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  
-0- May/14/2014 11:00 GMT
 
 
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.