SMBC Aviation Capital has said it will defer the delivery of 68 Boeing 737 Max aircraft until between 2025 and 2027.

The Dublin-based aircraft leasing company has 133 of the aircraft on order, but did not provide further details of its new delivery schedule.

The company made the announcement in its financial results for the year ended the 31st of March 20, which reveal a before tax profit of $364.5 million and posted earnings of $1.1 billion, a 5.5% increase.

Its total aircraft operating lease assets grew by 3.7% to $10.6 billion, which it says is "a lower than anticipated level of asset growth due to the grounding of the B737 MAX aircraft and Airbus A320 NEO delays."

Commenting on impact of Covid-19 on the industry, Peter Barrett, CEO of SMBC Aviation Capital said the pandemic will have a "significant" and "potentially prolonged" impact on the aviation industry.

"SMBC Aviation Capital came into this crisis in a very strong financial position, with a business model built to perform through the cycle, not just the favourable market conditions seen in recent years. Being owned by a substantive and supportive Japanese financial institution together with our disciplined asset investment strategy positions us well to manage the challenges of this changing operating environment and take advantage of opportunities that will arise," he said.