Abercrombie & Kent acquisition boosts Intrawest’s performance 

Intrawest Corporation, the parent company of Whistler-Blackcomb, released its first quarterly fiscal report for the period ending Sept. 30, last week.

Although real estate sales were down overall with fewer units for sale, something the company expected, there were a few bright spots – higher revenues from resort operations and management services than the previous year, and the successful partnership with adventure travel company Abercrombie & Kent.

In the big picture, overall revenues for the first quarter were down to $206.5 million from $276.6 million the previous year. (All figures in U.S. dollars unless indicated otherwise.)

The company also incurred a net loss of $6.7 million, or $0.14 a share, compared with a net income of $900,000 or two cents a share over 2003 figures.

Total EBITDA (earnings before interest, income taxes, non-controlling interest, depreciation and amortization) was $16.1 million, compared to $25.5 million in the previous first quarter.

The lower numbers were anticipated by Intrawest as a result of construction schedules and the fact that the company delivered fewer real estate units in the first quarter than last year.

Meanwhile, resort and travel operations were up compared to the same period in 2003 numbers, with $129.3 million in revenues and $7.1 million in profits, up considerably from $54.4 million and $3.5 million the year before.

The main reason for this boost was Intrawest’s 67 per cent acquisition of Abercrombie & Kent, a luxury adventure-travel company with operations around the globe. The company’s first quarter revenue was approximately $70.5 million, up eight per cent over the previous year. Growth at Whistler-Blackcomb and Sandestin golf resort in Florida, both Intrawest companies, spurred the increase.

"We are extremely pleased with the addition of Abercrombie & Kent," said Joe Houssian, Intrawest’s chairman, president and CEO. "The adventure travel company has made a significant contribution in the first quarter which helps balance the seasonality of our mountain resorts."

Management service revenues and profits increased to $35.1 million and $5.7 million respectively, compared to $24.5 million and $2.6 million the previous year as a result of increased real estate development, sales services fees and property rental management fees. The number of room nights increased five per cent, while daily rates increased seven per cent.

Real estate revenues dropped significantly from $193.3 million in 2003 to just $39.6 million this year – 317 units compared to 42 units.

As a result of these first quarter results, Intrawest’s board of directors authorized a dividend of Cdn $0.8 per share.

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