Benvest New Look Income Fund
TSX : BCI.UN

Benvest New Look Income Fund

November 09, 2007 17:30 ET

Benvest New Look Income Fund Reports: Record revenues, EBITDA and Net Earnings for Third Quarter Ended September 30th, 2007

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Nov. 9, 2007) - Benvest New Look Income Fund (TSX:BCI.UN) - Total revenues for the quarter increased 17.1% to a record high $15.4 million compared to last year while comparable store sales increased 11.1% compared to last year. EBITDA(1) for the third quarter was a record high of $3.1 million, an increase of 28% compared to last year.

For the nine-month period, revenues increased 20.9% to $44.3 million while EBITDA increased 48% to $8.2 million compared with last year. Comparable stores revenues rose 10.1% in the nine-month period compared with last year.

Overall operating efficiency improved, during the third quarter, as EBITDA, expressed as a percentage of revenues increased to 20.3% compared with 18.6% for the third quarter of last year. For the nine-month period, overall operating efficiency improved to 18.5% compared with 15.1% for the nine-month period last year.

Net earnings for the third quarter were $1.6 million, a 24.7% increase over the preceding year, while during the nine-month period earnings increased to $4.0 million, a 47.4% increase compared to the previous year.

During the nine-month period, three new stores were opened, two optical practices purchased and one store was relocated. The total number of stores at September, 30th 2007 was 57 compared to 50 a year earlier.

Distributions declared to unitholders were increased in August 2007 to $0.0521 per unit, the fourth increase from inception of the Fund. Since its inception in May 2005, the Fund monthly distributions have increased 38.9%.

"With our strong management team, increasing contributions from recently opened store, and exciting new HD lenses, we are well positioned to continue our growth." stated C. Emmett Pearson, President & Chief Executive Officer of New Look.

(1) EBITDA refers to consolidated earnings before interest income and expenses, income taxes, and amortization. It excludes any gain or loss on foreign currency translation (except if related to cost of goods sold) and net gains and losses related to portfolio investments. EBITDA is not a recognized measure under Canadian generally accepted accounting principles and may not be comparable to similar measures used by other entities. The Fund believes that EBITDA is a useful financial metric as it assists in determining the ability to generate cash from operations.

On May 1st, 2005, Benvest Capital Inc. was converted into an income trust named the Benvest New Look Income Fund, the purpose of which is to hold securities of New Look Eyewear Inc. ("New Look"). New Look is a leading enterprise in the eye care industry in Eastern Canada, with growth opportunities based on demographic trends and the consolidation of the industry in Canada. As of October 31, 2007, 5,784,795 units of the Fund were issued and outstanding and listed for trading on the TSX. In addition, 3,870,404 exchangeable shares (on a consolidated basis) of New Look were also issued and outstanding. These shares, which are not listed or freely tradable, have been exchangeable on a one-for-one basis into units of the Fund since May 1st, 2006.

This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements that reflect the current views and / or expectations of Benvest New Look Income Fund with respect to its performance, business, and future events. Such statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties, and assumptions. Actual results and events may vary.

For additional information please see our web site www.newlook.ca Investor Relations or www.benvest.com



BENVEST NEW LOOK INCOME FUND
Consolidated Statement of Earnings
For the quarter and the nine months ended September 30, 2007

In thousands of dollars
------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Three months Nine months
2007 2006 2007 2006
$ $ $ $
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Revenues from eye care 15,371 13,126 44,263 36,604

Cost of goods sold,
operating, selling and
administration expenses 12,248 10,680 36,078 31,066
------------------------------------------------------------------------

EBITDA(1) 3,123 2,446 8,185 5,538

Amortization 925 795 2,547 2,156
Financial expenses, net of
interest revenues 180 11 494 (55)
Loss (gain) on foreign
currency translation (41) 2 (124) 69
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1,064 808 2,917 2,170
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Earnings before income
taxes and non-controlling
interest 2,059 1,638 5,268 3,368

Income taxes 476 370 1,205 609
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Earnings before
non-controlling interest 1,583 1,268 4,063 2,759
Non-controlling interest 9 6 27 20
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Net earnings 1,574 1,262 4,036 2,739
------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Segmented information(2)
Net earnings from eye care 1,601 1,208 4,096 2,656
Net earnings (loss) from
other segment (27) 54 (60) 83
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1,574 1,262 4,036 2,739
------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Net earnings per unit
Basic 0.163 0.131 0.418 0.284
Diluted 0.159 0.129 0.410 0.280


(1) EBITDA refers to consolidated earnings before interest income and expenses, income taxes, and amortization. It excludes any gain or loss on foreign currency translation (except if related to cost of goods sold) and net gains and losses related to portfolio investments. EBITDA is not a recognized measure under Canadian generally accepted accounting principles and may not be comparable to similar measures used by other entities. The Fund believes that EBITDA is a useful financial metric as it assists in determining the ability to generate cash from operations.

(2)The Fund has two reportable segments: eye care products and services, and other. The other segment relates to the remaining portfolio investment under liquidation and the escrowed proceeds from the sale of a portfolio investment.

Contact Information

  • Benvest New Look Income Fund
    Lise Melanson
    514-877-4299, ext. 2234.