Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. reports fiscal 2013 fourth quarter and year
WHISTLER, BC, Dec. 11, 2013
WHISTLER, BC, Dec. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc.
(TSX: WB) (the "Corporation") today reported Adjusted EBITDA of $86.4 million,
an increase of 1.4% over 2012 Adjusted EBITDA and a record since the
Corporation's initial public offering in 2010. Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP
measure that is described in more detail below. The Corporation also reported
a change in the scheduled filing date of its 2013 audited financial statements
and MD&A, as described below. The Corporation holds a 75% interest in the
entities that operate Whistler Blackcomb, the largest and most visited
mountain resort in North America.
Highlights for the Year Ended September 30, 2013
*A 4.8% increase in effective ticket price ("ETP") and a 4.7% increase in
revenue per total visit, reflecting the Corporation's pricing power and
growth in guest spending in its ancillary businesses.
*A slight decline in total visits to 2.58 million from 2.65 million in the
prior year, principally due to lower skier visits as a result of the
timing of the Easter holiday in 2013, offset in part by a 3.9% increase in
other visits in 2013.
Highlights for the Three Months Ended September 30, 2013
*A 3.9% increase in revenue per other visit as a result of pricing
improvements and stronger sales in most of the Corporation's ancillary
businesses, in particular its retail operations.
*A 209% increase in Adjusted EBITDA to $0.5 million.
*Recently rated # 1 ski resort by Freeskier Magazine and SBC Resort Guide
and # 1 landmark in Canada by Trip Advisor.
Highlights Subsequent to September 30, 2013
*Refinancing of the Corporation's $261 million of senior secured and second
lien debt with a new $300 million five-year senior secured revolving
credit facility with a significantly reduced interest rate and increased
*Completion of construction of the new Harmony 6 Express and Crystal Ridge
Express ski lifts, on time and on budget. The Crystal Ridge Express grand
opening was on December 7, 2013, and the Harmony 6 Express grand opening
is planned for December 14, 2013.
Dave Brownlie, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation
commented: "I am pleased with our performance in the 2013 fourth quarter and
fiscal year. In particular, the growth in our bike park, hiking and
sightseeing businesses in the fourth quarter, combined with record hotel
occupancy rates in Whistler in the summer of 2013, demonstrate the potential
of our summer business opportunity. Looking ahead, our recent refinancing
provides us with significant interest cost savings and the flexibility to
invest in our ski and non-ski businesses in the future." Mr. Brownlie
continued: "The completion and grand opening of the new Harmony and Crystal
lifts, and the early season opening on November 16, position us well for the
2013-14 ski season."
Financial and Operating Metrics
except ETP and
Year ended Three months ended
September 30, September 30,
2013 2012 2013 2012
Skier visits 2,040 2,131 - -
Other visits 536 516 377 375
Total visits 2,576 2,647 377 375
ETP $ $ 49.28 $ $
51.65 - -
Revenue per $ $ 89.30 $75.76 $72.95
total visit 93.47
Lift $ $ 121,093 $ 12,468 $ 11,609
Retail and 40,332 39,747 6,201 5,702
Snow school 25,536 24,899 1,149 1,112
Food and 30,155 29,815 4,488 4,612
Other 21,468 20,818 4,254 4,320
Total Revenue $ $ 236,372 $ 28,560 $ 27,355
Operating $ $ (59,089) $ (9,169) $ (9,049)
labour and (61,092)
Retail and food (26,756) (26,409) (4,123) (4,197)
Property taxes, (18,956) (18,682) (3,868) (3,558)
Supplies, (19,869) (20,045) (4,504) (4,220)
Total Operating $ $(124,225) $(21,664) $(21,024)
Selling, (27,673) (26,938) (6,364) (6,159)
Depreciation (40,249) (38,803) (9,444) (9,938)
Earnings from $ $ 46,406 $ (8,912) $ (9,766)
Depreciation 40,249 38,803 9,444 9,938
Adjusted EBITDA $ $ 85,209 $ 532 $ 172
Revenue, Visits and Pricing
*Total revenue grew to $240.8 million for the year ended September 30,
2013, an increase of $4.4 million or 1.9% over the prior year. In the
quarter ended September 30, 2013, revenue increased by 4.4% to $28.6
million as a result of an increase in sightseeing, hiking and bike park
visitation, as well as higher pricing and a strong performance in the
Corporation's retail operations.
*Total visits for the year ended September 30, 2013 were 2.576 million, a
decrease of 71,000 visits or 2.7% over the prior year. Skier visits for
the 2012-13 ski season decreased by 4.3% to 2.040 million, which was
partially offset by a 3.9% increase in other visits to 536,000. In the
three months ended September 30, 2013, summer visits increased by 0.5% to
377,000 as a result of increased sightseeing, hiking and bike park
*ETP and revenue per total visit for the 2012-13 ski season were $51.65 and
$93.47, respectively, an increase of $2.37 or 4.8%, and $4.17 or 4.7%,
respectively, over the prior year. This growth reflects increases in lift
ticket prices, as well as increased guest spending in the Corporation's
*Adjusted EBITDA increased 1.4% to $86.4 million for the year ended
September 30, 2013 and grew by $0.3 million to $0.5 million in the fourth
quarter of 2013. The increase in Adjusted EBITDA was driven by higher
revenue, offset in part by increased operating expenses, which grew by
2.0% during the year and 3.0% during the fourth quarter in 2013. The
increase in operating expenses during the quarter was primarily
attributable to increased labour costs.
*The Corporation had $41.4 million of cash and cash equivalents at
September 30, 2013, a decrease of $2.2 million, or 5.2%, compared to $43.6
million at September 30, 2012. The change in cash was attributable to
increased capital spending on the new Harmony and Crystal chairlifts,
offset in part by increased operating cash flow before changes in non-cash
working capital during 2013 as compared with 2012.
*The principal amount outstanding on Corporation's first lien and second
lien long term debt facilities at both September 30, 2013 and 2012 was
$261.0 million. Subsequent to the 2013 year end, the Corporation entered
into a new $300 million five-year senior secured revolving credit facility
and repaid the first and second lien facilities in full. The Corporation's
new credit facility will have an interest rate of approximately 2.50% over
the one-month banker's acceptance rate ("BA rate") until May 2014 and a
rate of 2.25% over the BA rate thereafter, based on the Corporation's
current leverage ratio. This compares to the Corporation's fiscal 2013
effective interest rate of 6.7%.
*As at December 8, 2013, the Corporation's 2013-14 seasons pass and
frequency cards sales were $36.1 million, representing an 8% increase over
season pass and frequency cards sales at the same time for the 2012 - 13
*Hotel bookings in Whistler's accommodation sector as of December 8, 2013
were pacing 4% ahead of bookings at the same time in the prior year.
The Corporation's Board of Directors has declared a dividend of $0.24375 per
common share for the fourth quarter, to be paid on December 27, 2013 to
shareholders of record on December 20, 2013. This dividend will be an eligible
dividend for Canadian income tax purposes.
The Corporation also announced a change in the scheduled filing date of its
audited consolidated financial statements and MD&A for the year ended
September 30, 2013. The Corporation intends to file its audited consolidated
financial statement and MD&A before the applicable regulatory deadline. This
delay relates solely to the accounting treatment and presentation under IFRS
of the 25% non-controlling interest in the Partnerships that the Corporation
does not own. The matter does not result from any disagreement with the
Corporation's auditors. The resolution of this matter is expected to result in
reclassifications of the non-controlling interest in the Corporation's
Statements of Financial Position and the distributions and net earnings
attributable to the non-controlling interest in the Statements of
Comprehensive Income. The anticipated accounting reclassifications are not
expected to result in any changes to Adjusted EBITDA and are not expected to
have any effect on the computation of the Corporation's borrowing covenants.
This press release makes reference to Adjusted EBITDA, which is a measure not
prescribed by Canadian generally accepted accounting principles, or "GAAP".
This non-GAAP measure does not have a standardized meaning and is therefore
unlikely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies.
Adjusted EBITDA is defined as consolidated earnings from operations before
depreciation and amortization, as well as items that management does not
consider part of the Corporation's normal operations, examples of which
include significant non-cash gains or losses on disposal of property,
buildings and equipment, acquisition or disposal expenses and gains or losses
or restructuring expenses relating to acquisitions or disposals of businesses,
impairment or restructuring charges and reversals and other significant
event-driven amounts as applicable. Adjusted EBITDA is provided as additional
information to complement GAAP measures and to further understand the
Corporation's results of operations from management's perspective. It is also
a supplemental measure of performance that highlights trends in the
Corporation's business that may not otherwise be apparent when relying solely
on GAAP financial measures. The Corporation has historically reconciled
Adjusted EBITDA to net earnings; however, as result of the delay in filing the
Corporation's financial statements described above, the most directly
comparable financial measure available at this time is earnings from
operations. Accordingly, the Corporation has set out a reconciliation from
Adjusted EBITDA to earnings from operations above. The main differences
between net earnings from operations and net earnings are that finance
expense, net, income taxes and disposal gains/losses are not reflected in
earnings from operations. A full reconciliation will be provided upon filing
of the Corporation's audited consolidated financial statements for the year
ended September 30, 2013. Non-GAAP measures should not be considered in
isolation or as a substitute for analysis of financial information reported in
accordance with GAAP.
Conference Call Information
Management will conduct a conference call on December 11, 2013 at 7:30am
Pacific Time / 10:30am Eastern Time to review the Corporation's fiscal 2013
fourth quarter and year end revenue and earnings from operations. The call can
be accessed by dialing 1.800.319.4610 (Canada and US) or 1.604.638.5340
(International) prior to the start of the call. A replay of the call will be
archived for 30 days on the Presentations section of the Corporation's
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 2010 Olympic
Winter Games, is situated in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, 125
kilometres (78 miles) north of Vancouver, British Columbia. North America's
largest 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 1,174
centimetres (462 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".
Additional information is available on the Corporation's website at
www.whistlerblackcombholdings.com or SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This press release contains forward-looking statements or information, within
the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws, which may prove to be
incorrect. The forward-looking statements and information contained in this
press release include comments about the Corporation's summer business
potential, interest cost savings, timing for completion of the Harmony 6
Express ski lift, iinvestments in ski and non-ski businesses, positioning for
the 2013-14 ski season, principal outstanding on its credit facilities, the
impact on Adjusted EBITDA and borrowing covenants of the IFRS matter and
associated reclassifications, and hotel bookings, among others, and are based
on certain factors and assumptions made by management of the Corporation
including, but not limited to: business conditions, guest visitation, weather,
macroeconomic and currency influences, and interest rates, among others.
The forward-looking statements and information contained in this press release
are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual
results to differ materially from those anticipated including, but not limited
to, risks relating to unfavourable weather conditions, availability of
capital, environmental laws and regulations, the impact of any occurring
natural disasters and economic, business and market conditions. A more
detailed description of these risks is available in the Corporation's most
recently filed annual information form, which is available on the
Corporation's website and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should
assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements or information prove
incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein.
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 or information because the
Corporation can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be
These forward-looking statements and information 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 or information
to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by applicable
Canadian securities laws.
SOURCE Whistler Blackcomb
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc.
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.