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

  Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. Reports Record Fiscal 2014 Second Quarter                                    Results  PR Newswire  WHISTLER, BC, May 14, 2014  WHISTLER, BC, May 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ - 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's  strong pricing power     and  favourable 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 thousands)         Six                      Three          Three                      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 income^2      (2,958)             -      (2,958)           (11) Other expenses^3      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.  ABOUTWHISTLERBLACKCOMB 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.  Contact:  David Wilcox Manager, Finance & Investor Relations Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. dwilcox@whistlerblackcomb.com ph: 604.938.7376  
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