Société générale de financement du Québec announces a profit for the second straight year - SGF earned $75 million of net income and made $233 million of investments in 2006



    MONTREAL, April 12 /CNW Telbec/ - Société générale de financement du
Québec maintained its profitability in 2006 with a 4.1% return, an increase
over the 3.9% return it posted in 2005. This return represents $75 million of
net income versus $70 million in 2005.
    "I'm proud of the work done by the members of our team as they actively
pursued the efforts begun in the preceding year," stated Pierre Shedleur,
President of SGF. "In 2005, we completely restructured SGF to make it more
effective. In 2006, we resumed our investment operations and filled our
pipeline with projects. In line with its mission, SGF has again become an
important player in Québec's sustainable development," Mr. Shedleur added.
    SGF not only increased the profitability it re-established in 2005, but
it also became active once again, making more than $233 million of
sustainable, constructive investments, in comparison with $78 million in 2005.
SGF made these investments in accordance with the three strategic orientations
in its business plan.

    Strategic orientation 1: Carry out constructive projects with partners
    from outside Québec

    The investments made in 2006 include a stake in an ambitious $270-million
project to make 15 feature films. As a result of SGF's $18-million investment
in the project, six of the films will be made in Québec.
    All these feature-length films will be entirely developed and produced by
Hollywood producer Joel Silver, one of the most dynamic producers in the
business. In a career spanning three decades, he has produced almost 80
movies, including major hits such as The Matrix, Die Hard I and II, and Lethal
Weapon.
    This project represents a total investment of $170 million for Québec, or
an average of $28 million per film. The productions will create 1,500 jobs
(person-years) over five years and will generate $53 million of wages and
$12.4 million of revenues for the Québec government.
    By partnering in this way with major film industry players, SGF
contributes to the development of Québec's film industry, in terms of economic
spinoffs as well as development of its technology and know-how.

    Strategic orientation 2: Assist with the consolidation and expansion of
    Québec companies in specific sectors

    Another of SGF's substantial investments in 2006 was a $100-million stake
in Cascades.
    By participating in this way in Cascades' acquisition of Norampac, SGF is
pursuing its mission of contributing to the growth of Québec companies that
invest in expanding markets. Mindful of the difficult situation in the forest
products sector, SGF is contributing to the growth and merger of companies
with the ability to act on business opportunities in promising niches.

    Strategic orientation 3: Accelerate the growth of well-managed Québec
    companies so that they can penetrate new markets

    SGF assists Québec's growth companies so that they can carry out their
expansion strategies and optimize their operations. The projects we support
must have a significant economic impact in Québec. SGF formed several
partnerships with Québec companies during the year.
    First, it acquired a 30% stake in the family business Fruits & Passion.
The purpose of this investment is primarily to accelerate the company's
expansion outside Canada so that it can meet the increasing demand for its
products. Fruits & Passion will enlarge its plant on Montréal's South Shore,
where it produces more than 90% of the products it sells around the world. Not
only will this Québec company be able to penetrate new markets in Asia, Europe
and the United States, but it will also create jobs in the province.
    In 2006, SGF also made a $7-million investment in ORTHOsoft. This
publicly traded Québec company is a world leader in the design and marketing
of specialized medical navigation software for hip and knee implant surgery.
    SGF's investment will give ORTHOsoft the development capital it needs to
accelerate its growth. As a result of this investment, it will be able to
consolidate its position as a global leader in the rapidly growing market for
computer-assisted orthopaedic surgery.
    SGF also partnered with Elevages Périgord by purchasing a 43% stake in
the company. Elevages Périgord, located in the Montérégie region, is Québec's
largest producer of duck foie gras and its byproducts. It has close to 50
employees and sells its products in Québec as well as large cities in Ontario
and the United States.
    SGF's $2.3-million investment in this $6-million project will help
develop a specialty food product niche with strong growth potential. Elevages
Périgord will be able to meet increasing demand and step up its presence on
the U.S. market.

    Outlook for 2007:

    Société générale de financement du Québec plans to invest $250 million in
Québec's economy in 2007 while maintaining its profitability.
    "We've built a solid team of developers, we've filled our pipeline with
projects and we're maintaining effective management with a view to
profitability. All the ingredients are present to enable us to pursue our
mission in the years to come," Mr. Shedleur stated.

    Société générale de financement du Québec (www.sgfqc.com), an industrial
and financial holding company, has a mission to carry out economic development
projects, with emphasis on the industrial sector, in co-operation with
partners and on standard profitability conditions, in accordance with the
economic development policy of the Québec government.
    -%SU: TAX
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For further information:

For further information: Marie-Claude Lemieux, Senior Adviser,
Communications and Media Relations, Société générale de financement du Québec,
(514) 876-9368

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SOCIETE GENERALE DE FINANCEMENT DU QUEBEC

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