Air Methods benefiting from low oil prices
Air Methods sales were $238 million for the first quarter of 2015, up 9% compared to the same three months in 2014. It made $12.9 million in the quarter, compared with $11.6 million in 2014 (the 2015 figures also included $2.6 million of night vision documentation expenses).
Community-based patient transports were 13,852 during the quarter, compared with 12,941 in the first three months of 2014, a 7% increase. Acquisitions – particularly Blue Hawaiian Helicopters in December 2013 and Florida’s Baptist LifeFlight in June 2014 – helped make up for bad weather. The number of continuing operation patient flights fell by 1% (63 flights) but only because 1005 transports had to be cancelled by the weather.
Air Methods – which ordered 200 Bell 407GXPs at Heli Expo – is also benefiting from falling oil prices. Its fuel bill was down $1.2 billion for the quarter. Fuel for each flight is 25% lower. Air Methods has also successfully raised the average price for a community flight by 7% from $10,928 in 2014 to $11,651.
“We are pleased to have realized double-digit growth… despite significant increase in weather cancellations”
“We are pleased to have realized double-digit growth in earnings during the first quarter despite significant increase in weather cancellations and higher than anticipated maintenance expenditures,” said Aaron Todd, CEO of Air Methods.
“The steadiness in Same-Base Transports, even with an increase in weather cancellations during the quarter, reveals underlying strength in demand for our services. This strength in demand continued into April despite higher weather cancellations, as well.”