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Press release from PR Newswire

WHISTLER BLACKCOMB HOLDINGS INC. REPORTS FISCAL 2011 SECOND QUARTER AND SIX MONTHS ENDED MARCH 31, 2011 FINANCIAL RESULTS

Thursday, May 12, 2011

WHISTLER BLACKCOMB HOLDINGS INC. REPORTS FISCAL 2011 SECOND QUARTER AND SIX MONTHS ENDED MARCH 31, 2011 FINANCIAL RESULTS07:30 EDT Thursday, May 12, 2011 WHISTLER, BC, May 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. (TSX: WB) (the "Corporation") today reported financial results for the fiscal 2011 second quarter and six months ended March 31, 2011.  On November 9, 2010, the Corporation completed its initial public offering and concurrently acquired a 75% interest in each of Whistler Mountain Resort Limited Partnership and Blackcomb Skiing Enterprises Limited Partnership (together, the "Partnerships"). The Partnerships carry on the four season mountain resort business and operations ("Whistler Blackcomb") at the Resort Municipality of Whistler. The full second quarter and the partial and combined full six month results are both discussed below. "We are pleased with the post-Olympic recovery with skier visits increasing 33% and effective ticket price up 9% over the same quarter last year and record-breaking sales of seasons passes and frequency cards," said Dave Brownlie, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Corporation. "In particular, we achieved exceptional results in our local and regional market, which includes Washington State and we will exceed two million skier visits this year." "In addition to the success with our regional markets we achieved a partial recovery in our destination market with particular strength in Canada and Asia Pacific," added Mr. Brownlie. "Despite Whistler Blackcomb's exceptional snow conditions this winter, we believe destination market visitation was affected by equally favourable snow conditions across North America and the overall economic environment in certain key destination markets. We remain focused on ultimately achieving a full recovery of the destination segment." Mr. Brownlie concluded: "Overall, we are pleased with our performance in this post-Olympic year. Our fundamentals are strong, we have reinforced our local and regional markets providing a new foundation, we are confident that we will maintain our current dividend and we are well positioned to grow the business in the future." Highlights of the Corporation: In the period from November 9, 2010 to March 31, 2011, the Corporation generated $79 million of EBITDA on revenues of $156 million, resulting in net earnings of $45 million or $1.18 per common share In the three months ended March 31, 2011, the Corporation generated $64 million of EBITDA on revenues of $113 million, resulting in net earnings of $39 million of $1.03 per common share Sales of season passes and frequency cards to March 31 reached 161,000 units and $43 million, the highest level in the history of Whistler Blackcomb Skier visits and effective ticket price ("ETP") returned to pre-2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (the "Olympic Winter Games") levels. In the three months ended March 31, 2011 and the period ended March 31, 2011: Skier visits increased by 33% and 24%, respectively, over the same period in the prior year ETP increased by 9% and 10%, respectively, over the same period in the prior year FISCAL 2011 SECOND QUARTER AND SIX MONTH FINANCIAL RESULTS For the purposes of management's quarterly comparisons, the Corporation's results for the quarter ended March 31, 2011 are compared with the Partnerships' results for the quarter ended March 31, 2010.  The combined results for the six months ended March 31, 2011 therefore are comprised of the Corporation's results for the period from November 9 to March 31, 2011 and the Partnerships' results for the period from October 1 to November 8, 2010. Reference to the "venue agreement" means the agreement between the Partnerships and the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the Olympic Winter Games ("VANOC") that relates to revenues earned and recorded by the Partnerships in the quarter ended March 31, 2010 as consideration for providing access to certain facilities for the Olympic Winter Games. Revenue Resort revenues reached $113 million and $160 million in the three and six months ended March 31, 2011, respectively, driven by increases in both skier visits to 1.225 million and 1.684 million and ETP to $50.35 and $49.11 in the same periods. These amounts represent increases in resort revenue of 36% and 27% in the three and six months ended March 31, 2011, respectively, over the same periods in the prior year. In the prior year, the Partnerships earned $32 million from VANOC under the venue agreement and this entire amount was included in the Partnerships' revenue in the three and six months ended March 31, 2010. Operating Expenses Resort operating expenses were $44 million and $75 million, respectively, for the three and six months ended March 31, 2011, compared to $39 million and $67 million, respectively, for the same periods prior year. The 13% and 13% increases for the three and six month periods, respectively, were primarily attributable to increases in labour and benefit costs and other operating expenses. The increase in labour and benefit costs corresponded with the increase in skier visits in the current period compared to the same period in the prior year.  With the expectation of skier visits returning to more historical levels for the 2010/2011 ski season, hiring returned to more historical levels.  Additionally, lower costs were incurred in the same period last year due to cost recoveries and cost savings related to the Olympic Winter Games.  Cost recoveries were experienced in the prior year as a result of the VANOC using certain Whistler Blackcomb staff for snowmaking and grooming activities in preparation for the Olympic Winter Games.  Also, in anticipation of lower skier visits in the 2009/2010 ski season and certain facilities not being open for public use, fewer seasonal staff were hired at the beginning of last year's ski season. Included in the increase in other operating expenses were costs incurred by certain other resort-related entities that were acquired by the Corporation as part of its acquisition of a 75% interest in each of the Partnerships, for which there are no corresponding expenses reflected in the Partnerships' resort operating expenses in the prior year. Depreciation and amortization expense in the three months ended March 31, 2011 increased by $4.7 million over the same quarter in the prior year. The increase in depreciation and amortization expense in the period from November 9, 2010 to March 31, 2011 over prior periods is the result of, for accounting purposes, the cost of the Corporation's acquisition of the Partnerships being allocated to the Partnerships' property, buildings and equipment and amortizing intangible assets at amounts based on fair value as of November 9, 2010.  The amounts assigned to such assets in the Corporation's consolidated financial statements are higher than the Partnerships' historical cost of those assets, resulting in incremental depreciation and amortization expense of approximately $8.0 million in the period from November 9, 2010 to March 31, 2011. Overall, selling general and administrative expenses in the three and six months ended March 31, 2011 were comparable to those in the same periods of the prior year. Operating Profit and EBITDA In the three months ended March 31, 2011, the Corporation generated $64 million of EBITDA and resort segment operating profit on revenues of $113 million. In the period from November 9, 2010 to March 31, 2011, the Corporation generated $79 million of EBITDA and resort segment operating profit on revenues of $156 million, resulting in net earnings of $45 million or $1.18 per common share. Before including the $32 million earned by the Partnerships in the prior year under the venue agreement, resort segment operating profit increased by 62% and 52% to $64 million and $72 million in the three and six months ended March 31, 2011, respectively, over the same periods in the prior year. EBITDA increased by 65% and 53% to $64 million and $72 million in the three and six months ended March 31, 2011, respectively, over the same periods in the prior year. After including the $32 million earned by the Partnerships in the prior year under the venue agreement, resort segment operating profit decreased by 11% and decreased by 9% in the three and six months ended March 31, 2011, respectively. EBITDA decreased by 10% and 9% for the three and six months ended March 31, 2011, respectively, compared to the same periods in the prior year. Detailed financial results of the Corporation and Management's Discussion and Analysis as of May 12, 2011 ("MD&A") can be found on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and the Corporation's website at www.whistlerblackcombholdings.com. Conference Call Information Management will conduct a conference call on May 12th at 8:30am (EDT) to review the Corporation's fiscal 2011 second quarter and six months ended March 31, 2011 financial results. The call can be accessed by dialing 1.800.299.0148 (Canada and US) or 1.617.801.9711 (International) prior to the start of the call. The access code is 96992327. A replay of the call will be available until May 19, 2011 and can be accessed at 1.888.286.8010 or 1.617.801.6888 (International). The access code for the replay is 80520172. The call will also be archived for a period of 60 days following the call in the Events and Presentations section of the Corporation's website:  www.whistlerblackcombholdings.com. ABOUT WHISTLER BLACKCOMB Whistler 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 offers over 200 marked runs, over 8,000 acres of terrain, 14 alpine bowls and three glaciers. Whistler Blackcomb 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 MEASURES This press release makes reference to certain financial measures other than those prescribed by Canadian generally accepted accounting principles ("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, which include EBITDA, 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 Corporation's prospectus dated November 2, 2010 (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 STATEMENTS This 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. WHISTLER BLACKCOMB HOLDINGS INC. Interim Consolidated Statements of Earnings and Comprehensive Income (Unaudited) (in thousands, except per share amounts)               November 9, 2010 to October 1, 2010 to Six months ended   Three months ended March 31, March 31, November 8, March 31,   2011 2010 2011 2010 2010   (Successor) (Predecessor) (Successor) (Predecessor) (Predecessor) Resort revenue  $ 113,034 $ 83,434 $ 155,702 $ 3,902 $ 125,531 Venue Agreement    - 32,328  - - 32,328 Real estate revenue  - - 240 - 395   113,034 115,762 155,942 3,902 158,254 Depreciation and amortization  8,400 3,659 13,488 1,510 7,654 Resort operating expenses  43,939 38,769 67,142 8,246 67,019 Real estate expenses   18 780 144 53 675 Selling, general and administration  4,987 5,031 9,379 2,574 11,087   57,344 48,239 90,153 12,383 86,435 Earnings (loss) from operations  55,690 67,523 65,789 (8,481) 71,819 Disposal gains (losses)  2 (7) 6 (63)  - Finance income (expense), net  (4,341) 28 (6,874) 19 33 Net earnings (loss) before income tax and non-controlling interest  51,351 67,544 58,921 (8,525) 71,852 Income tax (expense) benefit  1,805 (116) 2,927 - (189) Non-controlling interest  (14,239) -  (16,989) - - Net earnings and comprehensive income  $ 38,917 $ 67,428 $ 44,859 $ (8,525) $ 71,663 Net earnings per share             Basic  $ 1.03   $ 1.18       Diluted  $ 1.03   $ 1.18     Weighted average number of common shares             Basic  37,868   37,861       Diluted  37,882   37,869 WHISTLER BLACKCOMB HOLDINGS INC. Interim Consolidated Balance Sheets (Unaudited) (in thousands)           March 31,  September 30,   2011  2010   (Successor)  (Predecessor) Assets     Current assets:       Cash and cash equivalents    $ 58,462  $ 19,681   Accounts receivable   9,768  14,244   Inventory    8,973  10,930   Prepaid expenses   2,377  1,426   Notes receivable    296  394   Due from partner and related parties    -  61,745   79,876  108,420 Notes receivable    2,954  3,047 Property held for development   2,484  2,609 Property, buildings and equipment    290,811  154,407 Intangible assets    98,969  3,297 Goodwill    333,709  - Other assets   724  402   $ 809,527  $ 272,182 Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity     Current liabilities:       Accounts payable and accrued liabilities     $ 25,859  $ 24,172   Deferred revenue   11,447  15,725   Due to partner and related parties    -  72,214   37,306  112,111 Long-term debt    255,121  - Future income tax liabilities   51,918  - Partners' capital  -  160,071 Shareholders' equity       Common shares   440,698   -   Contributed surplus  540  -   Retained earnings  23,944  -   465,182  -   $ 809,527  $ 272,182     WHISTLER BLACKCOMB HOLDINGS INC. Interim Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows (Unaudited) (in thousands)                     November 9,  October 1,  Six months     2010 to  2010 to  ended   Three months ended March 31,  March 31,  November 8,  March 31,   2011  2010  2011  2010  2010   (Successor)  (Predecessor)  (Successor)  (Predecessor)   (Predecessor) Cash provided by (used in):           Operations:             Net earnings  $ 38,917  $ 67,428  $ 44,859  $ (8,525)  $ 71,663   Items not involving cash:               Non-controlling interest  14,239  -  16,989   -   -     Depreciation and amortization  8,400  3,659  13,488   1,510   7,654     Disposal (gains) losses  (2)  7  (6)   63   -     Stock-based compensation  204  -  540   -   -     Amortization of debt issuance costs  311  -  490   -   -     Future income tax expense (benefit)  (1,985)  -  (3,108)   -   -   60,084  71,094  73,252  (6,952)   79,317   Recovery of costs through real estate sales  -  609  120  -   671   Acquisition and development of properties  -  193  -  -   -   Changes in non-cash operating working capital  (28,939)  (27,821)  (14,859)  14,272    (8,620)     31,145  44,075  58,513  7,320   71,368 Financing:             Proceeds on issuance of common shares  -  -  300,000  -   -   Share issuance costs  (23)  -  (17,883)  -   -   Proceeds on issuance of long-term debt  -  -  261,000  -   -   Debt issuance costs  -  -  (6,369)  -   -   Distributions to non-controlling interest  (3,310)  -  (66,278)  - -   Dividends paid  (5,314)  -  (5,314)  -   -   Advances from (to) partner and related parties, net  -  362  (10,661)  349   (5,314)   Distributions to partners  -  (6,304)  -  (16,794)   (18,310)     (8,647)  (5,942)  454,495  (16,445)   (23,624) Investing:             Business acquisition, net of cash acquired  -  -  (452,077)  -   -   Expenditures on property, buildings and equipment  (1,065)  (2,273)  (2,652)  (728)   (2,273)   Repayment of (advance of) notes receivable  9  (16)  183  8   37     (1,056)  (2,289)  (454,546)  (720)   (2,236) Increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents  21,442  35,844  58,462  (9,845)  45,508 Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period  37,020  47,834   -  19,681   38,170 Cash and cash equivalents, end of period  $ 58,462  $ 83,678  $ 58,462  $ 9,836  $ 83,678   SOURCE Whistler BlackcombFor further information: <p> <b>Therese Hayes</b><br/> <b>Senior IR Consultant </b><br/> <b>Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc.</b><br/> <a href="mailto:thayes@whistlerblackcomb.com">thayes@whistlerblackcomb.com</a><b>     </b><br/> <b>Ph: 604-932-7875</b> </p>