WHISTLER, BC , Feb. 4, 2014 /CNW/ - Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. (TSX: WB ) (the "Corporation") today reported financial results for the three months ended December 31, 2013 . The Corporation holds a 75% interest in the entities that operate Whistler Blackcomb , the largest four-season mountain resort in North America . Highlights for the Three Months Ended December 31, 2013 Revenue decreased by $0.4 million to $49.8 million and Adjusted EBITDA decreased by $0.8 million to $9.5 million as a result of reduced visitation to 426,000 total visits from 489,000 total visits in the comparative quarter last year. Snowfall for the ski season to December 31, 2013 was 186 centimeters compared to the 10-year average snowfall for the same period of 472 centimeters and 560 centimeters for the same period in the prior year. Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP measure and is defined below. Revenue per total visit increased 14% compared to the same period in the prior year, reflecting strong growth in effective ticket price ("ETP" - see definition below) and guest spending in the Corporation's ancillary businesses. Skier visits for the ski season to December 31, 2013 were comprised of 38% destination visits compared to 24% for the equivalent period in the prior year, based on the Corporation's estimates. Refinancing of the Corporation's $261 million of senior secured and second lien debt with a new $300 million five-year senior secured revolving credit facility with a significantly reduced interest rate and increased flexibility. Completion of construction and opening of the new Harmony 6 Express and Crystal Ridge Express ski lifts, as well as additional snowmaking infrastructure and terrain improvements on Blackcomb mountain, on time and on budget. Dave Brownlie , the Corporation's President and Chief Executive Officer commented: "We are pleased that our revenue and Adjusted EBITDA held up well in spite of the lower than expected visitation, which demonstrates our pricing power and the resiliency of our business. Our snowmaking infrastructure allowed us to open more skiable terrain than any other resort in North America for the holiday period and the success of our pre-commitment sales program contributed positively to our results during the quarter." Revenue, Visits and Pricing Total revenue was $49.8 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2013 , a decrease of $0.4 million or 1% compared to the same period in the prior year. The decrease in total revenue was primarily a result of lower lift revenue, because of lower skier visits, offset by higher ETP and revenue from the Corporation's ancillary businesses. Total visits for the quarter ended December 31, 2013 were 426,000, a decrease of 63,000 visits, or 13%, compared to the same period in the prior year. Skier visits for the fiscal 2014 first quarter decreased by 15% to 391,000, which was partially offset by a 25% increase in other visits to 35,000. ETP and revenue per total visit for the quarter ended December 31, 2013 were $53.52 and $116.99 , respectively, an increase of $4.30 or 8.7% and $14.17 or 13.8%, respectively, over the comparative quarter in the prior year. ETP is total ski-related lift revenue divided by skier visits. This growth reflected increases in lift ticket prices, as well as increased guest spending in the Corporation's ancillary businesses. The Corporation experienced a higher proportion of destination visits in the first quarter of fiscal 2014, which contributed to the increase in revenue per visit. Adjusted EBITDA and Loss per Share Adjusted EBITDA decreased 7% to $9.5 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2013 compared to the same quarter in the prior year. The decrease in Adjusted EBITDA was driven primarily by lower revenue compared to the prior year. Net loss per common share for the quarter was $0.19 (basic and diluted) compared to net loss per common share of $0.07 (basic and diluted) in the prior year. The increase in net loss per common share was principally attributable to the $5.5 million prepayment penalty and $2.8 million write-off of unamortized debt issuance costs in connection with the refinancing of the Corporation's long-term debt during the quarter. Financial Position As at December 31, 2013 , the Corporation had $43.3 million of cash and cash equivalents, an increase of $1.9 million , or 5%, compared to $41.4 million at September 30, 2013 . The increase in cash was mainly attributable to season pass and frequency card sales, offset in part by capital spending on the new Harmony and Crystal chairlifts and the $5.5 million penalty on the repayment of the Corporation's second lien debt during the quarter. During the quarter, the Corporation entered into a new $300 million five-year senior secured revolving credit facility and repaid the first and second lien facilities in full. The Corporation's new credit facility will have an interest rate of 2.50% over the one-month banker's acceptance rate ("BA rate") until May 2014 and a rate of 2.25% over the BA rate thereafter, based on the Corporation's current leverage ratio. Subsequent to quarter end, the Corporation applied $10 million of its cash balance against the new revolving credit facility and reduced the principal amount outstanding to $251 million . Outlook As at February 2, 2014 , skier visits were 846,000, a decrease of 8.6% compared to the same period in the prior year. Management estimates that total skier visits to date were comprised of 60% regional guests and 40% destination guests, compared to 70% and 30%, respectively, for the prior year. As at February 2, 2014 , the Corporation's 2013-14 seasons pass and frequency cards sales were $41.4 million , a 3% increase over season pass and frequency cards sales at the same time during the 2012-13 season. Capital Investments The Corporation also announced the following strategic capital investments that are expected to be substantially completed in the 2014 fiscal year: $6.0 million for a major upgrade of the Whistler Village Gondola, including the replacement of the original cabins with 160 new eight passenger seated cabins. The Village Gondola is the primary access point to Whistler Mountain from Whistler Village and the new cabins will dramatically improve guest experience and increase capacity by 12%. $5.9 million for several information technology initiatives, including a new enterprise resource planning ("ERP") system and radio-frequency identification ("RFID") system with lift access control gates on most mountain lifts. The ERP system is one of the final steps for the Corporation to bring its IT infrastructure in-house from a third-party service provider. The installation of the RFID gates is expected to reduce lift ticket fraud and will provide the Corporation with the infrastructure required to offer enhanced guest engagement and marketing opportunities. In respect of these investments, Dave Brownlie commented: "These capital projects represent the first phase of investment after our debt refinancing and are designed to improve guest experience and provide us with the necessary infrastructure and capacity to continue to grow our ski and non-ski businesses." Dividend The Corporation's Board of Directors has declared a dividend of $0.24375 per common share for the first quarter, to be paid on February 19, 2014 to shareholders of record on February 14, 2014 . This dividend will be an eligible dividend for Canadian income tax purposes. Non-GAAP Measures This press release makes reference to Adjusted EBITDA, which is a measure not prescribed by Canadian generally accepted accounting principles, or "GAAP". This non-GAAP measure does not have a standardized meaning and is therefore unlikely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. Adjusted EBITDA is defined as consolidated loss from operations before depreciation and amortization, as well as items that management does not consider part of the Corporation's normal operations, examples of which include significant non-cash gains or losses on disposal of property, buildings and equipment, acquisition or disposal expenses and gains or losses or restructuring expenses relating to acquisitions or disposals of businesses, impairment or restructuring charges and reversals and other significant event-driven amounts as applicable. Adjusted EBITDA is provided as additional information to complement GAAP measures and to further understand the Corporation's results of operations from management's perspective. It is also a supplemental measure of performance that highlights trends in the Corporation's business that may not otherwise be apparent when relying solely on GAAP financial measures. The closest GAAP measure is net loss and a reconciliation is provided below. 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 Corporation's annual information form dated December 20, 2013 (the "AIF") and management's discussion and analysis ("MD&A"), which are available on the Corporation's website and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com , for additional details regarding non-GAAP measures. Reconciliation of Net Loss to Adjusted EBITDA The following table reconciles Adjusted EBITDA to the Corporation's most directly comparable GAAP measure, net loss: (In thousands) Three months ended December 31, 2013 Three months ended December 31, 2012 (Recast) 1 Net loss $ (12,296) $ (5,613) Depreciation and amortization 10,524 10,646 Finance expense, long term debt 11,967 4,251 Finance expense, Limited Partner's interest 1,925 1,900 Income tax benefit (2,601) (942) Non-cash loss on disposal of fixed assets 1 11 Adjusted EBITDA $ 9,520 $ 10,253 1 Refer to the Corporation's MD&A for the 3 months ended December 31, 2013 for a description of the recast. Conference Call Information Management will conduct a conference call on February 4, 2014 at 6:00 a.m. Pacific Time / 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time to review the Corporation's fiscal 2014 first 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 section of the Corporation's website. ABOUT WHISTLER BLACKCOMB HOLDINGS INC. Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. owns a 75% interest in each of Whistler Mountain Resort Limited Partnership and Blackcomb Skiing Enterprises Limited Partnership , which, together, carry on the four season mountain resort business located in the Resort Municipality of Whistler, British Columbia . Whistler Blackcomb , the official alpine skiing venue for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, is situated in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia , 125 kilometres (78 miles) north of Vancouver, British Columbia . North America's largest four-season mountain resort, Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain are two side-by-side mountains, connected by the world record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, which combined offer over 200 marked runs, over 8,000 acres of terrain, 14 alpine bowls, three glaciers, receive on average over 1,180 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 Corporation's website at www.whistlerblackcombholdings.com or SEDAR at www.sedar.com . CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS This press release contains forward-looking statements or information, within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws, which may prove to be incorrect. The forward-looking statements and information contained in this press release include comments about interest cost savings, investments in ski and non-ski businesses, positioning for the 2013-14 ski season, principal outstanding on credit facilities, lift ticket fraud reduction, replacement of the Whistler Village Gondola cabins, among others, and are based on certain factors and assumptions made by management of the Corporation including, but not limited to: business conditions, guest visitation, weather, macroeconomic and currency influences, and interest rates, among others. The forward-looking statements and information contained in this press release are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated including, but not limited to, risks relating to unfavourable weather conditions, availability of capital, environmental laws and regulations, the impact of any occurring natural disasters and economic, business and market conditions. A more detailed description of these risks is available in the Corporation's most recently filed annual information form, which is available on the Corporation's website and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com . Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements or information prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein. Although the Corporation believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements and information are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements or information because the Corporation can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. These forward-looking statements and information are made as of the date of this press release, and the Corporation has no intention and assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements or information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by applicable Canadian securities laws. Condensed Interim Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income (Loss) (in thousands, except per share amounts) Three months ended December 31 , 2013 Three months ended December 31 , 2012 (recast) 1 Resort revenue $ 49,837 $ 50,281 Operating expenses 32,870 32,670 Depreciation and amortization 10,524 10,646 Selling, general and administrative 7,447 7,358 50,841 50,674 Loss from operations (1,004) (393) Disposal losses (1) (11) Finance expense, long term debt (11,967) (4,251) Finance expense, Limited Partner's interest (1,925) (1,900) Net loss before income tax (14,897) (6,555) Income tax benefit 2,601 942 Net loss and comprehensive loss $ (12,296) $ (5,613) Net loss and comprehensive loss: Attributable to Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. shareholders $ (7,302) $ (2,585) Attributable to Limited Partner's non-controlling interest (4,994) (3,028) $ (12,296) $ (5,613) Loss per share Basic $ (0.19) $ (0.07) Diluted $ (0.19) $ (0.07) Weighted average number of common shares outstanding Basic 37,961 37,912 Diluted 38,018 37,967 Consolidated Statements of Financial Position (in thousands) December 31, 2013 September 30, 2013 Assets Current assets: Cash and cash equivalents $ 43,254 $ 41,353 Accounts receivable 9,819 3,323 Income taxes receivable 1,660 - Inventory 17,055 15,856 Prepaid expenses 3,519 2,727 Notes receivable 456 311 75,763 63,570 Notes receivable 2,458 2,636 Property, buildings and equipment 324,528 322,316 Property held for development 9,244 9,244 Intangible assets 308,269 311,428 Goodwill 137,259 137,259 $ 857,521 $ 846,453 Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity Current liabilities: Accounts payable and accrued liabilities $ 31,746 $ 24,927 Income taxes payable - 1,645 Provisions 2,823 2,858 Deferred revenue 51,444 22,347 86,013 51,777 Long-term debt 258,452 258,042 Deferred income tax liability 19,820 20,690 Limited Partner's interest 72,796 72,796 Total liabilities 437,081 403,305 Equity Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. shareholders' equity Common shares; no par value; unlimited number authorized; 37,997 outstanding ( Sept 30, 2013 - 37,958) 442,531 442,080 Additional paid-in capital 697 913 Deficit (71,335) (54,781) Total Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. shareholders' equity 371,893 388,212 Limited Partner's non-controlling interest 48,547 54,936 420,440 443,148 $ 857,521 $ 846,453 Condensed Interim Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows (in thousands) Three months ended December 31 , 2013 Three months ended December 31 , 2012 (recast) 1 Cash provided by (used in) Operations Net loss $ (12,296) $ (5,613) Adjustments for: Income tax benefit (2,601) (942) Interest expense on long-term debt 11,967 4,251 Interest expense on Limited Partner's interest 1,925 1,900 Depreciation and amortization 10,524 10,646 Disposal losses 1 11 Share-based compensation 235 192 9,755 10,445 Interest paid on long-term debt (3,431) (3,885) Prepayment penalty paid on second lien facility repayment (5,500) - Interest paid on Limited Partner's interest (1,925) (1,900) Income taxes paid (1,573) (215) Changes in non-cash operating working capital 27,394 21,534 24,720 25,979 Financing Dividends paid on common shares (9,252) (9,240) Distributions to Limited Partner's non-controlling interest (1,395) (1,413) Repayment of long-term debt (261,000) - Draws on revolving credit facility 261,000 - Debt issuance costs (2,627) - (13,274) (10,653) Investing Expenditures on property, buildings, equipment and intangibles (9,683) (2,673) Proceeds from sale of property and equipment 105 41 Repayment of notes receivable 33 4 (9,545) (2,628) Cash and cash equivalents, end of period Increase in cash and cash equivalents 1,901 12,698 Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period 41,353 43,634 $ 43,254 $ 56,332 1 Refer to the Corporation's MD&A for the 3 months ended December 31, 2013 for a description of the recast. SOURCE Whistler Blackcomb
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