Finning International Inc.

Finning International Inc.

December 17, 2008 09:30 ET

Finning Hosts Investor Conference

Provides 2009 Outlook

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 17, 2008) - Finning International Inc. ("Finning") (TSX:FTT) is hosting an investor meeting today. In presentations by senior management Finning will provide an update on business activities and review the outlook for 2009. All of the presentation material, including an audio-file of management's remarks will be available in the investor relations section on the Company's website at

"The fourth quarter of 2008 has become increasingly challenging," said Mike Waites, President and CEO of Finning International Inc. "With the financial upheaval, commodity price declines and slow down in business activity our business, like many others, has been negatively impacted. However, we are working very hard to manage the business given these changing conditions and outlook. We have been active in re-sizing our organization to meet the expected business levels in 2009. The restructuring has been difficult and while the impact on our employees has been unfortunate, it has been necessary under the circumstances. In some cases we have surplus resources in certain regions and are understaffed in other regions. We are rebalancing the organization as much as possible to accommodate the different demand levels. We have incorporated expense control programs and will put increased focus on running the business as cost effectively as possible."

In Canada approximately 265 employees have been released. In the United Kingdom approximately 260 employees have been let go. In addition, the Company has closed or merged 22 of the Hewden rental depots in the UK, a 22% reduction in depot locations. Most of the people reductions are effective in the fourth quarter of 2008 however, many of the depot closures will occur in the first quarter of 2009. As a result, one time restructuring charges will occur in both Q4 2008 and Q1 2009.

The outlook for 2009 is for lower new equipment sales in Finning's Canadian and UK dealership operations and for roughly flat new equipment sales in the South American operations. Customer support revenues are expected to grow in both the Canadian and South American operations, and to remain approximately flat in the UK dealership. Customer support revenues will grow as a result of robust new equipment sales, especially large mining equipment, over the past several years. 2009 results will be highlighted by considerably stronger cash generation as working capital requirements are reduced, expenditures on equipment for the rental fleets are significantly reduced and capital expenditures are actively managed, depending on business conditions, over the course of the year.

In previous investor meetings Finning provided explicit, annual earnings per share guidance for the upcoming year. After careful consideration the Company has decided to discontinue this practice.

"Business conditions for 2009 are still uncertain however, Finning is in very good financial condition," said Mike Waites. "With our focus on cash generation during 2009, the balance sheet is expected to improve even further. 2009 will be a year of focus on executing our business plan, on reducing costs and driving efficiencies while building on our industry leading customer support capabilities. While we will watch our costs, we will continue to invest in our training programs and our customer support facilities. Our customers will continue to receive the highest level of service."

Finning International Inc. is the world's largest Caterpillar equipment dealer. The Company sells, rents and provides customer support services for Caterpillar equipment and engines in Western Canada, the U.K., and parts of South America. Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Finning International Inc. is a widely held, publicly traded corporation, listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (symbol FTT). For additional information please visit

This release may contain forward-looking statements and information, which reflect the current view of Finning International Inc. with respect to future events and financial performance. Any such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties and Finning's actual results of operations could differ materially from historical results or current expectations. Finning assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that any projected results expressed or implied therein do not materialize.

Refer to Finning's annual report, management information circular, annual information form and other filings with the Ontario Securities Commission and Toronto Stock Exchange for further information on risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from forward-looking statements contained in this report.

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