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CALC reports 15th consecutive year of profitability attributable to sustainable aircraft full-value-chain model

Promotes “Green aviation” with one-stop fleet upgrade solutions.

HONG KONG – China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings Limited announced its annual results for the year ended 31 December 2021 (the “Review Year”).

Financial Highlights
• CALC has achieved profitability for 15th consecutive year by virtue of its highly resilient aircraft full-value-chain model. During the Review Year, the Group’s total revenue amounted to HK$3,278.1 million (2020: HK$3,485.8 million). Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 9% to HK$2,864.1 million. Profit attributable to shareholders increased by a substantial 57.4% from the previous year to HK$525.8 million. Earnings per share were HK$0.722 (Profit attributable to shareholders for 2020: HK$334.1 million; EPS: HK$0.482).
• The Board of Directors of the Company (the “Board”) has continued its scrip dividend scheme for the final dividend for 2021 and has recommended payment of a final dividend of HK$0.26 per ordinary share. Together with the 2021 interim dividend of HK$0.15 per share already paid, total dividend payout for the year 2021 amounted to HK$0.41 per share (2020: HK$0.40).

Business Review
Resumed fleet growth with enhanced asset quality outperforming peers
• During the Review Year, the Group delivered a total of 34 aircraft through its order book placement as well as purchase and leaseback arrangements; and disposed of 9 aircraft. The aircraft deliveries regained steady growth. The arrangement of purchase and leaseback transactions for 17 aircraft with tier 1 airline customers deepened the long-term cooperative relationships with high-quality customers further; and reserved aircraft assets for the Group’s aviation aftermarket platform.
• As at 31 December, 2021, CALC’s fleet consisted of 152 aircraft, including 127 owned aircraft and 25 managed aircraft. It had 244 aircraft on its order book, including 148 Airbus, 66 Boeing and 30 COMAC aircraft. The Group ranked eighth among global lessors by ICF international in terms of the combined asset value of owned fleet and order book.
• CALC maintains a modern fleet consisting of the most popular aircraft models, outperforming peers on key measures. As at 31 December 2021, by number of aircraft, 89% of CALC’s owned fleet were highly liquid narrow-body aircraft, with its rental collection rate of 98.4% achieved. According to CIRIUM, in December 2021, CALC ranked first among the world’s major lessors with 93% of its fleet in service, and 100% of its aircraft were covered by lease mandates.
• An above-industry average of 76% of CALC’s owned fleet were leased to Chinese airline customers (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan). The Group is proactively expanding its high quality clientele in regions undergoing accelerating development, adding 4 airline customers during the Review Year. As at 31 December 2021, CALC’s own and managed aircraft were on lease to 39 airlines in 17 countries and regions. Strengthened aftermarket service capabilities further supports full-value-chain model
• During the Review Year, the Group further strengthened its aftermarket service capabilities. FL ARI Aircraft Maintenance & Engineering Company Ltd. (“FL ARI”), the MRO joint venture under CALC, was granted Part 145 approval certification by Civil Aviation Administration of China for regular inspection and maintenance of A320 series aircraft. Meanwhile, ARI’s aircraft recycling facility in Harbin was approved to be included in the flight zone of Harbin Taiping International Airport, further enhancing its capability in servicing aircraft for domestic routes.
• Another associate company in the US, Universal Asset Management, Inc., struck another breakthrough in aircraft recycling innovation. In January 2022, this unit successfully developed
an over-wing emergency exit trainer and an entry-door trainer using components from an Airbus A320 which was undergoing disassembly.
• Placed a firm order for 30 ARJ21 series aircraft from COMAC, striving to become the first overseas operator of China’s homemade aircraft. Meanwhile, this order will also add a leadingm regional jet model to CALC’s fleet, and gradually enriching its fleet mix with long-haul, mid-haul and short-haul aircraft as well as regional jets, meeting various demand in different markets and customers.

Diversified financing channels backed by first-ever international credit ratings
• During the Review Year, CALC received a first-time corporate family rating (CFR) of Ba1 from Moody’s, with a stable outlook. This was followed by assignment by Fitch Ratings to the Company for the first time a Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of ‘BB+’ with a stable long-term outlook.
• During the Review Year, CALC had been active in both onshore and offshore capital markets. Following the completion of a US$35 million five-year unsecured private bond issued in January 2021, CALC successfully issued another US$100 million three-year public bonds in December 2021. This was the first rated USD notes issued by CALC since it received international credit ratings. At a rate of 4.85%, the issue reflected investors’ confidence in CALC’s operating strengths and future prospects. In July 2021, CALC completed the issuance of a RMB1 billion super short- term debenture in the domestic PRC market, and then raised RMB100 million through a three- year corporate bond issue in August 2021.

• During the Review Year, a total of US$2.1 billion borrowing facilities were newly granted or renewed from 18 financial institutions, among which 10 were the first-time lenders to the Group.
• In all, the Group received a total of US$2.4 billion debt financing commitment during the Review Year, providing strong liquidity support to its business expansion.

Working towards new “Green Aviation” for sustainable development

• Against a backdrop of the ” carbon dioxide peaking and carbon neutrality” national targets, CALC has been investing in the most popular new-generation energy-saving aircraft models. It dived deep into it through the two major fully-licensed domestic and overseas aircraft recycling facilities, proactively providing global customers with green fleet upgrade solutions, and promoting sustainable development for the global aviation industry.
• During the Review Year, CALC received a “Social Innovation Contribution Award” in 2021 Yicai Corporate Social Responsibility Ranking in China, a recognition for its ESG practices.
• In January 2022, CALC, as one of the initiators, collaborated with delegates of Aircraft Leasing Ireland (ALI) members, using their influence as owners of more than half of the global fleet, jointly launched an ESG narrative “Aviation Sustainability: Our Future”, aiming at developing an ESG charter for aircraft leasing and dedicating efforts to accelerate technology development in the aviation industry to achieve Net Zero by 2050.

Dr. Zhao Wei, Chairman of the Board of China Everbright Limited and CALC, said: “As a supporter of China national strategy and implementing it, CALC will build on strengths aligning with the national strategy, strengthen its competitive advantages during the 14th Five-Year Plan period, and tap the upcoming growth window for the industry. The Group will uncover its brand equity in aircraft leasing and aircraft full value chain business, its international market presences and its capacity as a listed company to cooperate and collaborate more closely with China Everbright Group and its member units, including establishment of more aviation fund platforms, deepening collaborations in aircraft leasing and trading businesses, striving to debut overseas flight of China-made aircraft; and actively develop into an ambassador of aircraft industry chain platform globally for the leasing segment under China Everbright Group. CALC is striving to become a world’s leading aircraft full value chain service provider with outstanding core businesses, diversified operations with green and low-carbon footprints.”

Mr. Mike Poon, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of CALC, said: “CALC has withstood tests of the market and the pandemic with its highly resilient aviation full value chain model, which also demonstrates its sustainable development edges. The Omicron variant outbreak has not stopped the global aviation market from accelerating the pace of recovery, and relaxation of border restrictions in many countries has brought about a positive signal to resumption of air travel to normalcy. Embracing a new round of market opportunities afforded by industry recovery, CALC will leverage its edges on the two major segments of new aircraft order book and aftermarket services. As one of the few lessors in the world providing one-stop fleet upgrade solutions, we strive to meet the most urgent needs in the market and provide green fleet solutions for partners in the aviation industry. This year, our sustainable
business model has also attracted many senior executives home and abroad to join our management team to further improve our efficiency. We believe the enhanced professional team will help CALC continue to expand its global foothold and generate better value for all stakeholders.

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Tatiana is the news co-ordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (traveldailynews.gr, traveldailynews.com and traveldailynews.asia). Her role includes to monitor the hundrends of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skim the most important according to our strategy. She holds a Bachelor degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.

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