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BBA Aviation shares fall despite profit rise

Benjamin Chiou

LONDON (ShareCast) - It was a busy day for aviation services provider BBA Aviation (LSE: BBA.L - news) , which announced a 42% jump in profits, a placing to raise nearly £90m and an acquisition worth over $60m.

Pre-tax profit increased from £60m to £85.2m in the 12 months to 31 December, while revenues grew 9% to £1.18bn, from £1.08bn previously.

"2010 was a good year for BBA Aviation as our major markets started to recover from their 2009 lows," said chief executive officer Simon Pryce.

"This increased activity, together with our performance in the market and further improvements in operational efficiency resulted in continued progress in both of our divisions."

Flight support revenues grew by 15% to £741.6m as a result of increased activity, increased fuel prices (which accounted for £43.8m) and acquisitions (£10.6m), while revenues in 'aftermarket services and systems' were flat.

Free cash flow fell to £115.2m, from £137.5m, partly attributable to a 49% increase in capital expenditure as a result of investment in the 'PT6T Twin-Pac' engine overhaul authorisation for Europe (Chicago Options: ^REURTRUSD - news) .

A final of dividend of 5.7p took the dividend for the full year to 8.1p, compared with 7.6p in 2009, "reflecting the board's continued confidence in the Group's prospects and at the same time progressively re-building cover."

Shares fell on Wednesday reflecting a placing of over 43m shares to raise £88.6m, representing 9.99% of the company's share capital, to fund acquisitions.

In a separate statement, BBA announced that it has acquired GE Aviation Systems' fuel gauging and measurement business for $62.5m on a cash and debt free basis. In addition, the company will make a further investment of $7m in working capital and fixed assets.