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Press release from CNW Group

Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. Reports Fiscal 2012 First Quarter Results

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. Reports Fiscal 2012 First Quarter Results02:00 EST Tuesday, February 07, 2012Strong Destination Visits Drive Increases in Key IndicatorsWHISTLER, BC, Feb. 7, 2012 /CNW/ - Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. (TSX: WB) (the "Corporation") today reported financial results for the fiscal 2012 first quarter ended December 31, 2011.Highlights of the period:Revenue, EBITDA, effective ticket price (ETP) and skier visits all increased over the same period in the prior year.Growth in destination skier visits from key markets contributed to a 5% increase in revenue.Total season pass and frequency card sales to December 31, 2011 exceeded record sales to the same time in the prior year.Strong cash position with cash and cash equivalents of $44.2 million at the end of the period.Dave Brownlie, President and Chief Operating Officer of Whistler Blackcomb stated "We continued to grow destination visits through our first quarter which led to increases in all early season indicators for the period. Consistent snowfall combined with favourable snowmaking conditions resulted in the return of our snow advantage and we are well positioned as we enter our most significant quarter of the year."FISCAL 2012 FIRST QUARTER RESULTSRevenue, Visits and Effective Ticket PriceRevenue for the period was $49.1 million, an increase of $2.3 million, or 5%, over the same period in the prior year. The increase in revenue was primarily as a result of increased lift revenue and increased spend per guest over the same period in the prior year.All major categories of resort revenue increased during the period as a result of increased destination visits and sales of season passes and frequency cards. As of December 31, 2011 total pass and card sales reached $34 million - the highest level in the history of Whistler Blackcomb, exceeding last year's record sales to December 31, 2010.Skier visits for the period were 461,000, an increase of 0.4%, or 2,000 over the same period in the prior year. Notably, destination skier visits increased by 31% over the same period in the prior year.ETP for the period was $48.02 per skier visit, an increase of $2.21, or 5% over the same period in the prior year.EBITDA EBITDA for the period was $10.7 million, an increase of $3.6 million, or 50%, over the same period in the prior year.The increase in EBITDA was primarily driven by the increase in revenue and destination visits and the decrease in expenses of approximately $1.3 million.Operating expenses and selling, general and administrative expenses for the period were consistent with the same period in the prior year.  Acquisition-related costs of $1.1 million were recorded as an expense in the prior year under International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS").Depreciation and Amortization and Interest ExpenseDepreciation and amortization expense for the period was $9.5 million, an increase of $1.2 million over the same period in the prior year. In the three months ended December 31, 2011, the Corporation recorded a full quarter of depreciation and amortization of acquisition accounting adjustments compared to depreciation and amortization of acquisition accounting adjustments beginning from November 9, 2010 in the prior year.Interest expense for the period was $4.6 million, an increase of $2.1 million over the same period in the prior year. In the current period, interest expense includes a full quarter's interest whereas in the prior year, interest expense only includes interest from November 9, 2010, the date upon which the debt was issued under the Corporation's credit facilities.Earnings (loss) Per ShareNet loss per common share for the period was $0.05 (basic and diluted) compared to net earnings per common share of $0.12 (basic and diluted) in the period from November 9, 2010 to December 31, 2010.  The variance is due to the following factors:As the Corporation did not acquire its interests in the Partnerships until November 9, 2010, the net loss of the Partnerships of $8.5 million in the period from October 1, 2010 to November 8, 2010 was not included in the Corporation's net earnings for the same period in the prior yearThe Corporation recorded a full quarter's depreciation and amortization expense and interest expense in the current quarterThe Corporation completed its initial public offering and its acquisition of a 75% interest in each of Whistler Mountain Resort Limited Partnership and Blackcomb Skiing Enterprises Limited Partnership on November 9, 2010.  Accordingly, earnings per share for the comparative period is calculated using the Corporation's net earnings for the period from November 9, 2010 to December 31, 2010.Cash and Cash EquivalentsThe Corporation had $44.2 million of cash and cash equivalents at December 31, 2011, an increase of $7.2 million, or 19%, over the balance of $37.0 million at December 31, 2010.OutlookWith more than half of the 2011/2012 ski season remaining, skier visits to January 31, 2012 were 903,000, an increase of 4%, or 39,000 over the same period in the prior year.Year to date destination skier visits have increased by 74,000 visits, or 30%, as of January 31, 2012. Management estimates that from November 18, 2011 to January 31, 2012, total skier visits were comprised of 64% from local and regional guests and 36% from destination guests compared to 71% and 29%, respectively, for the same period in the prior yearDetailed financial results of the Corporation and Management's Discussion and Analysis as of February 6, 2012 ("MD&A") can be found on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and the Corporation's website at www.whistlerblackcombholdings.com.Conference Call InformationManagement will conduct a conference call on February 7, 2012 at 10:30am (Eastern Time) to review the Corporation's fiscal 2012 first quarter results. The call can be accessed by dialing 1.866.383.8009 (Canada and US) or 1.617.597.5342 (International) prior to the start of the call. The access code is 33125482. A replay of the call will be available until February 14, 2012 and can be accessed at 1.888.286.8010 or 1.617.801.6888 (International). The access code for the replay is 91766451. The call will also be archived for a period of 60 days following the call in the Quarterly Financials section of the Corporation's website:  www.whistlerblackcombholdings.com.ABOUT WHISTLER BLACKCOMB HOLDINGS INC.Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. owns a 75% interest in each of Whistler Mountain Resort Limited Partnership and Blackcomb Skiing Enterprises Limited Partnership, which, together, carry on the four season mountain resort business located in the Resort Municipality of Whistler, British Columbia.  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 offer over 200 marked runs, over 8,000 acres of terrain, 14 alpine bowls, three glaciers, receive on average over 1,170 centimetres (460 inches) of snow annually, and offer 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.whistlerblackcombholdings.com. Additional information related to the Corporation is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.BASIS OF PRESENTATIONThe Corporation's activities began on November 9, 2010, the date of its initial public offering and its acquisition of a 75% interest in each of Whistler Mountain Resort Limited Partnership and Blackcomb Skiing Enterprises Limited Partnership.  For the purposes of certain management quarterly comparisons, results for the three months ended December 31, 2011 have been compared to results for the three months ended December 31, 2010. Results for the three months ended December 31, 2010 are comprised of the Corporation's results from November 9, 2010 to December 31, 2010 and the Partnerships' results for the period from October 1, 2010 to November 8, 2010.ADOPTION OF IFRSBeginning on October 1, 2011, the Corporation adopted IFRS.  Prior period results, including non-IFRS measures, have been adjusted to reflect the adoption of IFRS effective November 9, 2010.  See the Corporation's condensed interim consolidated financial statements and MD&A for more information.NON-IFRS MEASURES This press release makes reference to certain financial measures other than those prescribed by IFRS.  These non-IFRS measures are not recognized under IFRS, do not have a standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS and are therefore unlikely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies.  These non-IFRS measures, which include EBITDA, which is defined as consolidated net earnings (loss) (including net earnings (loss) attributable to the Non-Controlling Interest) before finance income (expense) net, income tax expense (benefit), depreciation and amortization, are provided to the reader as additional information to complement IFRS 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 IFRS financial measures.  Such non-IFRS measures should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of financial information reported under IFRS. Readers should refer to the Corporation's annual information form dated December 13, 2011 (the "AIF") 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-IFRS measures and reconciliation to financial information reported under IFRS.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 management 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 AIF. 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.  Condensed Interim Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income (Loss)(Unaudited)(in thousands, except per share amounts)         Three months  November 9,  October 1,  ended  2010 to  2010 to  December 31,  December 31,  November 8  2011  2010  2010  (Successor)  (Successor)  (Predecessor)Resort revenue  $49,133 $42,668 $3,902Real estate revenue  -  240  -  49,133  42,908  3,902Operating expenses    31,009  23,203  8,246Depreciation and amortization  9,533  6,848  1,510Selling, general and administration   7,393  4,392  2,574Real estate expenses   -  126  53Acquisition-related costs   -  1,070  -  47,935  35,639  12,383Earnings from operations   1,198  7,269  (8,481)Disposal gains (losses)   (63)  4  (63)Finance expense, net    (4,586)  (2,533)  19Net earnings (loss) before income tax   (3,451)  4,740  (8,525)Income tax benefit   656  1,255  -Net earnings (loss) and comprehensive income (loss)   $(2,795) $5,995 $(8,525)Net earnings (loss) and comprehensive income (loss):       Attributable to Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. $ (2,035) $ 4,472   Attributable to non-controlling interest    (760)  1,523  $ $(2,795) $5,995  Net earnings (loss) per share       Basic $(0.05) $0.12   Diluted  $(0.05) $ 0.12  Weighted average number of common shares outstanding       Basic  37,868  37,868   Diluted  37,918  37,872 WHISTLER BLACKCOMB HOLDINGS INC.  Condensed Interim Consolidated Statements of Financial Position(Unaudited)(Expressed in thousands)           December 31,   September 30,  November 9,  2011  2011  2010Assets      Current assets:       Cash and cash equivalents   $44,237 $30,023 $1 Accounts receivable   10,632  3,204  - Inventory    14,721  13,314  - Prepaid expenses   2,923  3,922  - Notes receivable    425  296 -  72,938  50,759  1Notes receivable    2,813  2,946 -Property, buildings and equipment    340,873  343,108  -Property held for development   9,244  9,244  -Intangible assets    334,457  337,933  -Goodwill    135,574  135,574  - $895,899 $879,564 $1Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity      Current liabilities:       Accounts payable and accrued liabilities    $31,667 $23,955 $- Deferred revenue   42,810  18,804  -  74,477  42,759  -Long-term debt    256,130  255,812  -Deferred income tax liability    9,651  10,225  -Equity       Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. shareholders' equity        Preferred shares; no par value; unlimited numberauthorized; nil outstanding        Common shares; no par value; 37,868 outstanding atDecember 31, 2011 and September 30, 2011   440,694  440,694  1  Additional paid-in capital   1,162  954  -  Deficit   (21,878)  (10,613)  -  Total Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. shareholders' equity   419,978  431,035  1 Non-controlling interest   135,663  139,733  -   555,641  570,768  1  $895,899 $879,564 $1WHISTLER BLACKCOMB HOLDINGS INC.   Condensed Interim Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows(Unaudited)(in thousands)         Three months  November 9,   October 1,  ended  2010 to  2010 to  December 31,  December 31,   November 8,  2011  2010  2010  (Successor)  (Successor)  (Predecessor)Cash provided by (used in):      Operations:       Net earnings (loss) $(2,795) $5,995 $(8,525) Items not involving cash:        Depreciation and amortization   9,533  6,848  1,510  Disposal losses (gains)   63  (4)  63  Share-based compensation   208  336  -  Amortization of debt issuance costs   318  179  -  Deferred income tax expense (benefit)   (574) (1,255)  -   6,753  12,099  (6,952) Changes in non-cash operating working capital    23,882  14,199  14,272  30,635  26,298  7,320Financing:       Dividends paid on common shares    (9,230)  -  - Distributions to non-controlling interest   (3,310)  (62,968)  - Proceeds on issuance of common shares   -  300,000  - Share issuance costs   -  (17,860)  - Proceeds on issuance of long-term debt   -  261,000  - Debt issuance costs   -  (6,369)  - Due to partner   -  (10,661)  349 Distributions to partners   -  -  (16,794)   (12,540)  463,142  (16,445)Investing:       Business acquisition, net of cash acquired    -  (451,007)  - Proceeds from sale of property and equipment   253  -  - Expenditures on property, buildings and equipment   (4,138)  (1,587)  (728) Repayment of notes receivable   4  174  8   (3,881)  (452,420)  (720)Increase in cash    14,214  37,020  (9,845)Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period   30,023  -  19,681Cash and cash equivalents, end of period $44,237 $37,020 $9,836 For further information: Jeremy RocheSenior Manager, Investor Relations Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. jroche@whistlerblackcomb.com     Ph: 604-938-7376