Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. Reports Strong 2015 Third Quarter Results

WHISTLER, BC, Aug. 6, 2015 /CNW/ - Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. (TSX: WB) (the "Company") today reported financial results for the three and nine months ended June 30, 2015. The Company holds a 75% interest in and manages the entities that operate Whistler Blackcomb, the largest four-season mountain resort in North America.

Highlights  

  • Revenue of $226.7 million for the first nine months of 2015 was 1.6% higher than revenue for the equivalent period last year as a result of a strong mix of destination skier visits this season, improved ancillary business performance and increased summer lift revenue.

  • Other visits increased 18.4% to 219,000 for the nine months ended June 30, 2015, reflecting growth in our sightseeing, hiking and mountain bike park businesses. Skier visits decreased 9.0% for the year to date.

  • Third quarter Adjusted EBITDA of $3.3 million was 39.6% higher than Adjusted EBITDA for the comparative period last year due to increased revenue and lower selling general and administrative costs. Adjusted EBITDA for the nine months ended June 30, 2015 experienced a 0.9% decrease to $89.7 million as a result of unusually challenging winter weather conditions, lower regional skier visitation and increased spending on marketing during the first quarter. Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP measure and is defined below.

Dave Brownlie, the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer commented: "We are pleased with our strong third quarter results on the back of one of the most challenging winters in our history.  During the 2014-15 ski season we saw continued growth in destination visitors and generated record pre-committed sales, which contributed to our financial performance and the stability of our business."  Mr. Brownlie continued: "Our summer operations are currently in full swing and, based on our results to date, we are benefiting from strong momentum in visitation as well as improved guest spending patterns.  Looking ahead to next ski season, our season pass and frequency card sales to date are encouraging and demonstrate the strong loyalty of guests in our regional market."

Financial & Operating Results Overview
(In thousands, except per visit amounts and Effective Ticket Price ("ETP" as defined below))





Nine months ended
June 30,

Three months ended
June 30,



2015


2014

% Change


2015


2014

% Change

Visit Metrics











Skier visits


1,770


1,945

(9.0%)


253


273

(7.3%)

Other visits


219


185

18.4%


149


120

24.2%

Total visits


1,989


2,130

(6.6%)


402


393

2.3%












Pricing Metrics











ETP

$

59.88

$

55.77

7.4%

$

44.98

$

47.58

(5.5%)

Revenue per total visit

$

113.96

$

104.77

8.8%

$

87.63

$

87.81

(0.2%)












Financial Results











Total revenue

$

226,673

$

223,159

1.6%

$

35,229

$

34,510

2.1%

Operating expenses, excluding depreciation and amortization


(114,687)


(111,008)

3.3%


(26,743)


(25,796)

3.7%

Selling, general and administrative


(22,276)


(21,668)

2.8%


(5,171)


(6,339)

(18.4%)

Adjusted EBITDA

$

89,710

$

90,483

(0.9%)

$

3,315

$

2,375

39.6%

 

Visit, Pricing and Financial Results Summary

  • The decrease in skier visits for the three and nine months ended June 30, 2015 was attributable to lower visitation due to unfavourable winter conditions at lower elevations, driven by unusually warm weather and below average snowfall in the Pacific Northwest. For the 2014-15 ski season destination skier visits are estimated to have comprised approximately 49% of skier visits compared to approximately 41% for the 2013-14 ski season. Other visits increased for both the three and nine month periods ended June 30, 2015 reflecting growth in the Company's sightseeing, hiking and bike park businesses.

  • The 8.8% increase in revenue per total visit for the nine months ended June 30, 2015 reflected the strong mix of destination visits, improved pricing and guest spending in the Company's retail, rental, and snow school businesses. Additionally, in December 2014, the Company acquired Summit Ski Limited, a complementary ski, snowboard and bike rental and retail business in Whistler, which contributed to the increase in retail and rental revenue compared to the equivalent periods last year.

  • ETP for the quarter ended June 30, 2015 decreased compared to the same period in the prior year as a result of higher utilization of season passes and frequency cards in part due to the extension of the ski season to June 7, 2015. The increased ETP for the nine months ended June 30, 2015 was attributable to increased lift ticket prices and lower utilization of pass and card products, which resulted in a higher yield on these visits.

  • The increase in Adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended June 30, 2015 was driven by increased revenue, as described above, and lower SG&A costs. This was offset in part by higher operating expenses due to inflationary wage adjustments and increased ancillary business sales volumes. For the nine months ended June 30, 2015, adjusted EBITDA declined slightly principally due to higher spending on marketing initiatives in the first quarter. The acquisition of Summit in December, 2014 also contributed to higher retail and rental revenue, operating costs and EBITDA.

Treasury Summary

  • As at June 30, 2015, the Company had long-term debt outstanding of $223.6 million, a decrease of $8.4 million, or 3.6%, compared to $232.0 million at September 30, 2014. The Company's cash and cash equivalents balance at June 30, 2015 was $2.0 million compared to $8.4 million at September 30, 2014.

  • For the three months ended June 30, 2015, cash interest paid was unchanged at $2.1 million compared to the equivalent period in the prior year and for the nine months ended June 30, 2015 cash interest paid decreased 15.4% to $6.6 million compared to the prior year principally due to the lower interest rate on the Company's credit facility in the first quarter.

Indicators

  • As of August 4, 2015 other visits were 394,000 for the year to date, an increase of 8% compared to the same period in the prior year.

  • As of July 31, 2015, the Company generated $14.8 million in 2015-16 season pass and frequency card sales, which represented a 1% increase over sales for the 2014-15 season and a 22% increase over sales for the 2013-14 season at the same time in the prior years.

Dividend

The Company's Board of Directors declared a dividend of $0.24375 per common share for the third quarter, to be paid on August 28, 2015 to shareholders of record on August 21, 2015.  This dividend will be an eligible dividend for Canadian income tax purposes.

 

 

 

Non-GAAP Measures

This press release makes reference to Adjusted EBITDA and ETP, which are measures not prescribed by Canadian generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP. These non-GAAP measures do not have standardized meanings and are therefore unlikely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies.

Adjusted EBITDA is defined as consolidated net earnings (including net earnings attributable to the 25% non-controlling interest) before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, as well as items that management does not consider part of the Company's normal operations, examples of which include significant non-cash gains or losses on disposal of property, buildings and equipment, acquisition or disposal expenses and gains or losses or restructuring expenses relating to acquisitions or disposals of businesses, impairment, restructuring or refinancing charges and reversals and other significant event-driven amounts as applicable. Adjusted EBITDA is provided as additional information to complement GAAP measures and to further understand the Company's results of operations from management's perspective. It is also a supplemental measure of performance that highlights trends in the Company's business that may not otherwise be apparent when relying solely on GAAP financial measures. Seventy-five percent of Adjusted EBITDA is attributable to Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. shareholders, based on the Company's equity interest in the Partnerships. The closest GAAP measure is net earnings and a reconciliation is provided below.

ETP is defined as the Company's ski ticket yield per skier visit calculated as total ski-related lift revenue divided by total skier visits. Ski-related lift revenue and skier visits exclude revenue and visits from summer glacier skiing and other revenue amounts. The Company believes ETP is an important measure of operating performance because it allows management, investors and others to evaluate and compare the yield generated by ski lift tickets from period to period, and ski tickets are the Company's largest source of revenue and the core of its operations. The closest GAAP measure is revenue and a reconciliation is provided below. 

Non-GAAP measures should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of financial information reported in accordance with GAAP. Readers should refer to the Company's annual information form dated December 10, 2014 and its most recent Management's Discussion & Analysis, which are available on the Company's website and under the Company's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com, for additional details regarding non-GAAP measures.

 

 

 

Reconciliation of Net Earnings to Adjusted EBITDA

The following table reconciles Adjusted EBITDA to the Company's most directly comparable GAAP measure, net earnings:










(In thousands) 


Nine
Months
ended June
30, 2015


Nine
Months
ended June
30, 2014


Three
months
ended June
30, 2015


Three
months
ended June
30, 2014



















Consolidated net earnings

$

32,226

$

29,473

$

(9,858)

$

(10,251)

Depreciation and amortization


31,445


31,162


10,498


10,526

Finance expense, long term debt


9,237


16,390


1,992


2,052

Finance expense, Limited Partner's interest


6,338


6,025


2,035


2,175

Income tax expense


10,047


8,890


(2,008)


(2,134)

EBITDA

$

89,293

$

91,940

$

2,659

$

2,368

Other income


(133)


(2,958)


-


-

Other expense


550


1,501


656


7

Adjusted EBITDA

$

89,710

$

90,483

$

3,315

$

2,375

 

The following table reconciles ETP to our most directly comparable GAAP measure, revenue:










(In thousands) 


Nine
Months
ended June
30, 2015


Nine
Months
ended June
30, 2014


Three
months
ended June
30, 2015


Three
months
ended June
30, 2014



















Revenue

$

226,673

$

223,159

$

35,229

$

34,510

Less: Non-ski lift revenue


(120,694)


(114,689)


(23,848)


(21,520)

Total ski lift revenue

$

105,979

$

108,470

$

11,381

$

12,990

Divided by: Total skier visits


1,770


1,945


253


273

Effective Ticket Price

$

59.88

$

55.77

$

44.98

$

47.58


Conference Call Information

Management will conduct a conference call on August 6, 2015 at 7:30 a.m. Pacific Time / 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time to review the Company's fiscal 2015 third quarter results. The call can be accessed by dialing 1.800.319.4610 (Canada and US) or 1.604.638.5340 (International) prior to the start of the call. A live webcast and 30 day replay of the conference call will be available in the Presentation & Webcasts section of the Company's website.

 

ABOUT WHISTLER BLACKCOMB HOLDINGS INC.

The Company holds a 75% interest in each of Whistler Mountain Resort Limited Partnership and Blackcomb Skiing Enterprises Limited Partnership (the "Partnerships"), which, together, carry on the four season mountain resort business located in the Resort Municipality of Whistler, British Columbia (the "Resort Business"). The Company is the operating general partner of the Partnerships and as such manages the Resort Business. Whistler Blackcomb, the official alpine skiing venue for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, is situated in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, 125 kilometres (78 miles) north of Vancouver, British Columbia. North America's largest four-season mountain resort, Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain are two side-by-side mountains, connected by the world record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, which combined offer over 200 marked runs, over 8,000 acres of terrain, 14 alpine bowls, three glaciers, receive on average over 1,163 centimetres (458 inches) of snow annually, and offer one of the longest ski seasons in North America. In the summer, Whistler Blackcomb offers a variety of activities, including hiking and biking trails, the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, and sightseeing on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola. Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "WB".  Additional information is available on the Company's website at www.whistlerblackcomb.com/holdings or under the Company's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com.

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release and the associated conference call and webcast, which include a business update, third quarter results and a question and answer session, may contain certain forward-looking statements or information, within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws, which reflect the current view of the Company with respect to future events and financial performance. Forward-looking statements can often be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "may", "will", "would", "could", "should", "expect", "intend", "estimate", "anticipate", "plan", "foresee", "believe" or "continue" or the negatives of such terms or variations of them or similar terminology. All forward-looking statements made by the Company are based on the opinions and estimates of management as of the date such statements are made and represent management's best judgment based on facts and assumptions that management considers reasonable. The forward-looking statements and information contained in this press release and the associated conference call and webcast are based on certain factors and assumptions made by management of the Company including, but not limited to: business conditions, guest visitation, the Company benefiting from momentum in summer visitation and encouraging 2015-16 season pass and frequency card sales, weather, macroeconomic and currency influences, and interest rates, among others. These forward-looking statements and information are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated including, but not limited to, unfavourable weather conditions, unfavorable economic conditions, decreases in leisure and business travel, seasonality of operations, capital expenditures, currency fluctuations, reliance on agreements with the Province of British Columbia to operate the Resort Business, competition from other resorts, dependence on key employees and seasonal workforce, workforce risks, the impact of natural disasters, risks related to the credit facility and interest rate risks, adequacy of insurance coverage, litigation or governmental investigations, safety and accident risks, environmental laws and regulations, risks related to privacy laws, information technology and the processing of credit card information, negative publicity or unauthorized use of the Company's trademarks or trade names, risks relating to growth projects and acquisitions, risks relating to third party interests and risks relating to an investment in the common shares of the Company, including with regard to dividend payments and future sales or issuances of common shares of the Company.  A more detailed description of these risks is available in the Company's most recently filed annual information form and management's discussion and analysis, which is available on the Company's website and at www.sedar.com under the Company's SEDAR profile.

Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements or information prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements and information are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements or information because the Company can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. 

These forward-looking statements and information are made as of the date of this press release, and the Company has no intention and assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements or information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by applicable Canadian securities laws.

 

Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc.
Condensed Interim Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income
(in thousands, except per share amounts)














Nine Months
ended June 30,
2015


Nine Months
ended June 30,
2014


Three Months
ended June 30,
2015


Three Months
ended June 30,
2014





















Resort Revenue


$

226,673

$

223,159

$

35,229

$

34,510











Operating expenses



114,687


111,008


26,743


25,796

Depreciation and amortization



31,445


31,162


10,498


10,526

Selling, general and administrative



22,276


21,668


5,171


6,339




168,408


163,838


42,412


42,661











Earnings from operations



58,265


59,321


(7,183)


(8,151)











Other income



133


2,958


-


-

Other expense



(550)


(1,501)


(656)


(7)

Finance expense, long term debt



(9,237)


(16,390)


(1,992)


(2,052)

Finance expense, Limited Partner's interest



(6,338)


(6,025)


(2,035)


(2,175)











Net earnings (loss) before income tax



42,273


38,363


(11,866)


(12,385)











Income tax (expense) benefit



(10,047)


(8,890)


2,008


2,134











Net earnings (loss) and comprehensive income (loss)


$

32,226

$

29,473

$

(9,858)

$

(10,251)











Net earnings (loss) and comprehensive income (loss):





















Attributable to Whistler Blackcomb
Holdings Inc. shareholders


$

26,504

$

23,891

$

(5,500)

$

(5,633)


Attributable to Limited Partner's non-
controlling interest



5,722


5,582


(4,358)


(4,618)



$

32,226

$

29,473

$

(9,858)

$

(10,251)











Earnings (loss) per share










Basic


$

0.70

$

0.63

$

(0.14)

$

(0.15)

Diluted


$

0.70

$

0.63

$

(0.14)

$

(0.15)











Weighted average number of common shares outstanding










Basic



38,039


38,002


38,050


38,026

Diluted



38,097


38,202


38,103


38,378

 

Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc.
Condensed Interim Consolidated Statements of Financial Position
(in thousands)










June 30,
 
2015


September 30,
 2014

Assets






Current assets







Cash and cash equivalents


$

2,011

$

8,410


Accounts receivable



4,160


4,496


Inventory



17,170


18,633


Prepaid expenses



3,433


3,985


Notes receivable



153


145




26,927


35,669

Notes receivable



624


777

Property, buildings and equipment



315,495


319,897

Property held for development



9,244


9,244

Intangible assets



292,408


300,778

Goodwill



142,440


137,354



$

787,138

$

803,719







Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity






Current liabilities







Accounts payable and accrued liabilities


$

21,213

$

25,715


Income taxes payable



4,238


2,403


Provisions



1,650


2,139


Deferred revenue



15,745


27,610




42,846


57,867

Other liabilities



3,212


-

Long-term debt



221,424


229,855

Deferred income tax liability



24,736


21,974

Limited Partner's liability



72,796


72,796

Total liabilities



365,014


382,492


Share capital



443,249


442,879


Contributed surplus



1,291


919


Deficit



(75,262)


(73,949)

Total Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. shareholders' equity



369,278


369,849

Non-controlling interest



52,846


51,378




422,124


421,227



$

787,138

$

803,719

 

Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc.
Condensed Interim Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
(in thousands)










Nine months
ended June 30,
2015


Nine months
ended June 30,
 2014







Cash provided by (used in)












Operations












Net earnings and comprehensive income


$

32,226

$

29,473







Adjustments for:







Income tax expense



10,047


8,890


Finance expense on long-term debt



9,237


16,390


Finance expense on Limited Partner's interest



6,338


6,025


Depreciation and amortization



31,445


31,162


Disposal losses (gains)



550


(21)


Share-based compensation



698


597




90,541


92,516







Interest paid on long-term debt



(6,571)


(7,768)

Prepayment penalty paid on second lien facility repayment



-


(5,500)

Finance expense paid on Limited Partner's interest



(6,618)


(3,850)

Income taxes paid



(5,601)


(3,166)

Changes in non-cash operating working capital



(14,225)


(12,305)









$

57,526

$

59,927







Financing






Dividends paid on common shares



(27,817)


(27,791)

Distributions to Limited Partner's non-controlling interest



(4,254)


(2,794)

Repayment of long-term debt



(24,000)


(310,000)

Draws on revolving credit facility



15,610


274,000

Proceeds from issuances of common stock



44


-

Debt issuance costs



(382)


(2,627)



$

(40,799)

$

(69,212)







Investing






Expenditures on property, buildings, equipment and intangibles



(23,463)


(20,647)

Proceeds from sale of property and equipment



192


207

Repayment of notes receivable



145


179



$

(23,126)

$

(20,261)







Cash and cash equivalents, end of period






Decrease in cash and cash equivalents



(6,399)


(29,546)

Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period



8,410


41,353



$

2,011

$

11,807

 

 

 

SOURCE Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc.



For further information: David Wilcox, Manager, Finance & Investor Relations, Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc., dwilcox@whistlerblackcomb.com, ph: 604.938.7376


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