UPDATE 1-BBA Aviation to buy back shares for up to $125 mln

Wed Mar 5, 2014 9:51am EST

(Adds analyst comment, details, background; updates share)

By Esha Vaish

March 5 (Reuters) - British aircraft services provider BBA Aviation Plc reported a full-year profit slightly below estimates and said it would buy back shares for up to $125 million.

BBA Aviation, which provides refuelling, de-icing, ground handling, engine repair and other services to aviation companies, also said Finance Director Mark Hoad would leave, effective June 30.

Shares in the company fell as much as 5 percent on Wednesday. The stock had gained more than 6 percent on Tuesday.

"The absence of a special dividend is probably disappointing some people," Westhouse Securities analyst Kevin Fogarty said.

BBA Aviation had said last month it was "considering an appropriate return of cash to shareholders" after selling its landing gear business APPH to Canada-based Heroux-Devtek Inc for $128 million.

Hoad's decision to step down after nine years with the company may also have weighed on the stock, analysts said. He has been finance director for the last four years.

BBA Aviation, whose customers include Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc and Bombardier Inc, said it has started looking for a successor to Hoad.

The company, which traces back its origins to a small industrial belting work in Scotland in 1879, said underlying pretax profit rose to $170.5 million in the year ended Dec. 31 from $157.8 million a year earlier.

Revenue increased 2 percent to $2.22 billion.

Analysts on average had expected a pretax profit of $171.36 million on revenue of $2.21 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

BBA Aviation shares were down nearly 2 percent at 346.7 pence at 1442 GMT on the London Stock Exchange. The stock fell to a low of 336.1 pence earlier in the morning, and was among the top percentage losers on the FTSE-250 Midcap Index. (Reporting By Esha Vaish in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier and Joyjeet Das)

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