Benvest New Look Income Fund

Benvest New Look Income Fund

July 29, 2005 14:20 ET

Benvest New Look Announces Significant Increase in Revenues and Net Income for Fiscal Year Ending April 30th, 2005

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - July 29, 2005) - Benvest New Look Income Fund (TSX:BCI.UN) (the "Fund") today announced the results for Benvest Capital Inc. (the "Company") for the 12-month fiscal period ended April 30, 2005. Effective May 1, 2005, the Company was converted into the Fund. Revenues from operations for the fiscal year were $42,085,000 compared with $24,724,000 for the 8-month fiscal period ended April 30, 2004. Net earnings were $9,006,000 for the year compared to a loss of $999,000 for the previous year. Net earnings per share were $0.959 compared to a loss per share of $0.106 last year.

Earnings before amortization, financial expenses, non-recurring expenses, income taxes and non-controlling interest were $6,470,000 compared with $2,406,000 for the previous fiscal period.

Amortization and Financial Expenses were $2,391,000 compared with $2,013,000 last year.

One-time costs for the conversion of the Company into an income trust were $1,192,000. No acquisition premium was recorded for the year, compared with $149,000 last year.

Net gain on portfolio investments was $7,776,000 compared to a loss of $1,008,000 last year, principally due to the successful disposition of the Company's equity interest in CMN International Inc.

The principal reasons for the positive variances are: the continuing strong performance of the operating subsidiary Lunetterie New Look, the inclusion of the 12-month results as compared to 8 months last year, the disposition of CMN and the increased interest and other income.

Highlights for the 12-month period ended April 30th, 2005 were:

a) the successful sale of the CMN investment in November 2004 for US$14.9 million, the proceeds of which were used to significantly reduce debt and for the growth of New Look;

b) the Company's operating subsidiary, New Look, continued its strong growth in revenues and profitability;

c) effective May 1st, 2005, the Company was converted into an income trust.

John Bennett, Chairman of the Fund, noted that:

"During the year, the Company successfully sold its investment in CMN and the operating results of New Look continued to grow significantly in revenues and profitability. As a result of these two positive factors, we were able to move to the next step. This was the successful conversion of the Company into an income trust. Although time-consuming and expensive, the conversion has helped significantly maximize shareholder value, provide a monthly income to unitholders and provide a solid platform for New Look to successfully grow its business."

On May 1, 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 June 30, 2005, 5,424,335 units of the Fund were issued and outstanding and listed for trading on the TSX. In addition, 4,196,864 exchangeable shares of New Look are also issued and outstanding. As of June 30, 2005, these shares, which are not listed or freely tradable, are exchangeable on a one-for-one basis into units of the Fund after 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.

Contact Information

  • Benvest New Look
    Lise Melanson
    (514) 877-4299, ext. 2234