Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. reports fiscal 2013 fourth quarter and year end results

 Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. reports fiscal 2013 fourth quarter and year
                                 end results

PR Newswire

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
    flexibility.

  *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

(In thousands,
except ETP and                                
per visit
amounts)
                       Year ended                 Three months ended
                      September 30,                       September 30,
                       (unaudited)                         (unaudited)
                     2013          2012            2013          2012
Visit Metrics                                                     
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
                                                                 
Revenue                                                           
Lift                   $     $ 121,093        $ 12,468      $ 11,609
                   123,289
Retail and          40,332        39,747           6,201         5,702
rental
Snow school         25,536        24,899           1,149         1,112
Food and            30,155        29,815           4,488         4,612
beverage
Other               21,468        20,818           4,254         4,320
Total Revenue          $    $ 236,372        $ 28,560     $ 27,355
                   240,780
                                                                 
Operating                                                         
Expenses
Operating              $    $ (59,089)      $ (9,169)    $ (9,049)
labour and        (61,092)
benefits costs
Retail and food   (26,756)      (26,409)         (4,123)       (4,197)
services cost
of sales
Property taxes,   (18,956)      (18,682)         (3,868)       (3,558)
utilities, rent
and insurance
Supplies,         (19,869)      (20,045)         (4,504)       (4,220)
maintenance and
other
Total Operating          $    $(124,225)       $(21,664)     $(21,024)
Expenses         (126,673)
                                                                 
Selling,          (27,673)      (26,938)         (6,364)       (6,159)
general and
administrative
Depreciation      (40,249)      (38,803)         (9,444)       (9,938)
and
amortization
                                                                 
Earnings from        $   $ 46,406       $ (8,912)    $ (9,766)
Operations          46,185
Depreciation        40,249        38,803           9,444         9,938
and
amortization
Adjusted EBITDA      $   $ 85,209     $ 532   $ 172
                    86,434

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
    visitation.

  *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
    ancillary businesses.

Adjusted EBITDA

  *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.

Financial Position

  *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%.

Outlook

  *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
    season.

  *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.

Dividend

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.

Filing Date

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.

Non-GAAP Measures

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
website.

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
correct.

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

Contact:

Jeremy Black
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc.
Email:jblack@whistlerblackcomb.com
Phone: 604-938-7005
 
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