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 
WHISTLER, BC, Dec. 11, 2013 /CNW/ - 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        $              $            $ 28,560       $  27,355
                 240,780       236,372
                                                                         

Operating                                                                
Expenses

Operating           $               $          $  (9,169)      $  (9,049)
labour and      (61,092)      (59,089)
benefits costs

Retail and      (26,756)      (26,409)            (4,123)         (4,197)
food services
cost of sales

Property        (18,956)      (18,682)            (3,868)         (3,558)
taxes,
utilities,
rent and
insurance

Supplies,       (19,869)      (20,045)            (4,504)         (4,220)
maintenance
and other

Total                 $              $          $(21,664)       $(21,024)
Operating      (126,673)     (124,225)
Expenses
                                                                         

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      $              $             $ (8,912)      $  (9,766)
Operations        46,185        46,406

Depreciation      40,249        38,803              9,444           9,938
and
amortization

Adjusted           $              $               $           $       172
EBITDA            86,434        85,209                532
    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 
Jeremy Black Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer Whistler 
Blackcomb Holdings Inc. Email:jblack@whistlerblackcomb.com Phone: 
604-938-7005 
To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL: 
http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/December2013/11/c9646.html 
CO: Whistler Blackcomb
ST: British Columbia
NI: LEI ERN CONF  
-0- Dec/11/2013 12:00 GMT
 
 
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