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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