Intrawest third-quarter profits slip 

Results highlight continued impact from '05 weather


Intrawest posted a lower third-quarter profit this week, citing higher depreciation and amortization expenses.

Profit was $61 million, or $1.23 a share on a diluted basis in the quarter ended March 31, compared with $66 million, or $1.38 a share, in the year before quarter. (All figures are in US dollars.)

Revenues increased 18 per cent to $550.9 million.

On the resort and travel operations side the third quarter report, released by Intrawest this week, showed that revenue for the mountain segment increased from $275.7 million to $289.9 million.

Skier visits increased from 4,400,000 in the 2005-quarter to 4,572,000 in the 2006-quarter with an increase of 11 per cent at the western resorts.

Whistler-Blackcomb saw a 15 per cent increase in skier visits compared with the 2005 quarter when all of the B.C. operations experienced very challenging weather with heavy rainfall in mid-January followed by warm dry conditions through mid-March.

But the numbers show that there is still spillover effect from last year’s weather this year. Skier visits are down 3 per cent this quarter over the same quarter in 2004.

Revenue per skier visit increased 1 per cent in the 2006 quarter overall.

At Whistler-Blackcomb a shift in the mix of visits from high yielding destination visitors to lower yielding regional visitors resulted in 4 per cent decline in revenue per visit.

The main reason for the decline in destination visits was a drop of 34 per cent in bookings from the long-haul U.S. market.

The strong Canadian dollar, the cost of air-lift into Vancouver and the generally excellent conditions at resorts in the U.S. West contributed to the reduced bookings as well.

For the season the end of April the skier mix was 49 per cent regional and 51 per cent destination in fiscal 2006, compared with 42 per cent regional and 58 per cent destination in fiscal 2005.

Strong results from the company’s real estate operations allowed the company to increase its guidance fro its 2006 operating earnings to between $280 million and $290 million, with income from continuing operations in the range of $70 million to $80 million.

The improved expected results are due to higher real estate operating income guidance of $155 million to $160 million, up from $100 million to $105 million, helped by partial sale of Intrawest’s Mammoth Lakes, Calif., real estate to Starwood Capital Group.


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