Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. Reports Record Fiscal 2014 Second Quarter Results

 Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. Reports Record Fiscal 2014 Second Quarter  Results  WHISTLER, BC, May 14, 2014 /CNW/ - Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. (TSX: WB)  (the "Company") today reported financial results for the three and six months  ended March 31, 2014. The Company holds a 75% interest in and manages the  entities that operate Whistler Blackcomb, the largest four-season mountain  resort in North America.  Highlights for the Six Months Ended March 31, 2014            --  Revenue of $188.6 million was a first half record for the             Company and increased 3% over the first half of the prior year.             The growth in revenue was achieved through a 10% increase in             revenue per total visit compared to the same period in 2013,             demonstrating the Company'sstrong pricing power andfavourable             guest spending in the Company's ancillary businesses.         --  Adjusted EBITDA (as defined below) of $88.1 million was a first             half record and increased 5% over the same period in the prior             year as a result of healthy revenue growth and disciplined cost             management.         --  Skier visits for the 2013-2014 ski season to March 31, 2014 of             1.67 million compared to 1.79 million in the prior season,             reflecting weaker visitation during the first quarter of this             season and the timing of the Easter holiday period.  Skier             visit momentum was maintained subsequent to March 31, 2014             resulting in skier visits of 1.93 million for the season to May             12, 2014 compared to 2.02 million in the prior year.  Dave Brownlie, the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer commented:  "We were very pleased with our performance for the first half of 2014.   Challenging early season conditions contributed to lower skier visits yet we  still achieved strong EBITDA growth for the quarter and year to date.  The  success of our pre-commitment sales strategy and our ability to drive  increased revenue per visit, due in large part to a higher proportion of  destination visits and strong guest spending in our ancillary businesses,  contributed to this exceptional performance. It is encouraging to deliver 5%  Adjusted EBITDA growth for the first half of the year in spite of lower skier  visits. Looking ahead to the spring and summer seasons, we have a busy event  schedule in front of us and are focused on the opening of the Whistler  Mountain Bike Park on May 16, 2014."  Revenue, Visits and Pricing         --  Total revenue was $138.8 million and $188.6 million for the             three and six months ended March 31, 2014, respectively,             increases of $6.6 million or 5% and $6.2 million or 3%,             respectively, over the same periods in the prior year. The             increase in total revenue was primarily a result of higher             revenue per visit, driven by improved effective ticket price             ("ETP", as defined below) combined with price increases and             higher guest spending in the Company's ancillary businesses,             offset partially by lower skier visits.         --  Season pass and frequency card sales for the 2013-14 season             totalled $44.2 million for the first half of 2014, a 1%             increase compared to the prior year.         --  Total visits for the quarter and six months ended March 31,             2014, were 1,311,000 and 1,737,000, respectively, a decrease of             50,000 visits or 4% and 113,000 visits or 6%, respectively,             compared to the same periods in the prior year.  The decrease             in visits for the three months ended March 31, 2014 was             primarily attributable to the timing of the Easter holiday             period, which was in the third quarter in fiscal 2014 and the             second quarter in fiscal 2013. Destination visits comprised             approximately 41% of skier visits for the first half of 2014             compared to 37% during the first half last year.         --  Revenue per visit for the three and six months ended March 31,             2014 was $105.88 and $108.61, respectively, an increase of             $8.75 or 9.0% and $9.97 or 10.1%, respectively, over the same             periods in the prior year.  The increase in revenue per visit             reflects price increases and improved guest spending in the             Company's retail, rental and ski school businesses, as well as             the impact of the Affinity Sports acquisition in 2013.  Guest             spending improved in part because of the higher proportion of             destination skier visits experienced in 2014 compared to 2013.         --  ETP was $58.20 and $57.11 for the three and six months ended             March 31, 2014, respectively, an increase of $4.76 or 8.9% and             $4.75 or 9.1%, respectively, over the same periods in the prior             year. ETP is total ski-related lift revenue divided by skier             visits. This growth reflected increases in lift ticket prices             and an increased weighting of higher yielding lift products             sold.  Adjusted EBITDA and Earnings per Share         --  Adjusted EBITDA was $78.6 million and $88.1 million for the             three and six months ended March 31, 2014, respectively, an             increase of $4.9 million or 7% and $4.1 million or 5%,             respectively, compared to the same periods in the prior year.              The increase in Adjusted EBITDA was driven primarily by higher             revenue compared to the prior periods, as described above.         --  Diluted earnings per common share were $0.96 for the quarter             ended March 31, 2014 compared to $0.87 per share for the             quarter ended March 31, 2013.  The increase in earnings per             share for the second quarter was partially attributable to a             one-time net recovery of $1.5 million from fire insurance             recorded during the quarter, as well as a $1.6 million             reduction in interest expense on long term debt during the             quarter ended March 31, 2014 as a result of the Company's             refinancing in November 2013.         --  Diluted earnings per common share were $0.77 for the six months             ended March 31, 2014 compared to $0.80 per share for the six             months ended March 31, 2013.  During the six months ended March             31, 2014 net earnings per share were reduced by the one-time             $5.5 million prepayment penalty and one-time $2.8 million             write-off of unamortized debt issuance costs in connection with             the refinancing of the Company's long-term debt during the             first quarter.  Financial Position         --  As at March 31, 2014, the Company had long-term debt             outstanding of $217.0 million, a decrease of $44.0 million, or             17%, compared to $261.0 million at December 31, 2013. The             Company's cash balance at March 31, 2014 was $18.0 million             compared to $43.3 million at December 31, 2013.  The decrease             in cash was mainly attributable to $44.0 million in revolving             debt repayments during the period, offset in part by strong             operating cash flow during the second quarter. Cash interest             expense for first half of 2014 declined by 26% compared to the             prior year, reflecting the lower interest rate on the Company's             new credit facility.         --  Subsequent to March 31, 2014, the Company applied an additional             $5.0 million of its cash balance against its revolving credit             facility and reduced the principal amount of debt outstanding             to $212.0 million.  Outlook         --  As at May 12, 2014, season to date skier visits were 1.93             million, a decrease of 4% compared to the same period in the             prior year.         --  Management estimates that total skier visits for the 2013 -2014             ski season to date were comprised of 59% regional guests and             41% destination guests, compared to 62% and 38%, respectively,             for the prior year's ski season.  Dividend  The Company's Board of Directors declared a dividend of $0.24375 per common  share for the second quarter, to be paid on May 30, 2014 to shareholders of  record on May 27, 2014. This dividend will be an eligible dividend for  Canadian income tax purposes.  Non-GAAP Measures  This press release makes reference to Adjusted EBITDA and ETP, which are  measures not prescribed by Canadian generally accepted accounting principles,  or GAAP. These non-GAAP measures do not have standardized meanings and are  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 Company'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  Company's results of operations from management's perspective. It is also a  supplemental measure of performance that highlights trends in the Company's  business that may not otherwise be apparent when relying solely on GAAP  financial measures. The closest GAAP measure is net earnings and a  reconciliation is provided below. ETP is defined as the yield-per-skier visit  calculated as total ski-related lift revenue divided by total skier visits.  Ski-related lift revenue and skier visits exclude revenue and visits from  summer glacier skiing and other revenue amounts. The Company believes ETP is  an important measure of operating performance because it allows management,  investors and others to evaluate and compare the yield generated by ski lift  tickets from period to period, and ski tickets are the Company's largest  source of revenue and the core of its operations. Non-GAAP measures should not  be considered in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of financial  information reported in accordance with GAAP. Readers should refer to the  Company's annual information form dated December 20, 2013 and its most recent  management's discussion and analysis ("MD&A"), which are available on the  Company's website and under the Company's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com, for  additional details regarding non-GAAP measures.  Reconciliation of Net Earnings to Adjusted EBITDA  The following table reconciles Adjusted EBITDA to the Company's most directly  comparable GAAP measure, net earnings:     (In                Six                            Three           Three     thousands)      months       Six months          months          months                      ended            ended           ended           ended                  March 31,        March 31,       March 31,       March 31,                       2014             2013            2014            2013                                   (Recast)1                       (Recast)1     Net earnings  $ 39,724         $ 40,455        $ 52,020        $ 46,068     Depreciation                                                      and     amortization    20,636           20,789          10,112          10,143     Finance                                                           expense,     long term     debt            14,338            8,330           2,371           4,079     Finance                                                           expense,     Limited     Partner's     interest         3,850            3,800           1,925           1,900     Income tax                                                        expense         11,024           10,602          13,625          11,544     Other                                                             income2        (2,958)                -         (2,958)            (11)     Other                                                             expenses3        1,494                -           1,493               -     Adjusted                                                          EBITDA        $ 88,108         $ 83,976        $ 78,588        $ 73,723     1Refer to the Company's MD&A for the three and six months ended March     31, 2014 for a description of the recast.     2Other income is principally comprised of net insurance recoveries     related to the fire that destroyed certain maintenance and     administrative buildings in September 2013.     3Other expenses are principally comprised of expenditures incurred to     replace items lost in the fire in September 2013 and to establish     temporary work facilities for the staff displaced as a result of the     fire.              Conference Call Information  Management will conduct a conference call on May 14, 2014 at 7:30 a.m. Pacific  Time / 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time to review the Company's fiscal 2014 second  quarter results. 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 &  Webcasts section of the Company's website.  ABOUT WHISTLER BLACKCOMB HOLDINGS INC.  The Company holds a 75% interest in each of Whistler Mountain Resort Limited  Partnership and Blackcomb Skiing Enterprises Limited Partnership (the  "Partnerships"), which, together, carry on the four season mountain resort  business located in the Resort Municipality of Whistler, British Columbia (the  "Resort Business"). The Company is the operating general partner of the  Partnerships and as such manages the Resort Business. 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 1,180 centimetres (465 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 Company's website at www.whistlerblackcomb.com/holdings or  under the Company's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com.  CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS  This press release and the associated conference call and webcast, which  include a business update, second quarter results and question and answer  session, may contain certain forward-looking statements or information, within  the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws, which reflect the current  view of the Company with respect to future events and financial performance.  Forward-looking statements can often be identified by the use of  forward-looking terminology such as "may", "will", "would", "could", "should",  "expect", "intend", "estimate", "anticipate", "plan", "foresee", "believe" or  "continue" or the negatives of such terms or variations of them or similar  terminology. All forward-looking statements made by the Company are based on  the opinions and estimates of management as of the date such statements are  made and represent management's best judgment based on facts and assumptions  that management considers reasonable. The forward-looking statements and  information contained in this press release and the associated conference call  and webcast include comments about the Company's 2014 summer season, among  others, and are based on certain factors and assumptions made by management of  the Company including, but not limited to: business conditions, guest  visitation, weather, macroeconomic and currency influences, and interest  rates, among others. These forward-looking statements and information  contained 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, competition  from other ski and four season resorts, changes in laws, regulations and  policies and failure to comply with any legal requirements, the Company's  reliance on its agreements with the Province of British Columbia to operate  Whistler Blackcomb, the impact of any occurring natural disasters,  insufficient insurance against material claims or losses and negative  economic, business and market conditions. A more detailed description of these  risks is available in the Company's most recently filed annual information  form and management's discussion and analysis, which is available on the  Company's website and at www.sedar.com under the Company's SEDAR profile.  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 Company 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  Company 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 Company 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.  Condensed Interim Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income (unaudited, in thousands, except per share amounts)                                                                                                                  Six              Six             Three            Three                              months           months            months           months                               ended            ended             ended            ended                               March            March             March            March                            31, 2014         31, 2013          31, 2014         31, 2013                                             (recast)                           (recast)                                                                                             Resort revenue       $  188,649       $  182,479        $  138,812       $  132,198                                                                                             Operating                                                                      expenses                 85,212           82,984            52,342           50,314     Depreciation and                                                               amortization             20,636           20,789            10,112           10,143     Selling, general                                                               and     administrative           15,329           15,519             7,882            8,161                             121,177          119,292            70,336           68,618                                                                                             Earnings from                                                                  operations               67,472           63,187            68,476           63,580                                                                                             Other income              2,958                -             2,958               11     Other expense           (1,494)                -           (1,493)                -     Finance expense,                                                               long term debt         (14,338)          (8,330)           (2,371)          (4,079)     Finance expense,                                                               Limited Partner's     interest                (3,850)          (3,800)           (1,925)          (1,900)                                                                                             Net earnings                                                                   before income tax        50,748           51,057            65,645           57,612                                                                                             Income tax                                                                     expense                (11,024)         (10,602)          (13,625)         (11,544)                                                                                             Net earnings and     $                $                 $                $     comprehensive     income                   39,724           40,455            52,020           46,068                                                                                             Net earnings and                                                               comprehensive     income:                                                                                   Attributable to    $                $                 $                $       Whistler       Blackcomb       Holdings Inc.       shareholders           29,524           30,506            36,826           33,091       Attributable to                                                                Limited       Partner's       non-controlling       interest               10,200            9,949            15,194           12,977                          $   39,724       $   40,455        $   52,020       $   46,068                                                                                             Earnings per                                                                   share                                                                                     Basic              $     0.78       $     0.80        $     0.97       $     0.87       Diluted            $     0.77       $     0.80        $     0.96       $     0.87                                                                                             Weighted average                                                               number of common     shares     outstanding                                                                               Basic                  37,990           37,931            38,020           37,951       Diluted                38,114           37,984            38,237           37,990   Consolidated Statements of Financial Position (unaudited, in thousands)                                                                                                                  March 31,       September 30,                                                    2014                2013                                                                                 Assets                                                                                                                                                  Current assets:                                                               Cash and cash equivalents             $    17,995     $        41,353       Accounts receivable                        11,870               3,323       Inventory                                  12,706              15,856       Prepaid expenses                            3,166               2,727       Notes receivable                              320                 311                                                  46,057              63,570     Notes receivable                              2,452               2,636     Property, buildings and equipment           323,603             322,316     Property held for development                 9,244               9,244     Intangible assets                           305,108             311,428     Goodwill                                    137,273             137,259                                             $   823,737     $       846,453                                                                                 Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity                                                                                                                    Current liabilities:                                                          Accounts payable and accrued          $               $       liabilities                                25,852              24,927       Income taxes payable                        6,205               1,645       Provisions                                  2,591               2,858       Deferred revenue                           13,844              22,347                                                  48,492              51,777     Long-term debt                              214,585             258,042     Deferred income tax liability                24,519              20,690     Limited Partner's interest                   72,796              72,796     Total liabilities                           360,392             403,305                                                                                 Equity                                                                        Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc.                              shareholders' equity                                                          Common shares; no par value;       unlimited number   authorized;                                  38,026 outstanding  (Sept 30,       2013 - 37,958)                            442,879             442,080         Additional paid-in capital                  504                 913         Deficit                                (43,779)            (54,781)     Total Whistler Blackcomb Holdings                             Inc. shareholders' equity                   399,604             388,212       Limited Partner's non-controlling                             interest                                   63,741              54,936                                                 463,345             443,148                                             $   823,737     $       846,453   Condensed Interim Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows (unaudited, in thousands)                                                                                                                        Six months               Six months                                              ended                    ended                                     March 31, 2014           March 31, 2013                                                                    (recast)     Cash provided by (used in)                                                                                                                              Operations                                                                                                                                              Net earnings and              $                        $     comprehensive income                    39,724                   40,455                                                                                 Adjustments for:                                                              Income tax expense                    11,024                   10,602       Interest expense on                                          long-term debt                        14,338                    8,330       Finance expense on                                           Limited Partner's       interest                               3,850                    3,800       Depreciation and                                             amortization                          20,636                   20,789       Disposal losses                           14                        -       Share-based compensation                 390                      431                                             89,976                   84,407                                                                                 Interest paid on long-term                                   debt                                   (5,668)                  (7,664)     Prepayment penalty paid on                                   second lien facility     repayment                              (5,500)                        -     Finance expense paid on                                      Limited Partner's interest             (1,925)                  (3,800)     Income taxes paid                      (2,635)                     (88)     Changes in non-cash                                          operating working capital             (15,606)                  (9,657)                                                                                                               $         58,642         $         63,198                                                                                 Financing                                                                   Dividends paid on common      $                        $     shares                                (18,522)                 (18,492)     Distributions to Limited                                     Partner's non-controlling     interest                               (1,395)                  (2,831)     Repayment of long-term debt          (305,000)                        -     Draws on revolving credit                                    facility                               261,000                        -     Debt issuance costs                    (2,627)                        -                                   $       (66,544)         $       (21,323)                                                                                 Investing                                                                   Expenditures on property,     $                        $     buildings, equipment and     intangibles                           (15,827)                  (8,677)     Proceeds from sale of                                        property and equipment                     196                      142     Repayment of notes                                           receivable                                 175                      138                                   $       (15,456)         $        (8,397)                                                                                 Cash and cash equivalents,                                   end of period                                                               (Decrease) Increase in cash   $                        $     and cash equivalents                  (23,358)                   33,478     Cash and cash equivalents,                                   beginning of period                     41,353                   43,634                                   $         17,995         $         77,112    SOURCE  Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc.  David Wilcox Manager, Finance & Investor Relations Whistler Blackcomb  Holdings Inc. dwilcox@whistlerblackcomb.com ph: 604.938.7376  To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL:  http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/May2014/14/c8253.html  CO: Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. ST: British Columbia NI: ERN DIV CONF  
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