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Press release from PR Newswire

Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. Reports Fiscal 2011 Third Quarter and Nine Months Ended June 30, 2011 Financial Results

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. Reports Fiscal 2011 Third Quarter and Nine Months Ended June 30, 2011 Financial Results04:00 EDT Wednesday, August 10, 2011 Skier Visits Return to Pre-Olympic Levels with Record Regional Market Visitation WHISTLER, BC, Aug. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. (TSX: WB) (the "Corporation") today reported financial results for the fiscal 2011 third quarter and nine months ended June 30, 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 third quarter and the partial and combined full nine month results are both discussed below. "With our winter ski season complete we are pleased to have accomplished two key milestones. First we met our post-Olympic goal to exceed two million skier visits and second we were able to return value to our shareholders through our first three dividend payments" said Dave Brownlie, President and Chief Operating Officer of Whistler Blackcomb. "Despite only a partial recovery in the destination market, our key indicators have returned to pre-Olympic levels with skier visit growth of 22%, effective ticket price growth of 6% and we are particularly proud of our record season pass and frequency card unit sale growth of 28% over the previous year's ski season." "As we look ahead to the 2011/2012 ski season, we are confident that we will be able to sustain this past season's regional growth and we are encouraged by the results from our recent spring season pass and frequency card campaign which saw unit sale and revenue growth over the record 2010-2011 ski season" added Brownlie. "As our management team ramps up for the upcoming season, our main focus is on increasing destination visitation to historical levels." Highlights of the Corporation: 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 June 30, 2011 and the period ended June 30, 2011: Skier visits increased by 13% and 22%, respectively, over the same periods in the prior year to 346,000 and 2.030 million ETP decreased by 17% and increased 6%, respectively, over the same periods in the prior year to $36.79 and $47.06 Unit sales of season passes and frequency cards for the 2010/2011 ski season increased by 28% and revenues increased to $43.3 million, the highest level in the history of Whistler Blackcomb In the period from November 9, 2010 to June 30, 2011, the Corporation generated $82 million of EBITDA on revenues of $186 million and net earnings totalled $38 million or $1.00 per common share In the three months ended June 30, 2011, the Corporation generated $3 million of EBITDA on revenues of $31 million and net loss totalled $7 million or $0.18 per common share FISCAL 2011 THIRD QUARTER AND NINE MONTH FINANCIAL RESULTS For the purposes of management's quarterly comparisons, the Corporation's results for the quarter ended June 30, 2011 are compared with the Partnerships' results for the quarter ended June 30, 2010.  The combined results for the nine months ended June 30, 2011 therefore are comprised of the Corporation's results for the period from November 9 to June 30, 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 and Effective Ticket Price Resort revenues decreased by 1% to $31 million and increased by 22% to $186 million and ETP decreased by 17% to $36.79 and increased by 6% to $47.06 in the three and nine months ended June 30, 2011, respectively, over the same periods in the prior year. In the three months ended June 30, 2011, the decrease in ETP is primarily a result of timing of recognition of frequency card deferred revenue over the 2009/2010 ski season for accounting purposes.  Due to differences in estimates of frequency card usage in the third quarter, the balance of unrecognized frequency card deferred revenue at March 31, 2010 was higher than the balance at March 31, 2011.  As a result, more frequency card revenue was recognized in the three months ended June 30, 2010 than in the three months ended June 30, 2011.  After adjusting for this difference, ETP for the three months ended June 30, 2011 was $36.79 compared to $36.35 for the three months ended June 30, 2010. In the nine months ended June 30, 2011, all categories of resort revenue (e.g., lift, retail and rental, food and beverage and ski school) benefited from the increase in skier visits and ETP in the 2010/2011 ski season compared to the prior year's ski season, representing a return to pre-Olympic Winter Games levels. 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 nine months ended June 30, 2010. Operating Expenses Resort operating expenses decreased by 9% to $22 million and increased by 7% to $97 million for the three and nine months ended June 30, 2011, respectively, over the same periods in the prior year. The 7% increase for the nine month period was 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 nine month period compared to the same period in the prior year. Depreciation and amortization expense in the three months ended June 30, 2011 increased by $5 million over the same quarter in the prior year. The increase in depreciation and amortization expense in the period from November 9, 2010 to June 30, 2011 over the prior period 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 $13 million in the period from November 9, 2010 to June 30, 2011. Selling, general and administrative expenses in the three and nine months ended June 30, 2011 remained relatively consistent with the Partnerships' in the same periods in the prior year. Resort Segment Operating Profit and EBITDA In the three months ended June 30, 2011, the Corporation generated $3 million of EBITDA and resort segment operating profit on revenues of $31 million. In the period from November 9, 2010 to June 30, 2011, the Corporation generated $82 million of EBITDA and resort segment operating profit on revenues of $186 million. Resort segment operating profit in the three months ended June 30, 2011 increased to $3 million from $1 million in the same period in the prior year, primarily as a result of lower operating expenses. Prior to the inclusion of the $32 million earned by the Partnerships under the venue agreement in the prior year, resort segment operating profit increased by 55% to $75 million in the nine months ended June 30, 2011 over the same period in the prior year. EBITDA in the nine months ended June 30, 2011 increased by 140% to $75 million over the same period in the prior year.  EBITDA in the nine months ended June 30, 2010 included a net expense of $17 million from real estate activities. After the inclusion of the $32 million earned by the Partnerships in the prior year under the venue agreement, resort segment operating profit decreased by 7% in the nine months ended June 30, 2011. EBITDA in the nine months ended June 30, 2011 increased by 18% over the same period in the prior year. Detailed financial results of the Corporation and Management's Discussion and Analysis as of August 10, 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 August 10th at 8:30am (EDT) to review the Corporation's fiscal 2011 third quarter and nine months ended June 30, 2011 financial results. The call can be accessed by dialing 1.866.356.3093 (Canada and US) or 1.617.597.5381 (International) prior to the start of the call. The access code is 36824728. A replay of the call will be available until August 17th, 2011 and can be accessed at 1.888.286.8010 or 1.617.801.6888 (International). The access code for the replay is 19183376. 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)                 Three months ended June 30, November 9, 2010 to June 30, October 1, 2010 to November 8, Nine months  ended June,   2011 2010 2011  2010 2010   (Successor)  (Predecessor)  (Successor)  (Predecessor)  (Predecessor) Resort revenue   $ 30,543 $ 30,929  $ 186,245  $ 3,902  $ 156,460        Venue Agreement    -  -  - -   32,328        Real estate revenue  - 191 240  -  586   30,543 31,120 186,485 3,902  189,374        Resort operating expenses  22,104 24,263 89,246 8,246  91,282        Depreciation and amortization  8,472 3,799 21,960 1,510  11,453        Selling, general and administration  5,522 5,498 14,901 2,574  16,585        Real estate expenses   (4) 17,132 140 53  17,807   36,094 50,692 126,247 12,383  137,127        Earnings (loss) from operations  (5,551) (19,572) 60,238 (8,481)  52,247        Disposal gains (losses)  35 9 41  (63)  9        Finance income (expense), net   (4,357) 54 (11,231)  19  87        Net earnings (loss) before income tax and non-controlling interest  (9,873)  (19,509) 49,048  (8,525) 52,343        Income tax (expense) benefit   1,971 (95) 4,898  -  (284)        Non-controlling interest   1,064  - (15,925)  -  -             Net earnings (loss) and comprehensive income (loss)  $ (6,838)  $ (19,604) $ 38,021  $ (8,525) $ 52,059        Net earnings (loss) per share             Basic  $ (0.18)   $ 1.00         Diluted  $ (0.18)  $ 1.00               Weighted average number of common shares               Basic  37,868 37,864         Diluted  37,892 37,877    WHISTLER BLACKCOMB HOLDINGS INC. Interim Consolidated Balance Sheets (Unaudited) (in thousands)           June 30,  September 30,   2011 2010   (Successor)  (Predecessor) Assets     Current assets:       Cash and cash equivalents    $ 40,544  $ 19,681   Accounts receivable    5,809 14,244   Inventory    8,307 10,930   Prepaid expenses   2,473 1,828   Notes receivable     296  394   Due from partner and related parties    - 61,745   57,429 108,822 Notes receivable    2,949 3,047 Property held for development   7,554 2,609 Property, buildings and equipment    295,739 154,407 Intangible assets    262,693 3,297 Goodwill    141,318 -   $ 767,682 $ 272,182         Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity     Current liabilities:       Accounts payable and accrued liabilities     $ 18,154  $ 24,172   Deferred revenue   11,004  15,725   Due to partner and related parties    -  72,214   29,158  112,111 Long-term debt   255,435  - Future income tax liabilities    38,147  - Partners' capital  -  160,071 Shareholders' equity       Common shares    440,694  -   Contributed surplus  746  -   Retained earnings  3,502  -   444,942 -   $ 767,682 $ 272,182 WHISTLER BLACKCOMB HOLDINGS INC. Interim Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows (Unaudited) (in thousands)               Three months ended June 30,  November 9, 2010 to June 30,  October 1, 2010 to November 8, Nine months ended June 30,   2011  2010  2011 2010 2010   (Successor)  (Predecessor)  (Successor)  (Predecessor) (Predecessor) Cash provided by (used in):           Operations:             Net earnings  $ (6,838) $ (19,604) $ 38,021 $ (8,525) $ 52,059   Items not involving cash:               Non-controlling interest  (1,064) - 15,925  -  -     Depreciation and amortization  8,472 3,799 21,960 1,510 11,453     Disposal (gains) losses  (35)  (9)  (41) 63 (9)     Stock-based compensation  206  -  746 -   -     Amortization of debt issuance costs  314  -  804   -   -     Future income tax expense (benefit)  (1,943) -  (5,051) - -       (888)  (15,814) 72,364  (6,952)  63,503   Recovery of costs through real estate sales    - 13,284 120 - 13,955   Changes in non-cash operating working capital     (2,897) 21,858  (17,756) 14,272 13,238       (3,785) 19,328 54,728 7,320  90,696 Financing:                 Proceeds on issuance of common shares    - - 300,000 - -   Share issuance costs    (4)  -  (17,887)  -  -   Proceeds on issuance of long-term debt   -  - 261,000 - -   Debt issuance costs   - - (6,369) -  -   Distributions to non-controlling interest     (3,310)  - (69,588)  - -   Dividends paid     (9,230)  -  (14,544) -   -   Advances from (to) partner and related parties, net    - 3,233  (10,661)  349  (2,081)   Distributions to partners    - (75,864) - (16,794)  (94,174)       (12,544)  (72,631)  441,951  (16,445) (96,255) Investing:                 Business acquisition, net of cash acquired     - - (452,077) - -   Expenditures on property, buildings and equipment    (1,594) (1,897)  (4,246)  (728)  (4,170)   Repayment of (advance of) notes receivable    5 (16) 188 8 21       (1,589)  (1,913)  (456,135)  (720)  (4,149)                 Increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents      (17,918)  (55,216) 40,544  (9,845)  (9,708)                 Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period      58,462 83,678  - 19,681 38,170                 Cash and cash equivalents, end of period      $ 40,544 $ 28,462 $ 40,544 $ 9,836  $ 28,462     SOURCE Whistler BlackcombFor further information: <p> <b>Jeremy Roche</b><br/> <b>Senior Manager, Investor Relations </b><br/> <b>Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc.</b><br/> <a href="mailto:jroche@whistlerblackcomb.com" font-weight="bold">jroche@whistlerblackcomb.com</a><b>     </b><br/> <b>Ph: 604-938-7376</b> </p>