 50.7% to $46.0 million compared to $93.2 millionin the fiscal year 2011 period. Adjusted operating income decreased 18% to$73.5 million compared to $89.6 million in the fiscal year 2011 period.
  • Net income decreased 60.2% to $23.8 million, or $0.65 per diluted share, compared to $59.7 million, or $1.63 per diluted share, for the six months ended September 30, 2010. Adjusted net income decreased 23.8% to $43.2 million, or $1.18 per diluted share, compared to $56.7 million, or $1.55 per diluted share, for the six months ended September 30, 2010.
  • Adjusted EBITDA was $120.2 million for the six months ended September 30, 2011 compared to $130.8 million in the same period a year ago.

SHARE BUY-BACK

In November 2011, our board of directors authorized us to spend up to $100 million to repurchase shares of our common stock. The timing and method of any repurchases will depend on a variety of factors, including market conditions, is subject to our results of operations, financial condition, cash requirements and other factors, and may be suspended or discontinued at any time.

GUIDANCE

Bristow is revising the diluted earnings per share guidance provided in May 2011 for the full fiscal year 2012 of $3.55 to $3.90 to a range of $3.05 to $3.30.

As a reminder, our GAAP earnings per share guidance does not include gains and losses on disposals of assets as well as special items because their timing and amounts are more variable and less predictable. This guidance is based on current foreign currency exchange rates. In providing this guidance, the Company has not included the impact of any changes in accounting standards and any impact from significant acquisitions or divestitures. Changes in events or other circumstances that the Company does not currently anticipate or predict could result in earnings per share for fiscal year 2012 that are significantly above or below this guidance. Factors that could cause such changes are described below under Forward-Looking Statements Disclosure.

“Despite the impact of higher than anticipated cost levels in the current quarter to advance revenue growth expected from several large awards, we continue to see success in implementing Bristow Value Added (BVA), with an almost doubling of operating cash flow in the first half of fiscal year 2012 from the prior year period,” said Jonathan E. Baliff, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Bristow Group. “We expect to continue generating significant cash flow while maintaining prudent balance sheet management and financial strength which provides the underpinnings for the stock buyback authorization and a balanced return for our shareholders.”

CONFERENCE CALL

Management will conduct a conference call starting at 10:00 a.m. ET (9:00 a.m. CT) on Tuesday, November 8, to review financial results for the fiscal year 2012 second quarter ended September 30, 2011. This release and the most recent investor slide presentation are available in the investor relations area of our web page atwww.bristowgroup.com. The conference call can be accessed as follows:

Via Webcast:

  • Visit Bristow Group’s investor relations Web page at www.bristowgroup.com
  • Live: Click on the link for “Bristow Group Fiscal 2012 Second Quarter Earnings Conference Call”
  • Replay: A replay via webcast will be available approximately one hour after the call’s completion and will be accessible for approximately 90 days

Via Telephone within the U.S.:

  • Live: Dial toll free 1-877-941-8609
  • Replay: A telephone replay will be available through November 22, 2011 and may be accessed by calling toll free 1-800-406-7325, passcode: 4476349#

Via Telephone outside the U.S.:

  • Live: Dial 480-629-9818
  • Replay: A telephone replay will be available through November 22, 2011 and may be accessed by calling 303-590-3030, passcode: 4476349#

ABOUT BRISTOW GROUP INC.

Bristow Group Inc. is the leading provider of helicopter services to the worldwide offshore energy industry based on the number of aircraft operated and one of two helicopter service providers to the offshore energy industry with global operations. The Company has major transportation operations in the North Sea, Nigeria and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and in most of the other major offshore oil and gas producing regions of the world, including Alaska, Australia, Brazil, Russia and Trinidad. For more information, visit the Company’s website at www.bristowgroup.com.

Full financial numbers at http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=91226&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1627335&highlight=

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