WB reports strong QR, year-end 

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Note: Some information in the story was incorrect, as earnings per share are not the same as dividends. In fact, in 2011 the earnings per share were $0.35 or less than three per cent, but dividends were closer to nine per cent for shareholders. We regret the error.

Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc., the publicly traded corporation that owns 75 per cent of Whistler Blackcomb, released its fourth quarter and annual results on Wednesday, Dec. 12, and performance was strong.

For the fourth quarter period, which ended Sept. 30, Whistler Blackcomb reported an 8.1 per cent increase in summer visitors to 375,000. The result was an increase in revenue of 6.9 per cent to $27.4 million and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $168,000.

The annual report also showed growth. Total year-round visits were up 5.3 per cent over the previous year to 2.647 million, which reflected a 20 per cent increase in destination skier visit and record summer visits. On the winter front, Whistler benefited from being one of the only resorts in North America with significant snow last year, with total snowfall ranking second in resort history.

The company's EBITDA grew 15.1 per cent to $85.2 million, and their year-end cash and cash equivalents holdings increased to $43.6 million — a 45.3 per cent year-over-year increase.

Newly installed president and chief executive officer Dave Brownlie presented the annual report on Wednesday.

"We have now completed two years as a publicly listed company and we have demonstrated success in driving increased destination skier visits and record season pass and frequency card sales," he said.

Total company revenues grew $20.4 million over the fiscal year to $236 million.

Net earnings were $15.7 million, an increase of $2.5 million or 19.1 per cent over the period starting Nov. 9, 2010 and finishing Sept. 30, 2011. Earnings per share were roughly 41 cents per share, up from 35 cents in 2011.

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