SCEPTRE INVESTMENT COUNSEL LIMITED
TSX : SZ

SCEPTRE INVESTMENT COUNSEL LIMITED

January 15, 2007 15:28 ET

Sceptre Investment Counsel Reports Q4 & Fiscal 2006 Results

Dividend Increased by 12.5%

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 15, 2007) - Sceptre Investment Counsel Limited, (TSX:SZ) a leading independent Canadian money management firm, today reported its financial results for the three- and 12-month periods ended November 30, 2006.

Fourth-quarter earnings were $1,383,000 or 10 cents per share fully diluted (10 cents per share basic), compared with $1,008,000 or 7 cents per share fully diluted (7 cents per share basic) for the same period last year. Earnings for the 12 months ended November 30, 2006 were $5,201,000 or 37 cents per share fully diluted (37 cents per share basic), compared with $3,714,000 or 26 cents per share fully diluted (26 cents per share basic) in 2005.

Revenue for the fourth quarter was $7,195,000, compared with $5,939,000 for the fourth quarter last year. Revenue for the 12 months ended November 30, 2006 was $27,274,000, compared with $22,811,000 for fiscal 2005. The fourth-quarter revenues from the Company's Pension and Institutional Fund business are calculated based on market values as at September 30, 2006.

Total expenses for fiscal 2006 increased by 16% over the prior year. Major expense items include compensation (+16%), mutual fund expenses (+16%) and foreign sub-advisory fees (+70%). The foreign sub-advisory fees and mutual fund expenses increased in proportion to the growth in assets under management.

"Our financial performance is continuing to improve, reflecting both robust market returns and new client assets. We anticipate an active year for new business opportunities based on our strong long term investment track records, new product initiatives and expanded marketing capabilities" said Richard Knowles, President and Chief Executive Officer.

"In 2006, strong domestic and foreign equity markets combined with a stable bond market to produce an exceptional investment environment. Sceptre's clients were again rewarded with excellent investment returns as our own performance continued strong across all client groups.

Investment highlights for the year included top-quartile rankings for a number of institutional funds on both a short and long term basis. Mutual funds, particularly the Sceptre Equity Growth and Sceptre Canadian Equity, had tremendous results. At the recent Canadian Investment Awards, Allan Jacobs was named "Mutual Fund Manager of the Year" for his exceptional performance over many years in the Canadian Small Cap area. As well, Sceptre's investment teams were winners in one other category and finalists in three others.

On December 31, 2006, the acquisition of Legg Mason Canada's Private Client Division closed bringing an additional $600 million in assets and approximately 250 new client relationships to Sceptre."

The Company, having considered its financial requirements and new business opportunities, has declared a quarterly dividend of 9 cents per share on outstanding common shares, payable on January 31, 2007 to shareholders of record January 24, 2007. The previous quarterly dividend was 8 cents per share. Total dividends declared for the fiscal year rose by 29% as compared to the prior fiscal year.

About Sceptre Investment Counsel

Sceptre Investment Counsel Limited is a leading Canadian independent investment management firm with assets under supervision of approximately $8.6 billion. The Company's Pension and Institutional Fund group manages investment portfolios for a wide range of clients, including corporations, governments, hospitals, charitable foundations, endowments, universities and unions. Through its Wealth Management group, Sceptre provides discretionary funds and segregated account management for high net-worth individuals and offers a family of seven mutual funds and two closed end funds. Sceptre employs approximately 60 people in its offices in Toronto, Waterloo, Montreal and Vancouver. Sceptre's common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange, under the symbol SZ.

Contact Information

  • Sceptre Investment Counsel Limited
    Richard L. Knowles
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    (416) 866-2380