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Long-haul market earns more for WB

Whistler Blackcomb Holdings second quarter results



Destination guests can make all the difference — just look at Whistler Blackcomb's financial results for the season.

The company's revenues reached $125.5 million for the quarter ending March 31, 2012, up $12.4 million or 11 per cent over the same period last year.

The increase was primarily because of the increase in destination guests and the associated increase in revenue per visit.

All key metrics increased over the same time period, including pass sales. Revenues and skier visits increased over last year, a sign that the company's marketing efforts, and the resort's, are paying off.

"Over the last 12 months our team has been focused on growing skier visits and revenue by driving increased destination skier visits and I am pleased with the results to date," said Dave Brownlie, president and chief operating officer for Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc.

Sales of season passes and frequency cards up to March 31, 2012 totaled $41.5 million, an increase of $3.2 million over last year's sales of $38.3 million. This is a new record for Whistler Blackcomb.

Skier visits to April 30, 2012 reached 2.08 million, up over 1.979 million for the same period last year.

While that is a strong showing it is not a record. The record for a season was set in 2001/02 with 2.23 million visits. And while the season isn't yet over, typically there are about 55,000 to 65,000 visits in the last month.

The company reports net earnings of $44.8 million from January to March 31, or 81 cents per share.

That's down from net earnings of $50.8 million, or $1.02 per share in the same time period last year. The net change is primarily due to higher non-cash deferred income tax expense in the current year.

While destination visitors played a key role on Whistler Blackcomb's books this season, the company also reports ongoing strength in the regional market visitation with a new record for pre-committed revenues. The regional market continues to be a key performance driver.

Whistler Blackcomb Holdings' third-quarter results will be released in August.