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Press release from CNW Group

Algoma Central Corporation - Operating Results

Friday, April 27, 2012

Algoma Central Corporation - Operating Results11:30 EDT Friday, April 27, 2012ALC-TTORONTO, April 27, 2012 /CNW/ - For the Three Months Ended March 31, 2012 and 2011(In thousand of dollars except per share data)                            2012 2011                    Revenue  $66,131$57,186         Net loss $31,140$17,013        Basic loss per common share $8.00$4.37        Diluted loss per common share $8.00$4.37        Dividends paid per common share $0.50$0.45     First Quarter ResultsThe Corporation is reporting a net loss for the three months ended March 31, 2012 of $31,140 compared to a net loss of $17,103 for the same period in 2011.The increase in the loss was due primarily to the acquisition of the non-controlling interest in Seaway Marine Transport ("SMT") in April 2011. Partially offsetting this increase was a reduction in the mark-to-market loss recognizing the fair value of certain foreign forward exchange contracts.The comparability of the results for the first quarter of 2012 to those for the first quarter of 2011 is impacted significantly by the Corporation's acquisition, in April 2011, of certain vessels and partnership interests owned by Upper Lakes Group (the "ULG Transaction"). The Corporation's reported first quarter results for 2011 reflect only a 59% interest in the business (revenues and losses incurred by the partnership, for the reason noted in the preceding paragraph) and the charter income from the Corporation's vessels. Had the ULG Transaction occurred on January 1, 2011, the financial results for the first quarter of 2011 would have included additional revenues totaling $4,819 and the net loss would have increased by $15,405 ($3.96 per share- total loss for the 2011 quarter would therefore have been $8.33 per share)) to reflect the inclusion of the former partner's share of the first quarter loss from the business, net of charter income and depreciation expense on the vessels the Corporation acquired from Upper Lakes Group.The Domestic Dry-Bulk segment operating loss net of income tax increased from $23,127 to $34,110. The increase was due primarily to the ULG Transaction, resulting in the Corporation recognizing 100% versus 59% of the first quarter loss of the domestic dry-bulk fleet. As noted above, had the ULG Transaction occurred on January 1, 2011, the loss for the domestic dry-bulk segment for the first quarter of 2011 would have been $38,532, an increase of $15,405 compared to the reported figure. Taking this adjustment into account, the operating loss for the segment improved quarter over quarter as a result of increased revenues from the business. Although, as is traditionally the case, portions of the St. Lawrence / Great Lakes Waterway were closed during the winter this year, the extremely mild winter conditions in much of the Great Lakes Basin allowed the Corporation to operate two dry-bulk vessels on the Great Lakes throughout the winter season.The Product Tanker segment operating earnings net of income tax decreased from $1,354 to $433 mainly as a result of reduced operating days due to regulatory dry-dockings of two tankers and an increase in professional fees incurred in connection with the arbitration process related to the refund of deposits on contracts to build three product tankers which were rescinded by the Corporation.The operating earnings net of income tax for the Ocean Shipping segment for the three months ended March 31, 2012 were $4,504 compared to $2,924 for the same period in 2011.  The increase was due in part to increased revenue days as no vessels were on dry-dockings in 2012 versus one dry-docking in 2011and partly due to settlement and collection of dead freight revenue relating to contract periods prior to 2012.The Real Estate segment operating earnings net of income tax increased from $859 to $863.Financial expense for the 2012 first quarter was $4,324 compared to $4,786 for 2011.  The decrease was due largely to a reduction of $1,907 in the mark- to- market adjustment, recognizing the change in the period in the fair value of certain forward foreign exchange contracts. This decrease was partially offset by additional net interest expense of $1,445 relating to the refinancing completed in 2011.DividendsOn April 27, 2012, the Board of Directors authorized payment of a quarterly dividend to shareholders of $0.50 per common share. The dividend is payable on June 1, 2012 to shareholders of record on May 18, 2012.Conference Call Algoma will hold a conference call on Monday, April 30, 2012 at 11:00 am EST to discuss its first quarter fiscal 2012 results.This call will be webcast live at http://www.newswire.ca/en/webcast/detail/955591/1023435, following which it will be available in archived format.About Algoma Central CorporationAlgoma Central Corporation owns and operates the largest Canadian flag fleet of dry and liquid bulk carriers operating on the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Waterway, including 19 self-unloading dry-bulk carriers, nine gearless dry bulk carriers and seven product tankers. Algoma also has interests in ocean dry-bulk and product tanker vessels operating in international markets. Algoma owns a diversified ship repair and steel fabricating facility active in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence regions of Canada. In addition, Algoma owns and manages commercial real estate properties in Sault Ste. Marie, St. Catharines and Waterloo, Ontario.Cautionary StatementsThis press release may include forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws including information concerning the business and future results of Algoma. Forward-looking statements in this press release include statements about the purchase of vessels by Algoma. Readers are cautioned to not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Actual results and developments may differ materially from those contemplated by this information. The statements in this press release are made as of the date of this release and are based on current expectations. Algoma undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking information, other than as required by law, or to comment on analyses, expectations or statements made by third-parties in respect of Algoma, its financial or operating results or its securities. Algoma cautions that all forward-looking information is inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from the assumptions, estimates or expectations reflected or contained in the forward-looking information, and that actual future results could be affected by a number of factors, many of which are beyond Algoma's control, including economic circumstances, technological changes, weather conditions and the material risks and uncertainties identified by Algoma and discussed on pages 13 to 17 of Algoma's Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2011, which is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.  For further information: Greg D. Wight, FCA President and Chief Executive Officer 905-687-7850 Peter D. Winkley, CA Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer 905-687-7897