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PRESS RELEASE: Paid content from Globe Newswire
Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Willis Lease Finance Corporation Reports Record Quarterly Pre-tax Profit of $27.8 million

May 6, 2019

COCONUT CREEK, Fla., May 06, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Willis Lease Finance Corporation (NASDAQ: WLFC) today reported pre-tax profit of $27.8 million and total revenues of $103.8 million in the first quarter of 2019. The Company’s first quarter 2019 pre-tax results were driven by continued revenue growth in the core leasing business, an increase in trading activity and continuing spare parts sales. Aggregate lease rent and maintenance reserve revenues were $73.7 million for the first quarter of 2019.

“Our continued growth and the Company’s record quarterly revenue and pre-tax profits of $103.8 million and $27.8 million, respectively, speak to the market’s recognition of the value of the Willis Platform,” said Charles F. Willis, Chairman and CEO. “We continue to see a global client base leveraging our broad product offering of core lease services, materials, fleet transition solutions, asset management and materials services.”

“We are very pleased with our growth and financial results in the first quarter,” said Brian R. Hole, President. “We are even more excited, though, that our customers continue to subscribe to our message that it is more efficient to borrow an engine from us when they need it than it is to buy multiple new engines and deploy permanent capital in assets that are, by definition, ‘spare’.”

First Quarter 2019 Highlights (at or for the periods ended March 31, 2019, as compared to March 31, 2018, and December 31, 2018):

-- Total revenue increased by 47.2% to $103.8 million in the first quarter of 2019, compared to $70.5 million in the same quarter of 2018. -- Lease rent revenue achieved a record quarterly high of $48.4 million in the first quarter of 2019; 22.0% growth from $39.6 million in the same quarter of 2018. -- Quarterly Maintenance reserve revenue increased by $9.9 million, or 64.2%, to $25.4 million in the first quarter of 2019, compared to $15.4 million in the prior year period. -- Spare parts and equipment sales increased by 34.8% to $17.5 million in the first quarter of 2019, compared to $13.0 million in the same quarter of 2018. -- Earnings before tax were a record high $27.8 million in the first quarter of 2019, compared to $9.6 million in the same quarter of 2018. -- Average utilization for the first quarter of 2019 increased to 89% from 86% in the comparable prior year quarter. -- Our equipment lease portfolio was $1.605 billion at March 31, 2019, compared to $1.673 billion at December 31, 2018. -- The book value of 311 lease assets we own directly or through our joint ventures was $2.0 billion at March 31, 2019. As of March 31, 2019, the Company also managed 437 engines, aircraft and related equipment on behalf of third parties. -- The Company maintained $498 million of undrawn revolver capacity at March 31, 2019. -- The Company repurchased a total of 7,671 shares of common stock in the first quarter of 2019 under the Company’s repurchase plan for $0.3 million. -- Diluted weighted average earnings per common share was $3.35 per share for the first quarter of 2019. -- Book value per diluted weighted average common share outstanding increased to $51.43 at March 31, 2019, compared to $47.43 at December 31, 2018.

Balance Sheet

As of March 31, 2019, the Company had a total lease portfolio consisting of 244 engines, 13 aircraft, 10 other leased parts and equipment and one marine vessel with a net book value of $1.605 billion. As of December 31, 2018, the Company had a total lease portfolio consisting of 244 engines and related equipment, 17 aircraft and 10 other leased parts and equipment, with a net book value of $1.673 billion.

Willis Lease Finance Corporation

Willis Lease Finance Corporation leases large and regional spare commercial aircraft engines, auxiliary power units and aircraft to airlines, aircraft engine manufacturers and maintenance, repair and overhaul providers in 120 countries. These leasing activities are integrated with engine and aircraft trading, engine lease pools and asset management services supported by cutting edge technology through its subsidiary Willis Asset Management Limited, as well as various end-of-life solutions for aircraft, engines and aviation materials provided through its subsidiary, Willis Aeronautical Services, Inc.

Except for historical information, the matters discussed in this press release contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Do not unduly rely on forward-looking statements, which give only expectations about the future and are not guarantees. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update them. Our actual results may differ materially from the results discussed in forward-looking statements. Factors that might cause such a difference include, but are not limited to: the effects on the airline industry and the global economy of events such as terrorist activity, changes in oil prices and other disruptions to the world markets; trends in the airline industry and our ability to capitalize on those trends, including growth rates of markets and other economic factors; risks associated with owning and leasing jet engines and aircraft; our ability to successfully negotiate equipment purchases, sales and leases, to collect outstanding amounts due and to control costs and expenses; changes in interest rates and availability of capital, both to us and our customers; our ability to continue to meet the changing customer demands; regulatory changes affecting airline operations, aircraft maintenance, accounting standards and taxes; the market value of engines and other assets in our portfolio; and risks detailed in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and other continuing reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Unaudited Consolidated Statements of Income(In thousands, except per share data)

Three Months Ended March 31, ---------------------------- 2019 2018 % Change --------- ----------------- ---------- REVENUE Lease rent revenue $ 48,369 $ 39,644 22.0 % Maintenance reserve revenue 25,350 15,440 64.2 % Spare parts and equipment sales (1) 17,502 12,986 34.8 % Gain on sale of leased equipment (1) 9,570 545 1,656.0 % Other revenue 2,978 1,882 58.2 % -------- -------- Total revenue 103,769 70,497 47.2 % -------- -------- -------- EXPENSES Depreciation and amortization expense 20,258 17,355 16.7 % Cost of spare parts and equipment sales (1) 14,412 11,388 26.6 % Write-down of equipment 1,105 — — % General and administrative 21,440 15,611 37.3 % Technical expense 1,788 3,677 (51.4 )% Interest expense 17,879 13,595 31.5 % -------- -------- Total expenses 76,882 61,626 24.8 % -------- -------- -------- Earnings from operations 26,887 8,871 203.1 % Earnings from joint ventures 946 747 26.6 % -------- -------- -------- Income before income taxes 27,833 9,618 189.4 % Income tax expense 6,955 2,536 174.3 % -------- -------- -------- Net income 20,878 7,082 194.8 % Preferred stock dividends 801 801 — % Accretion of preferred stock issuance costs 21 20 5.0 % Net income attributable to common shareholders $ 20,056 $ 6,261 220.3 % - ------ - ------ -------- Basic weighted average earnings per common share $ 3.47 $ 1.03 - ------ - ------ -------- Diluted weighted average earnings per common share $ 3.35 $ 1.00 - ------ - ------ -------- Basic weighted average common shares outstanding 5,779 6,104 Diluted weighted average common shares outstanding 5,978 6,256

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(1) Effective January 1, 2018, the Company adopted ASC 606 — Revenue from Contracts with Customers and has identified the transfer of engines and airframes from the lease portfolio to the Spare Parts segment for part out as sales to customers in accordance with the ordinary operations of our Spare Parts reportable segment. As such, we present the sale of these assets on a gross basis and have reclassified the gross revenue and costs of sale to the Spare parts and equipment sales and Cost of spare parts and equipment sales line items from the net gain (loss) presentation within the Gain on sale of leased equipment line item. The reclassification resulted in an increase in Spare parts and equipment sales of $6.7 million, a decrease in Gain on sale of leased equipment of $0.1 million and an increase in Cost of spare parts and equipment sales of $6.6 million for the three months ended March 31, 2018.

Unaudited Consolidated Balance Sheets(In thousands, except per share data)

March 31, December 31, 2018 2019 ------------- ----------------- ASSETS Cash and cash equivalents $ 12,181 $ 11,688 Restricted cash 68,452 70,261 Equipment held for operating lease, less accumulated depreciation 1,605,120 1,673,135 Maintenance rights 14,763 14,763 Equipment held for sale 629 789 Receivables, net of allowances 24,986 23,270 Spare parts inventory 47,038 48,874 Investments 54,253 47,941 Property, equipment & furnishings, less accumulated depreciation 27,758 27,679 Intangible assets, net 1,359 1,379 Notes receivable 30,854 238 Other assets 18,109 14,926 ----------- - ----------- ----- Total assets $ 1,905,502 $ 1,934,943 - --------- - - --------- ----- LIABILITIES, REDEEMABLE PREFERRED STOCK AND SHAREHOLDERS’ EQUITY Liabilities: Accounts payable and accrued expenses $ 32,410 $ 42,939 Deferred income taxes 96,995 90,285 Debt obligations 1,297,836 1,337,349 Maintenance reserves 93,979 94,522 Security deposits 22,212 28,047 Unearned revenue 5,057 5,460 ----------- - ----------- ----- Total liabilities 1,548,489 1,598,602 ----------- - ----------- ----- Redeemable preferred stock ($0.01 par value) 49,575 49,554 Shareholders’ equity: Common stock ($0.01 par value) 62 62 Paid-in capital in excess of par 563 — Retained earnings 306,912 286,623 Accumulated other comprehensive (loss) income, net of tax (99 ) 102 ----------- - ----------- ----- Total shareholders’ equity 307,438 286,787 ----------- - ----------- ----- Total liabilities, redeemable preferred stock and shareholders’ equity $ 1,905,502 $ 1,934,943 - --------- - - --------- -----

CONTACT: Scott B. Flaherty Chief Financial Officer (415) 408-4700