BENVEST CAPITAL INC.

BENVEST CAPITAL INC.

March 16, 2005 10:26 ET

Benvest Capital Announces its Nine Months Results


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

FOR: BENVEST CAPITAL INC.

TSX SYMBOL: BCI

MARCH 16, 2005 - 10:26 ET

Benvest Capital Announces its Nine Months Results

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - March 16, 2005) - Results for nine
months ended January 31st, 2005: Benvest Capital Inc. (TSX:BCI) today
reported a significant increase in revenues and net income over the
comparable period last year driven by strong third quarter results of
Lunetterie New Look International Inc. and by the successful sale of the
Company's investment in CMN International.

Revenues for the quarter ending January 31st, 2005 were $9,585,000
compared to $8,063,000 for the comparable period last year (3 months
ended February 29th, 2004). System-wide sales as compared to last year
were up a strong 19.3%. During the quarter, the company recorded a net
gain of $7,776,000 on portfolio investments. Earnings before financial
expenses, income taxes, amortization and net gain on portfolio
investments increased to $1,692,000 from $610,000 in the comparable
period last year. Net earnings, after inclusion of the net gain on
portfolio investments, were $7,357,000 or $0.784 per share compared to a
loss of $188,000 or a loss of $0.020 per share in the comparable period
last year.

Revenues for the nine months ended January 31st, 2005 were $28,583,000
compared to $16,365,000 for the comparable period last year (9 months
ended February 29th, 2004). As noted above during the third quarter,
the company recorded a net gain of $7,776,000 on portfolio investments
compared to nil in the comparable period. Earnings before financial
expenses, income taxes, amortization and net gain on portfolio
investments were $4,743,000 for the nine months compared to $1,227,000
in the comparable period. Net earnings, after inclusion of the net gain
on portfolio investments, were $8,498,000 or $0.905 per share compared
to a loss of $450,000 or a loss of $0.048 per share for the comparable
period last year.

The positive results are mainly due to the inclusion of Lunetterie New
Look International Inc.'s results in the consolidated statements for a
period of nine months this year compared to a period of six months last
year, the improvement of New Look's performance in the third quarter
compared to last year and to the successful sale of the CMN investment.

Until August 31st, 2003, Benvest Capital Inc. was a merchant bank with a
diverse portfolio of assets in various service industries. Its new
corporate mission is as an operating public company with New Look as its
base. 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.

On November 30th, 2004, Benvest sold its investment in CMN International
Inc. (real estate services industry) for a consideration of
US$14,995,000. Post-closing of the above transaction, Benvest holds one
non-strategic asset: The Fitness Company (82%), a US health and fitness
club company.

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Contact Information

  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
    Benvest Capital Inc.
    Lise Melanson
    (514) 877-4299 ext. 2234