Hong Kong-listed aircraft lessor BOC Aviation has said it ended 2020 “as the world’s most valuable listed aircraft operating leasing company in terms of market capitalisation”.
BOC Aviation’s total assets had risen to $23.6 billion by 31 December 2020, 19% higher than the previous year.
The company’s capital expenditure reached a record $4.6 billion last year as it “proactively” supported airline customers with purchases and leasebacks.
The year 2020 was characterised by active portfolio management, said BOC Aviation chief executive officer Robert Martin, which enabled the company to “re-shape” its aircraft investment strategy by “increasing purchase and leaseback activity while reducing and deferring orders from manufacturers”.
BOC Aviation delivered 54 aircraft last year, including one aircraft acquired by an airline customer upon delivery, taking its fleet to a new high of 398 aircraft.
The lessor signed 102 lease agreements during the year as it “secured new business”.
“During the year we committed to purchase 97 aircraft that were either delivered in 2020 or are scheduled to be delivered in 2021,” said Martin.
The Singapore-based lessor claims that it ended 2020 “with no unplaced aircraft scheduled for delivery from our orderbook before 2023”.
To fund its accelerated growth, BOC Aviation tapped the loan and bond markets, where it raised $5.5 billion and repaid $1.8 billion in debt. The firm’s average cost of funds declined to 3.2% in 2020, from 3.6% in 2019.
The lessor ended 2020 with more than $5 billion in cash and unutilised credit lines.