Intrawest Corporation, the leading operator and developer of village-centered resorts across North America, announced that a strong performance in ski and resort operations in the third quarter ended March 31, 2002 drove income from continuing operations up 12.2 per cent to $56.2 million compared with $50.1 million in the same quarter of fiscal 2001. Basic earnings per share increased from $1.15 to $1.28 and fully diluted earnings per share increased from $1.12 to $1.25.
Revenue for the quarter was $342.1 million compared with $339.0 million in the same quarter of 2001. Total company EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, non-controlling interest, depreciation and amortization) increased to $113.1 million from $107.0 million in the same period last year.
“The strong earnings growth in the third quarter, despite the very challenging conditions in the leisure industry, reflects the high degree of customer commitment to our resorts and the strong competitive position we have established,” said Joe Houssian, Intrawest`s chairman, president and chief executive officer.
Income from continuing operations was $52.5 million for the nine months compared with income from continuing operations of $57.6 million in 2001. Revenue and total company EBITDA for the nine months ended March 31, 2002 were $667.2 million and $160.3 million, respectively, compared with $675.9 million and $157.3 million, respectively, in the same period last year.
Ski and resort operation revenue was $273.1 million in the third quarter, up from $267.9 million in the same quarter of fiscal 2001. Revenue from the warm-weather resorts was $12.8 million, down marginally from $13.2 million last year. Ski and resort operations EBITDA for the quarter increased to $99.6 million from $93.2 million last year. The cost control measures that had a positive impact on ski and resort operations EBITDA in the first two quarters continued to benefit the company in the third quarter and, while revenue grew by 1.9 per cent in the third quarter, costs declined by 0.7 per cent.
“We are pleased with the seven per cent growth in operating profit from ski and resort operations over the 2001 quarter, which was up in turn by 19 per cent over the same quarter in 2000,” said Daniel Jarvis, Intrawest`s executive vice president and chief financial officer.
For the nine-month period ended March 31, 2002, ski and resort operation revenue was $419.3 million compared with $425.4 million for the period ended March 31, 2001. EBITDA from ski and resort operations for the nine-month 2002 period was $115.8 million, compared with $110.5 million in the same period last year.
Skier visits for the quarter increased 4.1 per cent over the previous year with strong visit growth at western resorts offset by a slight decline in the number of visits to the eastern resorts. Revenue per visit declined 2.2 per cent from last year due largely to the increase in local and regional guests who typically generate less revenue per visit.
Resort Reservations Network Inc., the company`s central reservations business, continued to experience strong growth with gross bookings increasing by 245 per cent on a fiscal year-to-date basis to $45.2 million. This business continues to expand its network to include additional destination resorts.
Real estate revenue was $64.2 million for the third quarter compared with $65.5 million reported in the same quarter last year. Intrawest closed 126 units during the quarter compared with 171 in the same quarter last year. The closings in the quarter were below expectations as construction delays at the First Ascent project in Squaw Valley moved some closings of pre-sold units into the fourth quarter of 2002. Operating profit from real estate sales was $11.9 million, down slightly from $12.0 million profit in the same period last year. The margin on sales for the quarter was 18.6 per cent, slightly above the margin last year.
For the nine-month period ended March 31, 2002, real estate revenue and operating profit were $238.2 million and $38.0 million, respectively, slightly below the corresponding 2001 period. The real estate results also reflect a strong third quarter from the company`s vacation ownership business with revenue of $16.5 million compared with $13.2 million last year.
Currently the company has a record backlog of real estate contracts with total pre-sales of over $700 million of which approximately $250 million is expected to close in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2002 and the balance is expected to close in fiscal 2003 and 2004.
The Board of Directors of the company today declared a dividend of Cdn$0.08 per common share payable on July 24, 2002 to shareholders of record on July 10, 2002.