March 13 - Erickson Air-Crane Incorporated has reported strong revenue and profit growth for its financial year 2012, ending December 2012.

Erickson Air-Crane saw revenue grow 18.4 percent year-on-year over 2011 to USD180.8 million. Operating income doubled to USD33.4 million while its adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) surged by 77 percent to USD44.5 million.

The company is a leading operator and manufacturer of the Erickson S-64 Aircrane heavy lift helicopter. During 2012, the number of flight hours it performed grew 18.9 percent year-on-year to 12,075 hours.

"This was an outstanding year for Erickson," commented Udo Rieder, president and ceo of the Oregon, USA headquartered company.

The company has just signed a binding term sheet and made significant progress towards completing its purchase of the Air Amazonia oil and gas aerial services business from Brazilian based HRT Participacoes em Petroleo.

The binding term sheet replaces the non-binding letter of intent entered into on September 14, 2012. It commits the parties to work in good faith towards making the deal happen, subject to the satisfaction of certain agreed conditions.

Erickson Air-Crane expects to complete the deal during the second quarter of 2013 - significantly ahead of the original schedule.

"We are very excited to have reached this milestone in our efforts to soon expand our presence in the fast-growing oil and gas market in South and Central America through this deal," commented Rieder.

"Our experience in that market has brought us non-seasonal, profitable revenue streams and illustrated significant expansion opportunities. We are grateful for the hard work conducted by teams on both sides of this transaction, which when closed we expect will create significant value for our shareholders," he added.

The total transaction price will be USD65 million to USD75 million, upon meeting certain contractual terms.