Arbor announces third quarter results



    TSX ABO.A and ABO.B

    TORONTO, Sept. 2 /CNW/ - Arbor Memorial Services Inc. announced today its
results for the 13 and 39 weeks ended July 26, 2009 and July 27, 2008.

    
                                         13 weeks ended      39 weeks ended
    (In $000)                             2009    2008(1)     2009    2008(1)
                                       --------  --------  --------  --------
    Revenue                             61,439    61,645   179,906   176,288
    Earnings before interest expense
     and income taxes                    8,463     8,222    23,549    25,071
    Net earnings from continuing
     operations                          5,875     5,409    15,438    13,769
    Net earnings                         5,596     5,255    15,443    13,953
    Basic and diluted earnings per share
     from continuing operations ($)       0.55      0.50      1.44      1.28
    Basic and diluted earnings per
     share ($)                            0.52      0.49      1.44      1.30

    (1) Restated to conform with the current period's presentation for
        obtaining costs and discontinued operations.
    

    Earnings before interest expense and income taxes ("EBIT") in the third
quarter of 2009 increased by $0.2 million or 2.9% over 2008 to $8.5 million.
The increase in EBIT was primarily the result of an increase of $1.1 million
in the funeral division due to higher sales and lower termination costs of
$0.7 million, which were partially offset by an increase in other expenses.
The favourable variance in the funeral division was mostly offset by a
decrease in the cemetery division's EBIT of $1.0 million due to a reduction in
sales of 4.9%, which exceeded a 1.0% decrease in expenses. Cemetery sales
compared unfavourably to the third quarter of 2008, which experienced a strong
increase of 11.3% over the prior year.
    Net earnings and earnings per share in the third quarter of 2009
increased by $0.3 million or 6.5% to $5.6 million and $0.03 to $0.52 per share
respectively. The improvement was primarily due to an increase in EBIT of $0.2
million and lower interest expense of $0.2 million.
    EBIT in the first 39 weeks of 2009 was $23.5 million, which represented a
decrease of $1.5 million or 6.1% from 2008. The $1.5 million decrease was the
result of a $1.9 million reduction in EBIT in the cemetery division and a $0.8
million increase in the loss of the corporate division, which were partially
offset by an increase in EBIT of $1.2 million in the funeral division. The
decline of $1.9 million in the cemetery division was due to an increase in
expenses that exceeded the increase in revenue. The increase in expenses was
driven by higher employee compensation and cost of sales while the growth in
revenue was lower than historically experienced. The $0.8 million increase in
the loss of the corporate division was mainly due to a reduction in interest
income on the Company's bank accounts and a mortgage receivable that was
repaid in January 2008 and a 2.3% increase in expenses.
    Net earnings and earnings per share in the first 39 weeks of 2009
increased by $1.5 million or 10.7% to $15.4 million and by $0.14 to $1.44 per
share, respectively, compared to the first 39 weeks of 2008. The increase was
attributable to lower income taxes of $2.2 million or 24.7% and lower interest
expense of $1.0 million or 40.2%, which were partially offset by a reduction
in EBIT of $1.5 million or 6.1%. Of the $2.2 million reduction in income
taxes, $1.6 million was due to a higher increase in the future tax expense in
2008 that resulted from the reduction in future Federal tax rates in the first
quarter.

    Arbor Memorial Services Inc. owns 41 cemeteries, 26 crematoria, 5
reception centres located on cemetery premises and 82 funeral homes in eight
provinces of Canada.

    %SEDAR: 00007478E




For further information:

For further information: Brian D. Snowdon, President and Chief Executive
Officer; Laurel L. Ancheta, Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer; Phone:
(416) 763-4531

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Arbor Memorial Services Inc.

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