Loring Ward International Ltd.

Loring Ward International Ltd.

May 01, 2007 19:11 ET

Loring Ward Reports First Quarter Results and Announces Regular Dividend and Intention for Substantial Tender Offer

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(CCNMatthews - May 1, 2007) -

Loring Ward's Investor conference call will be Webcast on www.ccnmatthews.com/r/LoringWardQ107 Thursday May 3, 2007 at 11:00 a.m. (ET). Please join us and log on five minutes before the call.

Loring Ward International Ltd. (the Company) (TSX:LW) today released its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2007.

First Quarter Financial Highlights (U.S. Dollars)

Net income for the quarter was $1.6 million or $0.18 per share, a $1.4 million increase over the prior year period net income of $0.2 million.

Net income from Continuing Operations was $2.1 million, a $2.4 million improvement over the prior year net loss of $0.3 million. Excluding the impact of non-recurring items, which includes a $1.5 million current market adjustment of the value of escrowed Loring Ward common stock scheduled to be sold in the future, net income from Continuing Operations was $1.3 million, a $1.6 million improvement over the prior year period. The improved performance comes as a result of continued growth in Loring Ward Advisor Services, and significant reduction in corporate costs.

Other highlights as compared to the first quarter of 2006 include:

- assets under management totaled $5.0 billion, up $1.2 billion or 29.9%;

- revenue was $11.4 million, an increase of $2.0 million or 21.4%;

- corporate costs were $1.4 million, a reduction of $1.3 million or 48.4%;

- operating income was $3.3 million; a $1.5 million or 87.1% increase; and

- operating margin increased to 29.3%, up from 19.0%.

First Quarter Operational Highlights

The primary operational highlights for the first quarter included:

- 657 total advisor clients, an increase of 4.3% for the quarter and highest in Company history;

- 1,323 new investor client accounts in Loring Ward Advisor Services, bringing the total to 19,801, an increase of 7.2% for the quarter and highest in Company history;

- launching of three new mutual funds in the SA Fund family - US Fixed Income, Emerging Markets, and REITs;

- launching of the Loring Ward Advisor Center, a centralized web-based resource for investment advisors that includes the Loring Ward Investment Planning Center, a powerful new tool for designing and creating written investment policies, customized portfolio models, investment recommendations, and more;

- holding our annual National Education Conference, with leading advisor clients in attendance; and

- listing the Company's stock on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "LW".

"We are beginning to see the benefits of our strategic focus. We aspire to build the finest turnkey asset management program in the industry, and we are executing our plan designed to make that happen," stated Robert Herrmann, Chief Executive Officer of Loring Ward International Ltd.

Tender Offer for $15.25

The Company also announced today that its Board has approved in principle proceeding with a Substantial Issuer Bid ("tender offer") for up to 750,000 shares at a price of $15.25 CDN per share. Shareholders are expected to receive materials related to this tender offer in May, and it is expected to have a 35-day deposit period. Certain conditions are expected to apply. There will be certain conditions that apply which if not satisfied, the Company would, at its option, either be entitled not to proceed or could waive the conditions and proceed nonetheless. For a brief summary of the currently anticipated conditions, see the material change report filed today with Canadian securities regulators and available at www.sedar.com.

Regular Dividend

The Company also announced today that for the first time in its history it intends to institute a regular dividend. The initial quarterly dividend will be $0.07 CDN per share, equivalent to approximately 2.5% annually based on yesterday's closing price. The initial quarterly dividend is expected to be paid on May 31, 2007 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on May 17, 2007.

Herrmann emphasized, "The Board's decision to offer to repurchase common shares at a 33% premium to yesterday's closing price is clear recognition of our belief that the underlying value of the Company has not yet been fully recognized in the marketplace, and paying a regular dividend to shareholders is a decision driven by our confidence in the Company's future earnings."

About Loring Ward

Loring Ward International Ltd. provides in its core business a turnkey asset management program to some of America's most knowledgeable and successful investment advisors and their clients. These services include investment strategies and products, back office operational processing, education and training, and business development support. The Company's U.S. corporate offices are headquartered in New York. For more information, please visit www.loringward.com.

The Company, in the ordinary course of its business, may explore potential proposals or be the recipient of proposals with respect to strategic opportunities and transactions, which may include strategic joint venture relationships, significant debt or equity investments in or by the Company, the acquisition or disposition of material assets or business lines, mergers, new products or services, new distribution methods and other similar strategic opportunities or transactions. The Company's policy is generally not to publicly disclose the pursuit of a potential strategic opportunity or transaction unless and until a definitive binding agreement is reached. The public announcement of such matters could potentially materially affect the price or value of the Company's securities. As a result, there can be no assurance that investors who buy or sell the Company's securities are doing so at a time when the Company is not pursuing a particular strategic opportunity or transaction that, if publicly disclosed, could materially affect the price or value of the Company's securities.

Information in this news release that is not current or historical factual information may constitute forward-looking information within the meaning of securities laws. Forward-looking statements may include those relating to the Company's objectives and strategies, as well as statements of our beliefs, plans, dividend policy, plans to repurchase shares, expectations and intentions. Implicit in this information are assumptions regarding future revenue and expenses, economic conditions, and the results of pending litigation involving the Company, as well as our business strategy, expectations, intentions, and other matters. These assumptions may prove to be incorrect, and actual outcomes and results, including the future operating results and economic performance of the Company, may differ materially because of many factors, including those discussed in this press release and in our other public filings. For more information on these risks and uncertainties you should refer to our detailed Financial Statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis, as well as a broader description of certain challenges and risks facing the Company, all of which is available at www.sedar.com. Forward-looking information contained in this news release is based on our current estimates, expectations and projections, which we believe are reasonable as of the current date. You should not place undue importance on forward-looking information and should not rely upon this information as of any other date. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update the information in this press release or revise any other forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as expressly required by law.

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