Sigma Ventures returns to operating profitablity in its fiscal 2008 second quarter



    QUEBEC CITY, Dec. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - Sigma Ventures Inc. (TSX Venture
Exchange: SVX), a leading composite and metal products manufacturer, today
announced results for the second quarter of its 2008 year ended October 27,
2007. Despite the acquisitions of the Acton Vale plant and of Groupe Synergy
Composites Inc. (GSC), respectively completed on January 27, 2007, and
February 1, 2007, operating results reflect the substantial decline in the
heavy truck market since the beginning of 2007 following the introduction of
new environmental regulations regarding greenhouse gas emissions on January 1,
2007.

    SECOND QUARTER RESULTS

    For the second quarter ended October 27, 2007, sales amounted to
$19.0 million, down 27.6% from $26.3 million for the second quarter ended
October 31, 2006, owing to the aforementioned decline in the heavy truck
market. However, sales were sequentially higher compared with $18.8 million in
the previous quarter reflecting sustained increased activity in the
fast-growing wind energy market.
    The Company returned to operating profitability and posted earnings
before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $0.4 million
in the second quarter ended October 27, 2007 despite a negative impact of
$0.6 million related to the strength of the Canadian dollar. This improvement
allowed Sigma to sequentially reduce its net loss to $0.6 million, or
$0.014 per diluted share, compared with $0.9 million, or $0.022 per diluted
share in the first quarter. Given robust conditions in the heavy truck market
a year ago, the second quarter ended October 31, 2006 yielded an EBITDA of
$3.7 million and net earnings of $1.6 million, or $0.046 per diluted share.
    For the period ended October 27, 2007, cash flows from operating
activities before changes in non-cash working capital items generated funds of
$0.1 million compared with $2.9 million last year. As at October 27, 2007,
Sigma's balance sheet remained solid with a total net debt of $18.8 million
and shareholders' equity of $19.3 million.
    "As anticipated, our second quarter results continued to be affected by
the substantial decline in the heavy truck market, but the sequential
improvement in our results is a testimony to our cost control efforts,"
mentioned Denis Bertrand, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Sigma relied
on the operational expertise of its subsidiaries to achieve synergies by
sharing best business practices resulting from the integration of entities
acquired throughout fiscal 2007. In addition, our earlier investments in
automation and robotization generated increased productivity, thereby further
reducing our operating costs".

    SIX MONTHS RESULTS

    For the first six months of the current fiscal year, sales reached
$37.8 million, stable in comparison with sales of $37.9 million recorded
during the first six months of the previous fiscal year. Despite lower
activity in the heavy truck market, this stability is owed to the inclusion of
the Acton Vale plant, GSC, as well as of René Composites Materials Ltd. for
the entire period, as opposed to the sole contribution of René for four months
last year.
    Reflecting reduced activity in the heavy truck market and a negative
impact of $0.8 million from the stronger Canadian dollar, EBITDA for the
six-month period ended October 27, 2007 reached $0.3 million compared with
$4.9 million a year earlier. The Company's net loss for the first six months
of the current fiscal year amounted to $1.5 million, or $0.035 per diluted
share, compared with net earnings of $2.1 million, or $0.060 per diluted share
last year.

    BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES AND FAST-GROWING MARKETS

    Sigma's emerging presence in the fast-growing wind energy market is
gaining further momentum, as proven by sales in excess of $1.1 million during
the second quarter. In order to increase production capacity of components to
meet an increasingly greater demand in this market, the Company is finalizing
a 20,000-square-foot expansion of its Faroex facility in Manitoba. The new
capacity will be available in January 2008.
    "We are determined to diversify our activities both by business segment
and by geographical regions and we remain on the lookout for acquisition
opportunities that would further strengthen our business relationships with
our clients, while yielding a better match-up between cash inflow and outflow
in foreign currency. Sigma's future remains very promising and although the
strength of the Canadian dollar poses a short-term challenge, we know we can
rely on our competent employees to continue offering products of superior
quality and of world-class reputation," concluded Mr. Bertrand.

    
    SELECTED FINANCIAL INFORMATION

                          -------------------------- ------------------------
    Consolidated results
     of operations        Three-month periods ended  Six-month periods ended
                          -------------------------- ------------------------
    (unaudited, in '000s   October 27,  October 31,  October 27,  October 31,
     of Cdn$, except per         2007         2006         2007         2006
     share amounts)
                                    $            $            $            $
    Sales                      19,034       26,304       37,815       37,868
    EBITDA                        437        3,653          319        4,947
    Earnings (loss)
     before income taxes         (819)       2,570       (2,151)       3,263
    Net earnings (loss)          (583)       1,649       (1,518)       2,086
    Net earnings (loss)
     per share
      Basic                    (0.014)       0.048       (0.035)       0.063
      Diluted                  (0.014)       0.046       (0.035)       0.060
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


                          -------------------------- ------------------------
    Reconciliation of
     EBITDA, EBITDAG and
     Net earnings             Three months ended         Six months ended
                          -------------------------- ------------------------
    (unaudited, in '000s   October 27,  October 31,  October 27,  October 31,
     of Cdn $)                   2007         2006         2007         2006
                                    $            $            $            $
    Net earnings (loss)          (583)       1,649       (1,518)       2,086
    PLUS:
    Income tax expense
     (recovery)                  (236)         921         (633)       1,177
    Depreciation and
     amortization                 881          591        1,710          925
    Financial expenses            375          492          760          759
                                  ---          ---          ---          ---
    EBITDA                        437        3,653          319        4,947
    Foreign exchange loss
     (gain)                       133          (57)         234         (150)
                                  ---          ----         ---         -----
    EBITDAG                       570        3,596          553        4,797
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                                     ------------------------
    Consolidated balance sheet data                            As at
                                                     ------------------------
    (in '000s of Canadian dollars)                   October 27,    April 30,
                                                           2007         2007
                                                              $            $
    Total assets                                         56,445       59,015
    Total liabilities                                    37,111       38,251
    Shareholders' equity                                 19,334       20,764
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES

    The information included in this press release contains certain
information which are not financial measures prescribed under GAAP. Sigma
Ventures uses earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization
("EBITDA") in the assessment of its financial performance. As there is no
generally accepted method of calculating this financial measure, it may not be
comparable to similar measures reported by other companies. EBITDA refers to
earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation, amortization and other
non-operating expenses and revenues. This measure does not represent the cash
flow for the repayment of long-term debt, the payment of dividends,
reinvestment or other discretionary uses, and should not be considered in
isolation or as a substitute of other measures of performance calculated
according to GAAP.

    ABOUT SIGMA VENTURES

    Sigma Ventures Inc. (TSX-V: SVX), a leading composite and metal products
manufacturer, has five operating subsidiaries and employs close to 500 people.
The Company is active in the growing heavy-duty truck, coach, transit and bus,
train and subway, machinery, agriculture, light forestry, and wind energy
market segments. Sigma sells its products to original equipment manufacturers
and distributors in the United States, Canada and Europe.
    Sigma has had a recent history of steady growth and accretive
acquisitions. Its recent and planned growth initiatives are expected to
continue to raise Sigma's profile with investors.

    FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

    This press release contains certain forward-looking statements with
respect to the Company. Such forward-looking statements are dependent upon a
certain number of factors and are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual
results may differ from those expected. The information contained in this
press release is dated December 19, 2007, the date on which the Directors
approved the press release. Management does not assume any obligation to
update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new
information or future events, except when required by the regulatory
authorities.

    Note to readers: Complete unaudited interim consolidated financial
statements and Management's Discussion & Analysis of Financial Position and
Operating Results were posted on SEDAR and are available at www.sedar.com.

    The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy
    or accuracy of this release.




For further information:

For further information: Denis Bertrand, Chief Executive Officer, Sigma
Ventures Inc., (418) 780-3902, denis.bertrand@sigmaventures.ca; Bertrand Côté,
Chief Financial Officer, Sigma Ventures Inc., (418) 780-3903,
bertrand.cote@sigmaventures.ca

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