VANCOUVER, November 14, 2000 – Intrawest Corporation, the leading developer and operator of village-centered resorts across North America, announced strong summer results with increased revenue and Total Company EBITDA over last year. Total revenue for the first quarter ended September 30, 2000 increased to $132.0 million from $125.7 million in the first quarter ended September 30, 1999. Total Company EBITDA for the period increased 32% to $15.5 million from $11.7 million in the comparable 1999 period. This strong performance was offset by higher interest, depreciation and amortization, and corporate expenses resulting in the seasonal loss from continuing operations for the period of $3.2 million or $0.07 per share, the same as last year.
“Our positive outlook for the upcoming season is primarily supported by three key elements that will drive our business going forward,” said Joe Houssian, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “The villages coming on-stream across our network increase our accommodation and activity options, the launch of our e-commerce programs broadens our distribution channels and the establishment of our National Destination Sales Team generates increased occupancy. These elements have contributed to a 14% increase in lodging bookings compared with last year at this time.”
Ski and resort operations revenue was $65.4 million, 19% more than last year’s first quarter of $55.1 million. Summer revenue increased at every mountain resort except for Blue Mountain, Mont Ste. Marie and Mountain Creek, which experienced the coldest, wettest summer in over 20 years. Increased bed base, added amenities and successful event planning produced 41% revenue growth at Copper, 31% at Mammoth and 25% at Snowshoe. The warm-weather resorts also experienced strong summer business with revenue increases of 18% at Sandestin and 13% at Raven over last year. These revenue increases, combined with effective cost control, resulted in EBITDA from the operations division of $1.5 million compared with a loss of $0.8 million last year.
“Season pass sales are strong with a 39% increase in revenue over last year with Mammoth, Copper and Whistler/Blackcomb having particularly positive results in this area,” said Daniel Jarvis, executive vice president and chief financial officer. “We expect to open all of our resorts on schedule; we are ready to enjoy another successful season.”
Revenue from the sale of real estate was $63.6 million in the quarter compared with $67.2 million last year. The company has a greater weighting of closings in later quarters this year and is on-track to deliver an increase of more than 25% overall in real estate revenue with over 80% already closed or committed. A total of 269 units were delivered in the quarter, slightly more than last year, however the average revenue per unit was lower reflecting a higher percentage of condo-hotel and lot deliveries in 2000 than in 1999. The strong performance of the Resort Club continued into the first quarter with revenue growth of 49% to $9.1 million. Despite the decline in real estate revenue, operating profit from real estate sales increased 19% from $10.2 million to $12.1 million, again reflecting the mix of resorts and product types.
Intrawest Vacations, the company’s integrated reservation division which allows visitors to book customized ski and golf vacation packages across Intrawest’s network of resorts, by phone or through the Internet, also experienced a strong summer season and going forward has a positive outlook for bookings. On a year-to-date basis, bookings through this division for the upcoming season are running at $9.6 million compared with $3.9 million last year.
The Board of Directors of the company today declared a dividend of Cdn. $0.08 per common share payable on January 24, 2001 to shareholders of record on January 10, 2001.
Intrawest is the leading developer and operator of village-centered resorts across North America. The company owns Whistler/Blackcomb, North America’s most popular mountain resort. It also owns Panorama in British Columbia, Blue Mountain in Ontario (50%), Tremblant and Mont Ste. Marie in Quebec, Copper in Colorado, Stratton in Vermont, Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia, Mountain Creek in New Jersey, Mammoth in California (59%), and Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Florida. The company is creating world-class, four-season resort villages at Keystone, Colorado, Solitude, Utah, Squaw Valley near Lake Tahoe, California and Lake Las Vegas Resort, Nevada and has a premier vacation ownership business, Club Intrawest. Intrawest has a significant investment in Compagnie des Alpes, the largest ski company in the world in terms of skier visits, and a 45% interest in Alpine Helicopters Ltd., owner of Canadian Mountain Holidays, the largest heli-skiing operation in the world.