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Press release from CNW Group

WHISTLER BLACKCOMB HOLDINGS INC. REPORTS FISCAL 2010 RESULTS AND STRONG EARLY SEASON INDICATORS

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

WHISTLER BLACKCOMB HOLDINGS INC. REPORTS FISCAL 2010 RESULTS AND STRONG EARLY SEASON INDICATORS20:19 EST Wednesday, December 22, 2010WHISTLER, BC, Dec. 22 /CNW/ - Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. (TSX: WB) (the "Corporation") today reported financial results for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2010 for Whistler Mountain Resort Limited Partnership and Blackcomb Skiing Enterprises Limited Partnership (together, the "Partnerships"), which carry on the four season mountain resort business and operations ("Whistler Blackcomb") at the Resort Municipality of Whistler."We are pleased to report that resort segment operating profit reached $84.5 million for fiscal 2010, a 9% increase over the prior year.  It was an honour and privilege to host the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. We were very proud to have the opportunity to showcase our world-class facility and to welcome athletes and visitors from around the globe," said Dave Brownlie, President and Chief Operating Officer. "Nevertheless, despite excellent snow conditions last winter, skier visits and financial results were adversely impacted, as anticipated, by skier aversion for the period surrounding the Olympics."FOURTH QUARTER AND FISCAL 2010 FINANCIAL RESULTSRevenueTotal revenue reached $224.7 million for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2010 ("Fiscal 2010"), an increase of 2.7% over total revenue for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2009 ("Fiscal 2009").  This was primarily driven by an increase in total resort revenue.Resort revenue increased to $211.6 million, or by 2.3%, for Fiscal 2010 as compared to Fiscal 2009. This includes $32.3 million received under the Venue Agreement with the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the Olympic Winter Games ("VANOC"), which partially compensated for decreased revenues in other revenue categories due to the adverse impact on skier visits from the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (the "Olympic Winter Games").Total revenue for the fourth quarter ended September 30, 2010, was $35.3 million, which is a 43.3% increase over the same period in the prior year, primarily driven by real estate sales. Whistler Blackcomb has immaterial remaining real estate for development or resale.Resort revenue for the fourth quarter ended September 30, 2010, was $22.8 million, which is $0.6 million, or 2.8%, below the same period in the prior year. Revenue increases in mountain operations, ski school and food and beverage operations were offset by declines in retail/rental and other operated departments.  The key shortfall resulted from the closure of the Olympic Winter Games store, which generated $0.7 million additional revenue in the comparable quarter in the prior year.  In the three months ended September 30, 2010, Whistler Blackcomb's revenues from the ski school operations, including bike park lessons in the summer, and food and beverage operations experienced increases. Operating ExpensesTotal operating expenses were $178.5 million for Fiscal 2010, an increase of 6.5% over total operating expenses for Fiscal 2009.  This increase was primarily driven by real estate expenses.Resort segment operating expenses decreased by $2.1 million, or 1.6%, for Fiscal 2010 compared to Fiscal 2009.  This decrease primarily resulted from lower cost of sales in retail and rental operations, as well as food and beverage operations.Total operating expenses were $41.4 million for the three months ended September 30, 2010, compared to $31.4 million for the three months ended September 30, 2009, or an increase of 31.6%, again primarily driven by real estate expenses.Resort segment operating expenses increased by $1.1 million, or 4.9%, to $22.7 million for the three months ended September 30, 2010, compared to the three months ended September 30, 2009.  This increase is primarily attributed to increased Fiscal 2010 incentive costs, plus increased operating expenses from the bike park.Resort Segment Operating Profit and Adjusted EBITDAThe resort segment operating profit (excluding real estate) reached $84.5 million in Fiscal 2010, an increase of $6.9 million, or 9%, versus the prior year's resort segment operating profit of $77.6 million.While revenue earned under the Venue Agreement with VANOC substantially mitigated the adverse impact of the Olympic Winter Games on Whistler Blackcomb's financial results, management estimates the financial results were negatively impacted by an additional $6.2 million. As a result, management estimates that the Adjusted EBITDA for Fiscal 2010 would have been $90.6 million versus the reported resort segment operating profit of $84.5 million. Adjusted EBITDA, the result of the adjustment to normalize for the estimated impact of the Olympic Winter Games (the "Olympic Normalization Adjustment") and other adjustments outlined in the Corporation's prospectus dated November 2, 2010 (the "Prospectus") and Management's Discussion and Analysis as of December 21, 2010 ("MD&A"), is  not a financial measure under Canadian generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP") and is not recognized under GAAP and does not have a standardized meaning.The resort segment operating profit decreased by $1.8M for the three months ended September 30, 2010, compared to the three months ended September 30, 2009.  This decrease for the three months ended September 30, 2010 as compared to the same period in the prior year was primarily from reduced revenue for the quarter from the closure of the Olympic Winter Games store of $0.7 million, an increase in Fiscal 2010 incentive costs of $0.5 million, and the balance relates to bike park expense increases and the timing of resort segment operating expenses for the upcoming winter season.Early Season Indicators and Outlook for the October 1, 2010 to September 30, 2011 Year"We are off to a solid start this year.  On the heels of the successful completion of the Corporation's initial public offering in November, we were able to open the mountain six days ahead of plan due to management's aggressive snow-making efforts and above average early season snowfall," said Dave Brownlie, President and Chief Operating Officer. "With the "Olympic aversion effect" behind us, we can now reap the beneficial impacts of the infrastructure improvements and worldwide attention garnered though hosting the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.  With all 8,171 acres of skiable terrain open to our guests, strong Christmas holiday booking activity and robust customer demand for both season passes and cards, we are confident that we are on track to achieve our goals."As host venue for alpine and sliding sports events for the Olympic Winter Games, Whistler Blackcomb is now expected to enjoy a number of ongoing benefits. These include significant infrastructure investments expected to improve guest experience and worldwide accessibility such as:  on-mountain improvements including the $53 million Peak 2 Peak Gondola; the capacity expansion at the Vancouver International Airport; and the $600 million upgrade of the Sea-to-Sky access road into a multi-lane divided Highway, reducing travel time from Vancouver.In addition global media attention, including television broadcasts, reaching an estimated 3.5 billion viewers has translated to increases in top of mind awareness in international markets and is expected to help drive destination guest visitation.Detailed financial results and the MD&A can be found on SEDAR at www.sedar.com .ABOUT WHISTLER BLACKCOMBWhistler Blackcomb, the official alpine skiing venue for the Olympic Winter Games, is situated in the Resort Municipality of Whistler located in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia 125 kilometres (78 miles) from Vancouver, British Columbia. North America's premier four-season mountain resort, Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain are two side-by-side mountains, connected by the world record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, which combined offer: over 200 marked runs, over 8,000 acres of terrain, 14 alpine bowls, three glaciers, receives on average over 1,090 centimetres (430 inches) of snow annually, and offers one of the longest ski seasons in North America. In the summer, Whistler Blackcomb offers a variety of activities, including hiking and biking trails, the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, and sightseeing on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola. Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "WB". For more information visit www.whistlerblackcomb.com NON-GAAP MEASURESThis press release makes reference to certain financial measures other than those prescribed by GAAP.  These non-GAAP measures are not recognized under GAAP, do not have a standardized meaning prescribed by GAAP and are therefore unlikely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies.  These non-GAAP measures include EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and the Olympic Normalization Adjustment, and are provided to the reader as additional information to complement GAAP measures and to further understand Whistler Blackcomb's results of operations from management's perspective and as a supplemental measure of performance that highlights trends in the business that may not otherwise be apparent when relying solely on GAAP financial measures.  Such non-GAAP measures should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of financial information reported under GAAP. Readers should refer to the Prospectus and MD&A, which are available on our website and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com, for additional details regarding the determination of these non-GAAP measures and reconciliation to financial information reported under GAAP.CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTSThis press release may contain forward-looking statements or information, within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws, including, but not limited to, the expectations, plans, goals, objectives, assumptions, information or statements about future events or conditions which may prove to be incorrect. Although the Corporation believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements and information are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements because the Corporation can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. The forward-looking statements are based on the estimates and assumptions made by the Corporation in light of its experience and perception of current conditions and expected future developments, and are subject to a number of significant risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, general economic, business and market conditions and other risks as are detailed in the Prospectus. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein as anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release, and the Corporation has no intention and assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by applicable Canadian securities laws.Combined and Consolidated Financial Statements ofWHISTLER MOUNTAIN RESORTLIMITED PARTNERSHIPANDBLACKCOMB SKIING ENTERPRISES LIMITED PARTNERSHIP Years ended September 30, 2010 and 2009AUDITORS' REPORT TO THE PARTNERSWe have audited the combined and consolidated balance sheets of Whistler Mountain Resort Limited Partnership and Blackcomb Skiing Enterprises Limited Partnership (the "Partnerships") as at September 30, 2010 and 2009, and the combined and consolidated statements of earnings, partners' capital and cash flows for the years then ended.  These financial statements are the responsibility of the Partnerships' management.  Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements based on our audits.We conducted our audits in accordance with Canadian generally accepted auditing standards.  Those standards require that we plan and perform an audit to obtain reasonable assurance whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement.  An audit includes examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements.  An audit also includes assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall financial statement presentation.In our opinion, these combined and consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Partnerships as at September 30, 2010 and 2009 and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the years then ended in accordance with Canadian generally accepted accounting principles.Chartered AccountantsVancouver, CanadaDecember 3, 2010WHISTLER MOUNTAIN RESORT LIMITED PARTNERSHIP AND BLACKCOMB SKIING ENTERPRISES LIMITED PARTNERSHIPCombined and Consolidated Balance Sheets(Expressed in thousands of Canadian dollars)September 30, 2010 and 2009               2010     2009           Assets                     Current assets:           Cash and cash equivalents    $  19,681    $  38,170 Accounts receivable    14,244     2,360 Inventory (note 3)     10,930     9,423 Prepaid expenses     1,426     2,338 Due from partner and related parties (note 4)     61,745     62,450 Notes receivable (note 6)      394     375    108,420     115,116Notes receivable (note 6)     3,047      3,072Properties held for sale and development (note 5)     2,609      29,883Property, buildings and equipment (note 7)     154,407      161,746Intangible assets     3,297     3,623Other assets     402      495  $  272,182    $  313,935           Liabilities and Partners' Capital                     Current liabilities:           Accounts payable and accrued liabilities     $  24,172    $  13,311 Deferred revenue     15,725      8,190 Due to partner and related parties (note 8)    72,214      73,279    112,111     94,780Partners' capital (note 10)     160,071     219,155           Commitments and contingencies (note 11)          Subsequent events (note 17)                       $  272,182    $  313,935See accompanying notes to the combined and consolidated financial statements.WHISTLER MOUNTAIN RESORT LIMITED PARTNERSHIP AND BLACKCOMB SKIING ENTERPRISES LIMITED PARTNERSHIPCombined and Consolidated Statements of Earnings(Expressed in thousands of Canadian dollars)Years ended September 30, 2010 and 2009               2010      2009           Revenue (note 11 (g))    $  224,673    $  218,701           Operating expenses     178,478      167,618           Earnings from operations     46,195     51,083           Disposal gains     9     82           Finance income, net (note 9)     58     1,036           Earnings before provision for income taxes     46,262     52,201           Provision for income taxes     (306)     (354)           Net earnings    $  45,956    $  51,847See accompanying notes to the combined and consolidated financial statements.WHISTLER MOUNTAIN RESORT LIMITED PARTNERSHIP AND BLACKCOMB SKIING ENTERPRISES LIMITED PARTNERSHIPCombined and Consolidated Statements of Partners' Capital(Expressed in thousands of Canadian dollars)                         Limited Partnership Capital     GeneralPartnershipCapital         IntrawestULC andAffiliates  Nippon CableCo., Ltd.and Affiliates  TotalLimitedPartners'Capital  IntrawestULC andAffiliates  TotalPartners'Capital                Balance, September 30, 2008  $ 43,837  $ 49,968  $ 93,805  $ 124,701  $ 218,506                  Net earnings   15,853  11,925  27,778  24,069  51,847 Distributions   (17,807)   (11,775)  (29,582)  (21,616)  (51,198)                Balance, September 30, 2009    41,883    50,118   92,001   127,154   219,155                  Net earnings   23,703  10,570   34,273  11,683  45,956 Distributions  (41,964)  (24,159)   (66,123)  (38,917)  (105,040)                Balance, September 30, 2010  $ 23,622  $ 36,529  $ 60,151  $ 99,920  $ 160,071See accompanying notes to the combined and consolidated financial statements.WHISTLER MOUNTAIN RESORT LIMITED PARTNERSHIP AND BLACKCOMB SKIING ENTERPRISES LIMITED PARTNERSHIPCombined and Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows(Expressed in thousands of Canadian dollars)Years ended September 30, 2010 and 2009               2010      2009           Cash provided by (used in):                     Operations:           Net earnings    $  45,956    $  51,847 Items not involving cash:            Depreciation and amortization    15,115     20,971  Disposal gains    (9)     (82)    61,062     72,736 Recovery of costs through real estate sales    27,281     12,095 Acquisition and development of properties     (7)      (3,784) Changes in non-cash operating working capital (note 13)     6,010     (7,129)    94,346     73,918           Financing:           Advances from (to) partner and related parties, net    (360)     2,098 Distributions to partners     (105,040)     (51,198) Repayment of notes receivable    6     1,186    (105,394)      (47,914)           Investments:           Proceeds from sale of property and equipment     24     159 Expenditures on property, buildings and equipment    (7,465)     (17,450)    (7,441)     (17,291)           Increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents     (18,489)     8,713           Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of year     38,170      29,457           Cash and cash equivalents, end of year    $  19,681    $  38,170See supplemental information (note 13).See accompanying notes to the combined and consolidated financial statements.For further information: Therese HayesSenior IR Consultant for Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc.thayes@whistlerblackcomb.com     ph: 604-932-7875