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Discovery Air announces improved results for 2010

April 26, 2011, Yellowknife, N.W.T. - Discovery Air Inc., today released improved results for its year ended January 31, 2011.


April 26, 2011
By Carey Fredericks


Topics

Financial Highlights

Revenues were $152.4 million for the year ended January 31, 2011
("Fiscal 2011") compared to $123.2 million last year. Revenues for the
quarter ended January 31, 2011 ("Q4/11") were $23.7 million compared to
$17.7 million for the same period last year.

EBITDA for Fiscal 2011 was $37.6 million compared to $28.8 million last
year.  EBITDA loss was $2.1 million for Q4/11 compared to an EBITDA loss
of $2.3 million for the same period last year.

Net earnings for Fiscal 2011 were $5.5 million or $0.04 per share ($0.04
diluted) compared to a loss of $0.3 million or ($0.00) per share ($0.00
diluted) last year.

Loss for Q4/11 was $6.4 million or ($0.05) per share ($0.05 diluted)
compared to a loss of $4.8 million or ($0.04) per share ($0.04 diluted)
for the same period last year.

President and CEO's Comments

I am very pleased to report that Discovery Air's Fiscal 2011 results
continued the improving trend that commenced in fiscal 2010. Fiscal 2011
revenues increased 24% to just over $152 million, a record level for
the Corporation. Revenue growth was accompanied by further improvement
in our EBITDA performance, both in dollar terms and as a percentage of
revenues, reflecting our focus on delivering high-value services to our
customers while maximizing asset utilization and aggressively managing
costs. We generated net income of $5.5 million or $.04 per share,
significantly above fiscal 2010's break-even results, and our cash flow
continued to be strong.

We also generated solid results in business development. In March 2010,
we announced a 5-year renewal of Hicks & Lawrence's fire management
contracts with the Ontario government. Top Aces' interim contracts to
supply airborne training services to the Canadian Forces were extended
to August 2013 (assuming exercise of all options), and Top Aces will
continue to operate under those interim arrangements.  Great Slave
Helicopters announced several new contract awards, including the launch
of its operations in Peru, and continued to build its Northern
aboriginal partnership network. Air Tindi and Discovery Mining Services
both enjoyed a significant rebound in customer demand and turned in very
strong results while growing their aboriginal partnership networks to
support future growth. In September, we announced the start-up of
operations at Discovery Air Technical Services, which provides a range
of aircraft maintenance, repair, overhaul, modification, engineering and
certification services from its Quebec City location. And after
year-end, we announced the reorganization of certain business
development efforts under a new subsidiary, Discovery Air Innovations.
While our operating business units will remain accountable for growing
their existing businesses, Innovations will be responsible for pursuing
major opportunities involving new customer contracts, new fleets and new
technologies, both domestically and internationally. It will also serve
as the focal point for our merger and acquisition initiatives.

Looking Ahead
Improved operating and financial results have been accompanied by a
strong recovery in capital market conditions in the two years since we
completed our last major financing. As a result, we believe that we have
an opportunity to recapitalize Discovery Air in a way that better
supports its operations and planned growth, and we have undertaken
several initiatives to accomplish this. On April 18th, we announced the
repayment of approximately $13.2 million in subordinated debt on
favourable terms, which will help to reduce consolidated interest
expense and total debt outstanding, increase shareholder equity with
modest dilution and reduce the leverage in our capital structure. On
April 21st, we announced an agreement to issue $30 million in new
subordinated unsecured convertible debentures. Proceeds of this issue
will be used to prepay our December 2006 debentures, which were
scheduled to mature December 31, 2011. Subject to meeting all required
conditions, we are targeting a mid-May close of this transaction. We are
also reviewing options to refinance some or all of our other long-term
debt at lower rates and with significantly fewer restrictions on
managing our assets to best advantage. At the same time, we are working
hard to leverage the improvements in our operating and financial
performance to build equity market support for Discovery Air. This
includes meeting with brokers and institutional investors to explain our
business and help stimulate interest in Discovery Air stock. We will be
resuming analyst conference calls with our full-year earnings release
in late April. We are also considering a variety of other initiatives to
help build support for the Corporation's stock and to overhaul and
simplify our capital structure generally.

Additional Highlights

The Corporation's Fiscal 2011 consolidated revenue reflects a
significant recovery from fiscal 2010, when the Corporation was severely
hampered by the dramatic decline in resource-based activity in the
North and unseasonably wet weather conditions in the forest fire markets
in which the Corporation operates.  The Corporation recorded
year-over-year increases in all the major industry sectors it serves,
with the largest increase occurring in the Corporation's mining
exploration and oil and gas sectors.  The increase in revenue from the
Government Services segment was largely attributable to increased demand
for airborne training and special mission services and forest fire
related services in Ontario.

The Corporation's EBITDA of $37.4 million reflects a 38% year-over-year
increase.  Adjusted EBITDA, which excludes charges related to corporate
head office relocation in March 2010, was $37.6 million reflecting a 30%
year-over-year increase.  The Corporation was able to increase its
overall adjusted EBITDA margin to 25% despite incurring higher operating
and business development costs to support the Corporation's effort to
expand its revenue base.  The margin increase was driven by growth rates
in the Corporation's higher-margin services.

In Fiscal 2011, the Corporation increased earnings to $5.5 million, or
$0.04 per share, compared to a loss of $0.3 million, or$0.00 per share,
in the prior year.  The Corporation's financing and amortization charges
were slightly lower compared to the prior year; however, this was
partly offset by a higher income tax provision in Fiscal 2011.
The Corporation generated an after-tax operating cash flow of $26.5
million in Fiscal 2011 compared to $17.7 million in Fiscal 2010.  The
year-over-year increase was largely due to a $5.8 million increase in
earnings and a $3.1 million reduction in future income tax recoveries.

The Corporation's organic growth in Fiscal 2011 was largely achieved by
entering new markets.  The Corporation established two notable emerging
opportunities during the year: through Great Slave, by providing
services in Peru for oil and gas customers; and through Technical
Services' creation of a maintenance repair and overhaul ("MRO") service
platform.

The Corporation extended Top Aces' airborne combat training Standing
Offer Agreements for a further 16-month period, with an option for an
additional 12 months thereafter. Top Aces also submitted a proposal for a
Public Works Government ServicesCanada ("PWGSC") Request for Proposal
("RFP") for a 10 year contracted airborne training services contract
with an option for two 5 year extensions in October 2010. This
solicitation was cancelled in early fiscal 2012, with PWGSC indicating
its intention to retender a new RFP for a long term contracted airborne
training services program.

The Corporation refinanced $49.2 million of revolving debt in the third
quarter of Fiscal 2011 under a provision set out under the original
revolving debt agreement.  The debt was converted from an evergreen
facility to a 10-year term debt.  The interest rate is set at the 90 day
bankers' acceptance rate plus 7.65%, with the premium subject to an
annual review, at which time the Corporation may exercise an option to
borrow via a fixed rate arrangement.  All collateral arrangements and
lending conditions remained substantially the same.  In the second
quarter of Fiscal 2011, the Corporation also renewed its $15 million
operating line of credit which increases to $25 million during the
Corporation's peak season.


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