Western Financial Group reports nine month revenue up 35.0%, net income up 79.2%, EPS up 18.8%



    /THIS PRESS RELEASE IS NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO ANY UNITED STATES NEWS
    SERVICE OR OTHERWISE IN THE UNITED STATES/

    HIGH RIVER, AB, Nov. 14 /CNW/ - (TSX-WES, WES.PR.A) - Western Financial
Group ("the Company") today announced its operating and financial results for
the nine months ended September 30, 2007. For the nine months, revenue
increased 35.0% to $80.8 million from $59.8 million compared to the same
period in 2006 and net income increased 79.2%. Basic earnings per share
amounted to $0.19 (diluted $0.17) per share from $0.16 (diluted $0.13) in the
same period in 2006.

    
    Financial Highlights

                            Three months ended         Nine months ended
                               September 30               September 30
                                             %                          %
    (in $ thousands)       2007     2006   change     2007     2006   change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    THE NETWORK
    Revenue ($)          17,007   11,419    48.9%   49,290   34,072    44.7%
    Operating income($)   4,944    3,161    56.4%   16,080   10,606    51.6%

    BANK WEST
    Interest & investment
     income ($)           3,312    2,343    41.4%    8,632    5,759    49.9%
    Net interest &
     investment
     income ($)             665      576    15.5%    2,953    2,103    40.4%
    Operating income($)       3       37   (91.9%)     249       16  1456.3%

    WESTERN LIFE
    Premium income($)     7,382    6,159    19.9%   20,044   16,869    18.8%
    Investment
     income ($)             924      714    29.4%      396    2,057   (80.7%)
    Operating
     income ($)             733      934   (21.5%)   2,514    2,060    22.0%

    CORPORATE AND ALL
     OTHER
    Revenue ($)             929      416   123.3%    2,396    1,082   121.4%
    Operating loss($)    (1,343)  (1,211)  (10.9%)  (4,432)  (4,201)   (5.5%)

    OVERALL
    Revenue ($)          29,554   21,051    40.4%   80,758   59,839    35.0%
    Net Income ($)        2,344    1,486    57.7%    8,979    5,010    79.2%
    Earnings per share
      - basic ($)         $0.05    $0.05     0.0%    $0.19    $0.16    18.8%
      - diluted ($)       $0.04    $0.04     0.0%    $0.17    $0.13    30.8%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    


    "We continue to enjoy robust growth as we move toward achieving our
financial and operational objectives for the year," said Scott Tannas,
President and CEO.

    WFG Agency Network

    The Network's revenue showed a 44.7% increase, through new acquisitions
and from strong gains in same store sales (up 7.1%).

    Bank West

    The Bank in Q3 grew its loan book by $21.5 million to $199.6 million at
September 30, 2007. Specific loan losses for the quarter were higher than
previous quarters, but remain lower than budgeted for the nine month period.
The Bank's loan book will grow significantly over the coming quarter, with the
completion of the Ubiquity Bank acquisition on October 1, and through new loan
growth.

    Western Life Assurance

    Western Life continues to show strength in premium income and in
operating income with a growth of 18.8% and 22.0% respectively. The decrease
in investment income is a result of adopting the new accounting standards for
financial instruments. With the increase in interest rates in 2007 Western
Life saw a market drop in bonds resulting in a decrease in investment income,
offset by a decrease in actuarial expense.

    Equity Investments

    Western Financial Group's portfolio of equity partner investments
performed well with Jennings Capital, H.E.D. and Harvard Western all exceeding
budget expectations.

    Conference Call

    Western Financial Group will host a conference call to discuss the
Company's first quarter results on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 9:00 am
Mountain time (11:00 am Eastern time). Participants are asked to call either
800-732-9307 or 416-644-3414 (Toronto). An archived recording of the call will
be available until December 3, 2007 by calling 877-289-8525 or 416-640-1917
(Toronto) with the passcode 21252995 followed by the number sign. The
conference will also be broadcast live over the internet and archived through
the Company's website at www.westernfinancialgroup.net.

    Western Financial Group is a leader in providing insurance, financial
services and banking services in over 80 communities, to more than 400,000
individuals and businesses in Western Canada through its WFG Agency Network
locations, its affiliated insurance brokers, Western Life Assurance Company
and Bank West.
    The Company's Financial Report for the three and nine months of 2007 will
be filed on SEDAR on November 14, 2007.

    Forward-looking statements involve numerous assumptions, risks and
uncertainties, including the risk that prediction and other forward-looking
statements may not prove to be accurate. We caution the reader not to place
undue reliance on these disclosures, as a number of important factors could
cause actual results to differ materially from the estimates and comments
expressed in them. Such factors may include, but are not limited to: changing
financial and economic conditions in Canada, particularly in Western Canada;
regulatory developments; competition industry trends and availability of
capital resources; and our anticipated success in managing our risks. We
caution readers that the foregoing list is not exhaustive. Except required by
law, we do not undertake to update any forward-looking statements, written or
oral, that we may make from time to time regarding our operations and
performance.


    
    CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET (unaudited)
    (in thousands, except for per share amounts)
                                                          As at        As at
                                                        Sept 30  December 31
                                                           2007         2006
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ASSETS

    Cash and cash equivalents                         $  35,519    $   9,085
    Marketable securities                                     -       85,243
    Marketable securities - held-for-trading             44,502            -
    Marketable securities - available-for-sale           40,947            -
    Accounts receivable                                  25,383       23,510
    Prepaid expenses                                      5,149        7,340
    Income taxes receivable                               1,446          388
    Future income taxes                                   1,154        1,271
    Deferred charges                                         43          714
    Other assets                                          4,423        2,235
    Equity investments                                   20,651       23,501
    Mortgages and loans                                 201,241      149,051
    Capital assets                                       10,922        8,844
    Intangible assets                                    24,623       14,175
    Goodwill                                             90,511       59,565
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        506,514      384,922
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    LIABILITIES

    Accounts payable and accrued liabilities             44,940       35,944
    Actuarial liabilities                                36,315       34,754
    Provision for unpaid and unreported claims            9,211        6,637
    Deferred gain on investments                              -        1,295
    Customer deposits                                   198,480      147,118
    Long-term debt                                       38,943       25,164
    Future income taxes                                   5,910        2,790
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        333,799      253,702
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY

    Share capital (Note 4)                              144,205      110,607
    Other paid in capital                                   102          152
    Contributed surplus                                   2,019        1,923
    Retained earnings                                    26,414       18,538
    Accumulated other comprehensive loss                    (25)           -
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        172,715      131,220
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      $ 506,514    $ 384,922
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------



    CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF INCOME AND RETAINED EARNINGS (unaudited)
    FOR THE THREE-MONTH AND NINE-MONTH PERIODS ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2007 AND
    2006
    (in thousands, except for per share amounts)

                                   Three months ended      Nine months ended
                                      September 30            September 30
                                    2007        2006        2007        2006
    Revenue
      Commission and other
       customer income         $  17,278   $  11,831   $  50,210   $  34,902
      Premium income               7,370       6,024      20,001      16,815
      Interest income on
       customer loans              3,312       2,343       8,632       5,759
      Investment income
        Change in fair value
         of held-for-trading
         assets                      362           -      (1,134)          -
        Realized gain on sales
         of available-for-sale
         and held-for-trading
         assets                      173           -          11           -
        Other net investment
         income                    1,059         853       3,038       2,363
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  29,554      21,051      80,758      59,839
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Expenses
      Operating expenses          18,258      12,857      50,798      36,964
      Policyholder benefits        4,312       3,506       9,168      10,114
      Interest expense -
       customer deposits           2,272       1,504       5,679       3,656
      Provision for credit
       losses                        375         263         702         624
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Income before the following    4,337       2,921      14,411       8,481
      Income from long-term
       investments                   256         536       1,850       1,890
      Interest and financing
       costs on long-term debt      (532)       (610)     (1,959)     (2,084)
      Amortization of intangible
       assets                       (215)       (118)       (625)       (307)
      Amortization of capital
       assets                       (401)       (416)     (1,154)     (1,165)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Income before income taxes     3,445       2,313      12,523       6,815
      Income taxes                (1,101)       (827)     (3,544)     (1,805)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    NET INCOME FOR THE PERIOD      2,344       1,486       8,979       5,010
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Retained earnings,
     beginning of period as
     previously reported          24,529      14,585      18,538      11,061
    Cumulative effect of
     adopting new accounting
     policies (Note 1)                 -           -         300           -
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Retained earnings,
     beginning of period as
     restated                     24,529      14,585      18,838      11,061
      Preferred share
       dividends                       -           -        (501)          -
      Common share dividends        (459)          -        (902)          -
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Retained earnings, end
     of period                 $  26,414   $  16,071   $  26,414   $  16,071
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Earnings per share (Note 5)
    Basic                      $    0.05   $    0.05   $    0.19   $    0.16
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Diluted                    $    0.04   $    0.04   $    0.17   $    0.13
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    %SEDAR: 00007536E




For further information:

For further information: Arlene Beggs, Assistant to the President,
Western Financial Group, (403) 652-2663, info@westernfinancialgroup.net

Organization Profile

Western Financial Group

More on this organization


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890