PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug 27, 2018--Mesa Air Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: MESA) today reported third quarter Fiscal Year 2018 financial results.

Highlights for Third Quarter (ending June 30, 2018)

Mesa’s third quarter results reflect a GAAP loss before taxes of ($14.6) million, which includes $26.2 million of non-cash one-time expenses* related to the termination of nine leased aircraft, subsequently purchased, and the revaluation of the Company’s common stock in connection with filing the S-1** registration statement associated with the recent IPO. Excluding these two items, Mesa earned $11.6 million pre-tax*. The range set forth in the Company’s S-1 was $10.2 million to $11.2 million. In addition, Adjusted EBITDA* was $41.7 million compared to the range set forth in the S-1 of $40.3 million to $41.3 million. Similarly, Adjusted EBITDAR* was $59.7 million compared to the range of $58.2 to $59.2 million.

During the third fiscal quarter Mesa refinanced six CRJ-900 aircraft with $27.5 million of debt resulting in net proceeds of $10.4 million after transaction related fees. The Company also purchased nine previously leased CRJ-900 aircraft for $76.5 million. Mesa financed the purchase with $69.6 million of new debt and proceeds from the refinancing. As stated in the S-1, these transactions are expected to increase pre-tax earnings by approximately $4.5 million per year.

During the third quarter Mesa added 101 pilots allowing the Company to operate 102,939 block hours, an increase of 5.2% from the second quarter of 97,853 and up 5.4% from the first quarter of 97,705.

“We are delighted to return Mesa to the public market and welcome our newest shareholders to the company,” said Jonathan Ornstein, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mesa Air Group. “We would also like to thank our pre-IPO shareholders, airline partners, stakeholders, and employees for their support over the last seven years while we operated as a private company.”

“There were a number of positive developments in the quarter, most notably the progress we have made increasing the utilization of our aircraft through a combination of strong hiring and declining attrition among our pilots, reduced training backlog, and improved utilization of existing resources,” stated Ornstein. “We appreciate the hard work and dedication of all of our employees for their very important and meaningful contribution to our improving operational capabilities.”

Mike Lotz, President and Chief Financial Officer continued, “On August 14, 2018, we successfully completed our IPO which raised approximately $104 million and subsequently paid down $25.6 million outstanding on our revolving credit facility, reducing annual interest expense by $1.2 million per year. We are currently negotiating the purchase of ten additional currently leased aircraft and hope to complete the transaction by the end of our fiscal year. In addition, we have entered negotiations to refinance our high-cost debt primarily associated with spare engine purchases by the end of the calendar year. This is expected to result in a further reduction of interest expense going forward,” said Lotz.

* See Reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures

** The Company filed a Form S-1 Registration Statement (File no. 333-226173) in connection with its IPO, which was declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 9, 2018. This filing included a low and high range of preliminary third quarter financial results.

Outlook

The Company is providing the following guidance for the fourth quarter of FY 2018:

Reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures

Although these financial statements are prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S. (“GAAP”), certain non-GAAP financial measures may provide investors with useful information regarding the underlying business trends and performance of Mesa’s ongoing operations and may be useful for period-over-period comparisons of such operations. The table below reflects supplemental financial data and reconciliations to GAAP financial statements for the three months and nine months ended June 30, 2018. Readers should consider these non-GAAP measures in addition to, not a substitute for, financial reporting measures prepared in accordance with GAAP. These non-GAAP financial measures exclude some, but not all items that may affect the Company’s net income. Additionally, these calculations may not be comparable with similarly titled measures of other companies.

Third fiscal quarter special items:

Mesa Air Group will host a conference call with analysts on Tuesday, August 28 at 11:15am EST/8:15am PST. The conference call number is 888-989-9719 (Passcode: Phoenix). The conference call can also be accessed live via the web by visiting https://edge.media-server.com/m6/p/wkyrq2n9. A recorded version will be available on Mesa’s website approximately two hours after the call for approximately 14 days.

About Mesa Air Group, Inc.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Mesa is a regional air carrier providing scheduled passenger service to 115 cities in 38 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, Mexico, Cuba and The Bahamas. As of June 30, 2018, Mesa operated a fleet of 145 aircraft with approximately 600 daily departures and 3,400 employees. Mesa operates all of its flights as either American Eagle or United Express flights pursuant to the terms of capacity purchase agreements entered into with American Airlines, Inc. and United Airlines, Inc.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward looking statements, including, but not limited to, (i) the fleet and block hours forecast of Mesa for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018, (ii) the major non pass-through engine overhaul expense forecast for the same fiscal periods, (iii) the expectation that refinancing of six CRJ-900 aircraft and the purchase of nine leased CRJ-900 aircraft is expected to increase pre-tax earnings in future periods, (iv) the Company’s expectations regarding completing the purchase of ten additional GECAS leased aircraft by the end of fiscal 2018, and (v) the refinancing of high-cost debt associated with spare engines by the end of fiscal 2018 and the impact thereof on the Company’s future interest expense. These forward-looking statements are based on Mesa’s current expectations and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Actual results may differ materially from these expectations due to changes in global, regional or local economic, business, competitive, market, regulatory and other factors, many of which are beyond Mesa’s control. Any forward-looking statement in this release speaks only as of the date of this release. Mesa undertakes no obligation to publicly update or review any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as may be required by any applicable securities laws.

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