Benvest New Look Income Fund

Benvest New Look Income Fund

November 09, 2009 21:00 ET

Benvest New Look Income Fund Releases Its Results for the Third Quarter of 2009

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Nov. 9, 2009) - Benvest New Look Income Fund (TSX:BCI.UN) announced today the results for its third quarter of 2009 ended September 30. Eye care operations generated revenues of $16.4 million, an increase of 1.4% over the corresponding quarter of last year. Revenues from comparable stores decreased by 6.5% during the quarter in comparison to last year. As a consequence of the decrease in revenues, EBITDA(1) was down to $2.2 million from $2.9 million last year and net earnings were down to $0.8 million from $1.4 million last year. Cash flows from operations were strong at $3.0 million as compared to $2.8 million for the corresponding period last year.

For the nine-month period, revenues increased 6.1% to $51.3 million. EBITDA, at $8.0 million, decreased by 6.9% compared to last year due to the modest performance during the third quarter. For the same period, revenues from comparable stores were down 1.8% . Net earnings decreased to $3.9 million. Net earnings per unit, calculated on a diluted basis, were $0.39 for the nine-month period compared to $0.43 for the corresponding period of last year. Capital expenditures totaling $4.0 million in the nine-month period comprised two new stores, the acquisition of a joint venture partner and four optical practices, and addition to optical equipment.

Martial Gagne, President of New Look Eyewear Inc., commented: "While we started the year with two good quarters, the slower third quarter seemed to track the general slowdown in the optical eyewear retail sector in Canada. We are confident we will have a good fourth quarter and complete 2009 year with satisfactory results".


(1) Refer to Note 1 in the attached table for a definition of EBITDA.

On May 1(st), 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, 2009, 6,139,328 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, are exchangeable on a one-for-one basis into units of the Fund.

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.

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Consolidated Statement of Earnings
For the quarter and the nine-month period ended
September 30, 2009

In thousands of dollars except per unit amounts
Quarter Nine months
2009 2008 2009 2008
$ $ $ $
Revenues from eye care 16,446 16,211 51,333 48,401
Cost of materials, direct
labour, operating,
selling and
administration expenses 14,258 13,315 43,306 39,779
EBITDA (1) 2,188 2,896 8,027 8,622
Amortization 843 819 2,385 2,484
Financial expenses, net
of interest revenues 77 183 330 480
Equity-based compensation
expense 39 30 119 97
959 1,032 2,834 3,061
Earnings before the
following items 1,229 1,864 5,193 5,561
Net gain (net loss) on
foreign currency
translation (115) 3 (224) (12)
Recovery (expenses)
related to former
portfolio investments 0 (41) 36 (41)

Earnings before income
taxes and non-controlling
interest 1,114 1,826 5,005 5,508
Income taxes 283 388 1,122 1,188
Earnings before
non-controlling interest 831 1,438 3,883 4,320
Non-controlling interest 7 9 22 27
Net earnings 824 1,429 3,861 4,293
Net earnings per unit
Basic 0.08 0.15 0.39 0.44
Diluted 0.08 0.14 0.39 0.43

(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), expenses related to former portfolio investments, equity-based compensation, and non-controlling interest. EBITDA is not a recognized measure under Canadian generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) 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. Investors should be cautioned that EBITDA should not be construed as an alternative to net earnings or cash flows as determined under GAAP.

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