Glacier Ventures International Corp.

Glacier Ventures International Corp.

March 29, 2007 19:49 ET

Glacier Reports Strong 2006 Year-End Results

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - March 29, 2007) - Glacier Ventures International Corp. ("Glacier" or the "Company") (TSX:GVC) reported cash flow, earnings and revenue for the period ending December 31, 2006.


Glacier's 2006 results reflect the combined benefits of both the strategic acquisitions completed and strong operating performance and integration results from both its existing and newly acquired businesses. Glacier significantly enhanced the size and scope of operations through a number of strategic acquisitions that expanded both its business & professional information group and its newspaper and trade publication group.

Results from Operations
12 Months Ending 12 Months Ending
December 31, 2006 December 31, 2005
($000s, except share amounts)
Revenue $186,169 $ 62,568
EBITA $ 36,286 $ 11,404
EBITA margin 19.5% 18.2%
Net income $ 12,976 $ 5,330
Cash flow from operations $ 27,418 $ 10,006
EBITA/share $ 0.49 $ 0.34
Cash flow from operations/share $ 0.37 $ 0.30
Net income/share $ 0.18 $ 0.16
Debt outstanding net of cash
reserves $125,309 $ 8,139
Shareholders' equity $237,835 $127,418
Average shares outstanding, net 73,932,324 33,635,334

- Glacier generated $36.3 million of earnings before interest, taxes and amortization (EBITA) on revenue of $186.2 million for the year ending December 31, 2006 compared to $11.4 million of EBITA on revenue of $62.6 million for the year prior;

- Glacier's consolidated cash flow from operations (before changes in non-cash operating accounts) grew to $27.4 million from $10.0 million for the year prior;

- Glacier's consolidated cash flow from operations (before changes in non-cash operating accounts) per share grew 24.3% to $0.37 per share from $0.30 per share last year;

- Glacier acquired substantially all of the Hollinger Canada operations previously owned by Hollinger International Inc. ("Hollinger") and minority shareholders for a net purchase price after cash received for $179.9 million. The assets included Western Canadian local community and daily newspapers, Canadian trade magazines and business & professional information operations;

- Glacier acquired 50% of Alta Newspaper Group, Limited Partnership ("ANGLP") for $29.6 million, which operates local community and daily newspapers in Alberta, Sasktachewan and Sherbrooke, Quebec;

- Glacier acquired 25% of Continental Newspapers Ltd. ("Continental") for $16.2 million, which operates local community and daily newspapers in British Columbia and Thunder Bay, Ontario;

- Through private placements, Glacier raised $80.3 million of new equity capital to finance the acquisitions and provide $20 million for additional acquisitions and other purposes; and

- Glacier entered into a new $155 million banking facility financed by three major Canadian chartered banks.

The significant expansion undertaken in 2006 was driven by the pursuit of Glacier's business strategy. Glacier is focused on growing through the provision of essential information and related services in two core business segments: 1) the business and professional information market and 2) the newspaper and trade publication market. Glacier's strategy is to build businesses that provide information that is essential to people's needs - whether they are farmers or ranchers in the Prairies, residents of Canadian communities or doctors, professionals and business people across Canada and the United States.

Financial Measures: To supplement the consolidated financial statements presented in accordance with Canadian generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), Glacier uses certain non-GAAP measures that may be different from the performance measures used by other companies. These non-GAAP measures include cash flow from operations (before changes in non-cash operating accounts) and earnings before interest, taxes and amortization (EBITA), which are not alternatives to GAAP financial measures. Management focuses on operating cash flow per share as the primary measure of operating profitability, free cash flow and value. EBITA per share is also an important measure as the Company has low ongoing capital expenditures and amortization largely relates to acquisition goodwill (prior to 2002) and copyrights and does not represent a corresponding sustaining capital expense.

Operating Performance

Glacier's revenue and cash flow grew significantly during 2006 as a result of the acquisitions completed as well as strong internal growth.

Considerable efforts were made to integrate the businesses acquired and focus on overall operations. Both existing operations and the newly acquired operations enjoyed significant improvements in both revenue and cash flow on a year-over-year "same-store" basis, regardless of the date of acquisition. Glacier's operations have benefited from increased sales effectiveness, product quality improvements, cost management initiatives and realization of operating synergies, as well as generally strong economic conditions in our markets. Both revenue and EBITA for 2006 were significantly ahead of expectations.

If the acquisitions described had been completed on January 1, 2006, Glacier's EBITA would have been approximately $41 million as compared to the $36.3 million reported, which only includes results from the date of acquisition. This pro forma amount excludes Glacier's 25% share of Continental EBITA.

Glacier's newspaper and trade publications generated strong revenue and EBITA growth in 2006 compared to 2005, regardless of date of acquisition. The local daily and community newspapers performed well in all Western Canadian provinces. The Madison Publishing Group (which publishes community newspapers and related publications in British Columbia and the Business In Vancouver Media Group) continued to perform well, and has exceeded the normalized EBITA targeted at time of acquisition that required a number of key initiatives to be achieved. BIG's trade magazines and related businesses performed ahead of expectations through a combination of increased revenue and significant EBITA growth.

The business and professional information group performed well overall. Specialty Technical Publishers' cash flow stabilized as a result of a number of initiatives undertaken to offset the stronger Canadian dollar, including cost restructuring, product sales refocusing, price increases, significant focus on "network" sales to large corporations in electronic formats and greater efforts in online publishing and marketing alliances, amongst others. CD-Pharma continued to secure new contracts during the year. Fundata continues to perform at a level consistent with the Company's expectations while Eco Log performed well above prior year levels.

2006 Acquisitions

As described, Glacier acquired substantially all of Hollinger's Canadian operations through a series of transactions at year end and in February and March of 2006. Through this acquisition, Glacier has taken a significant step forward on the Canadian media landscape. Glacier augmented these assets through the acquisition of the 50% interest in ANGLP and the 25% interest in Continental.

The businesses acquired provide Glacier with a greater balance of operations in its two core business segments. Glacier now has a strong strategic presence of newspaper operations across Western Canada, a well diversified portfolio of trade publications across Canada, and a significantly enhanced business and professional information group.

Management believes there are meaningful opportunities to realize value from Glacier's expanded operations through increased cost efficiencies, improved sales effectiveness and improved publication quality, amongst other things. While some of these improvements were realized in 2006 and contributed to Glacier's strong operating results, many of the opportunities are still to be achieved.

Recent Acquisitions

During the first quarter of 2007, Glacier completed several acquisitions that totalled $6.9 million in aggregate purchase price. The assets acquired included 1) community newspapers in Flin Flon, Manitoba, Thompson, Manitoba, Outlook, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, 2) the Farmers Independent Weekly and 3) the Canadian Interiors and Building trade magazines and two trade shows called "Best of Canada" and "Outside the Box" and several other publications.

Financial Position

As at December 31, 2006, Glacier had cash of $22.4 million, current and long-term debt of $147.7 million and working capital of $16.8 million excluding deferred revenue.

Management reduced leverage levels through $17.5 million of principal repayments and increased profitability in 2006.

2007 and Beyond

Glacier's size and scope increased considerably over the past year and has reached a new plateau that provides the company with the size of business, market penetration and depth of management and staff to achieve greater levels of operating and financial success. Significant focus is being placed on the integration of new operations with growth in cash flow being the main priority.

Glacier will continue to review acquisitions and other strategic opportunities with which to expand its operations and continue its strategy of pursuing both internal and acquisition growth in the information communications sectors.

Glacier has also entered into an agreement with GVIC Publications Ltd. ("GVIC") (in which Glacier acquired an equity interest during 2006) whereby Glacier will sell substantially all of its assets to GVIC in exchange for GVIC shares and a note payable. This restructuring transaction is subject to Glacier shareholder approval. More detailed information will be provided in the information circular that is being mailed to shareholders for the Company's annual and special meeting to be held on April 30, 2007.

Shares in Glacier can be traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol GVC.

About the Company: Glacier Ventures International Corp. is an information communications company focused on expanding across North America through both internal growth and the strategic acquisition of information communications companies that provide essential information and related services through print, electronic and online media. Glacier is currently pursuing this strategy through two core business segments: 1) the business and professional information markets and 2) the newspaper and trade publication markets.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release are not historical and may constitute forward-looking statements reflecting financial performance. Investors are cautioned that all forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements are based on management's estimates, beliefs and opinions on the date the statements are made. Glacier assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances should change. Additional information on these and other potential factors that could affect Glacier's financial results are detailed in documents filed from time to time with the applicable Canadian securities regulatory authorities.

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