Revenues of $847.2 million, compared with $805.7 million in 2013.
Operating loss before amortization and depreciation1 of $23.8 million, compared with $21.0 million in 2013, despite a
decline in the value of the Canadian dollar which alone resulted in a
$14-million increase in operating expenses.
Adjusted after-tax loss3 of $23.3 million, compared with $21.6 million in 2013.
Net loss of $25.6 million, compared with $15.1 million in 2013;
variation attributable mainly to the impact of fuel-hedging accounting.
MONTREAL, March 13, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Transat A.T. Inc., one of the
largest integrated tourism companies in the world and Canada's holiday
travel leader, posted revenues of $847.2 million for the quarter ended
January 31, 2014, compared with $805.7 million for the same period in
2013, an increase of $41.5 million, or 5.2%. The Corporation recorded
an operating loss before amortization and depreciation1 of $23.8 million, compared with $21.0 million in 2013, and a net loss
of $25.6 million ($0.67 per share on a diluted basis), compared with a
net loss of $15.1 million ($0.39 per share on a diluted basis) in 2013.
The decline in value of Canadian dollar alone resulted in increase in
operating expenses of $14 million. Before non-operating items, Transat reported an adjusted after-tax loss3 of $23.3 million in 2014 ($0.60 per share on a diluted basis), compared
with $21.6 million ($0.56 per share on a diluted basis) in 2013.
"A substantial portion of the loss over this quarter is attributable to
the sudden and rapid drop in the value of the Canadian dollar," said
Jean-Marc Eustache, President and Chief Executive Officer of Transat,
adding: "This resulted in a significant increase in our operating
expenses, which was offset only partially by higher selling prices and
by our hedging program. That situation alone is what keeps us from
posting improved results over last year at this time, both for the
quarter and for the winter. However, our cost-control and
margin-improvement program, which includes internalization of our
narrow-body fleet, is unfolding as planned and delivering the expected
results. We are on the right course."
First quarter highlights
The Corporation posted revenues of $847.2 million, compared with
$805.7 million for the same period in 2013, and an operating loss
before amortization and depreciation1 of $23.8 million, compared with $21.0 million in 2013. The increase in
revenues was attributable mainly to higher average selling prices and
the strengthening of the euro and the pound against the Canadian
dollar. The operating loss before amortization and depreciation
worsened mainly because of the recent rapid depreciation of the
Canadian dollar against its U.S. counterpart.
Revenues of North American business units, which are generated by sales
in Canada and abroad, rose by $31.5 million (4.6%) compared with the
same period in 2013. The increase stemmed from the increase in average
selling prices, while the number of travellers decreased by 0.8%. North
American business operations resulted in an operating loss of
$25.0 million, compared with one of $16.3 million in 2013. The higher
operating loss is mainly attributable to the recent rapid depreciation
of the Canadian dollar against the U.S. currency, which resulted in an
increase in operating expenses. The combined effect of increased
selling prices plus cost-control initiatives was not sufficient to
offset the effect of those expense increases.
Revenues of European business units, which are generated by sales in
Europe and in Canada, increased by $10.0 million (8.7%) over 2013,
owing to the strong performances of the euro and the pound against the
Canadian dollar. Measured in local currencies, those business units'
revenues declined, following the Corporation's decision to reduce
capacity. European operations resulted in a loss before amortization
and depreciation1 of $8.6 million, compared with one of $13.7 million in 2013.
As at January 31, 2014, the Corporation's free cash totalled $359.6
million, compared with $247.9 million at the same date in 2013. The
working capital ratio was 1.07, against 1.02, and deposits from
customers for future travel amounted to $621.6 million, compared with
$592.0 million a year earlier. Off-balance-sheet agreements stood at
$657.0 million as at January 31, 2014, compared with $655.8 million as
at October 31, 2013,4 the increase being attributable to the depreciation of the Canadian
dollar against the U.S. dollar, partially offset by payments made
during the 12-month period.
Outlook for the second quarter
On the Sun destinations market, Transat's capacity is approximately 2%
lower than that commercialized last year. To date, 70% of that capacity
has been sold, load factors are lower by 2%, and selling prices are
higher by 4% compared with those recorded last year at the same date.
In France, where winter corresponds to low season, compared to last year
at this time medium-haul bookings are higher by 16%, long-haul bookings
are down by 4%, and selling prices are similar.
On the transatlantic market, also in low season, Transat's capacity is
6% lower than that commercialized last winter. To date, 67% of that
capacity has been sold, load factors are lower by 5%, and selling
prices are higher by 2%.
Outlook for winter - The Sun destinations market out of Canada accounts for a substantial
portion of Transat's business during the winter season, and on that
market, margins are particularly slim and volatile. Owing to the rapid
recent decline in the value of the Canadian dollar, the Corporation
expects that its second-quarter results will be inferior to those
posted for the corresponding quarter last year.
Drop of Canadian dollar - The weakening dollar by itself led to an increase in operating expenses
of 2.7% in the first quarter for sun destinations, and of 3.4% in the
second quarter for bookings made to date. If the dollar remains at its
current value, the increase in operating expenses for the second
quarter overall resulting from the decline in the dollar's value
compared with the previous year will be 3.7%.
Summer 2014 - With regard to summer 2014, while it is too soon to draw firm
conclusions given that only 27% of seats have been sold, Transat's
capacity on the transatlantic market is 1% higher than in 2013. Load
factors are similar and prices are higher by 5%. The weakened Canadian
dollar will mean an increase in operating expenses this summer,
estimated to be 6% if the dollar remains at its current value against
the US dollar, the euro and the pound.
Cost-reduction and margin-improvement Initiatives
The Corporation is continuing with implementation of the initiatives
provided for in its return-to-profitability plan, including measures to
reduce operating costs and changes to its systems and processes. In
April 2013, Transat announced its decision to internalize narrow-body
medium-haul aircraft (Boeing 737-800s) for its Sun destination routes
outbound from Canada, starting in May 2014. The various measures
(cost-reduction initiatives, additional revenues and efficiency gains)
had, as expected, a favourable impact of $20 million on the margin in
2012 and one of $15 million in 2013. The Corporation expects another
$20 million in 2014, as well as in 2015, when internalization of the
narrow-body fleet will produce its full benefits.
The results were affected by non-operating items, as summarized in the
Highlights and impact of non-operating items on results
(In thousands of CAD)
Gross margin (operating loss)
Depreciation and amortization
OPERATING LOSS BEFORE DEPRECIATION AND AMORTIZATION1
Result before taxes
Impact of fuel-hedging accounting
ADJUSTED INCOME (LOSS)2
NET INCOME (LOSS) ATTRIBUTABLE TO SHAREHOLDERS
Impact of fuel-hedging accounting
ADJUSTED AFTER-TAX INCOME (LOSS)3
DILUTED EARNINGS (LOSS) PER SHARE
Impact of fuel-hedging accounting
ADJUSTED AFTER-TAX INCOME (LOSS) PER SHARE3
Hedging - The Corporation records any gains or losses resulting from
mark-to-market adjustments of the derivative financial instruments used
to manage aircraft fuel-price risk in the statement of income. For the
first quarter of 2014, this translates into a $3.2 million non-cash
loss ($2.4 million after income taxes), compared with a $8.8 million
gain ($6.4 million after income taxes) in 2013.
The Corporation also uses hedging instruments to mitigate exchange-rate
exposure stemming from its expenses and/or revenues in foreign
currencies. Accordingly, under applicable accounting standards, any
fluctuations resulting from mark-to-market adjustments of these
instruments are recorded in the balance sheet and statement of
comprehensive income rather than in the statement of income. For the
first quarter of 2014, Transat recorded a $12.1 million gain
($8.9 million after income taxes) on these foreign-currency hedging
instruments, compared with a loss of $0.9 million ($0.6 million after
income taxes) for the corresponding quarter in 2013.
Summary of non-operational items - Before non-operating items, Transat posted an adjusted after-tax loss3 of $23.3 million for the first quarter of 2014 ($0.60 per share on a
diluted basis) compared with one of $21.6 million in 2013 ($0.56 per
share on a diluted basis).
Transat A.T. Inc. is an integrated international tour operator with more
than 60 destination countries and that distributes products in over 50
countries. A holiday travel specialist, Transat operates mainly in
Canada and Europe, as well as in the Caribbean, Mexico and the
Mediterranean Basin. Montreal-based Transat is also active in air
transportation, accommodation, destination services and distribution.
(TSX: TRZ.B, TRZ.A)
The following are non-IFRS financial measures used by management as
indicators to evaluate ongoing and recurring operational performance.
MARGIN (OPERATING LOSS) BEFORE DEPRECIATION AND AMORTIZATION: Gross
margin (operating loss) before depreciation and amortization expense.
ADJUSTED INCOME (LOSS): Income (loss) before income taxes, impact of
fuel hedge accounting, ABCP revaluation, gain on disposal of a
subsidiary, goodwill impairment and restructuring gains (or charges).
ADJUSTED AFTER-TAX INCOME (LOSS): Net income (loss) attributable to
shareholders before impact of fuel hedge accounting, ABCP revaluation,
gain on disposal of a subsidiary, goodwill impairment and restructuring
gains (or charges).
The off-balance-sheet agreements amount as at October 31, 2013, as
reported in the news release for the fiscal year ended October 31,
2013, included commitments under agreements with air suppliers in the
amount of $112.5 million. That amount should have been excluded from
the off-balance-sheet agreements.
First quarter 2014 conference call: Thursday, March 13, 2014, 2:30 p.m.
Call 1 800 905-9496. Name of conference: Transat. Webcast: www.transat.com. The archived call will be available at 1 800 558-5253, access code
21708173 until April 12, 2014.
Transat prepares its financial statements in accordance with
International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). We will
occasionally refer to non-IFRS financial measures in the news release.
These non-IFRS financial measures do not have any meaning prescribed by
IFRS and are therefore unlikely to be comparable to similar measures
presented by other issuers. They are furnished to provide additional
information and should not be considered as a substitute for measures
of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS. All amounts are in
Canadian dollars unless otherwise indicated.
Caution regarding forward-looking statements
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements regarding
the Corporation's expectation that travel reservations will follow the
trends. In making these statements, the Corporation has assumed that
the trends in reservations and selling prices will continue, and that
fuel prices, other costs and the value of the Canadian dollar against
foreign currencies will remain stable. If these assumptions prove
incorrect, actual results and developments may differ materially from
those contemplated by the forward-looking statements contained in this
press release. Factors that could lead actual results to differ
include, among others, extreme weather conditions, war, terrorism,
market and general economic conditions, disease outbreaks, demand
fluctuations related to seasonality in the travel industry, ability to
reduce operating costs and workforce, labour relations, collective
agreements and labour conflicts, issues related to pensions, exchange
rate, interest rates, future funding, evolution of legal environment,
introduction of unfavourable regulations, lawsuits and legal
challenges, and other risks detailed from time to time in the
Corporation's continuous disclosure documents.
These forward-looking statements, by their nature, necessarily involve
risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ
materially from those contemplated by these forward-looking statements.
The Corporation considers the assumptions on which these
forward-looking statements are based to be reasonable, but cautions the
reader that these assumptions regarding future events, many of which
are beyond its control, may ultimately prove to be incorrect since they
are subject to risks and uncertainties that affect the Corporation. For
additional information with respect to these and other factors, see the
Annual Information Form and Annual Report for the year ended October
31, 2013, filed with Canadian securities commissions. The Corporation
disclaims any intention or obligation to publicly update or revise any
forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information,
future events or otherwise, other than as required by securities laws.
SOURCE: Transat A.T. Inc.
For further information:
Source: Transat A.T. Inc. (www.transat.com)
514 987-1616, ext. 4662
Chief Financial Officer