New Look Eyewear Inc.
TSX : BCI

New Look Eyewear Inc.

March 16, 2011 17:00 ET

New Look Eyewear Inc. (Formerly Benvest New Look Income Fund) Releases Its Results for the Fourth Quarter and the Year Ended December 25, 2010 and Announces Its Quarterly Dividend

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - March 16, 2011) - New Look Eyewear Inc. (TSX:BCI) ("New Look"), the successor to the Benvest New look Income Fund, announced today its results for the fourth quarter and the year ended December 25, 2010.

During the fourth quarter, revenues increased by 10.7% in comparison with last year and EBITDA(1) increased by 24% to reach $3.6 million. Net earnings followed the trend and increased by $1 million over last year to reach $2.5 million ($0.25 per share). Martial Gagné, the President of New Look commented: "To celebrate the end of our 25th anniversary year, we re-introduced the "2 for 1" offer which has been extremely well received by our consumers. During this last quarter, we established records in volume of eye exams, lenses produced and glasses delivered to our customers. We are very satisfied with the pace of the current business and embark upon 2011 with heightened optimism."

For the year ending December 25th, 2010, New Look recorded revenues of $70.8 million, an increase of 2.6% compared with the revenues achieved last year. EBITDA at $10.3 million compares to $11.0 million last year. Net earnings of $4.8 million ($0.47 per share) are equivalent to our record 2009 net earnings of $5.4 million ($0.54 per share) if we take into consideration the non-recurring charge of $0.9 million related to the conversion from an income trust to a corporation.

Following the approval of the results of the fourth quarter, and in line with the previously announced dividend policy, the Board of Directors of New Look approved the payment of a dividend of $0.15 per common share payable on March 31, 2011 to the shareholders of record as of March 25, 2011. The dividend qualifies as an «eligible dividend», i.e. a dividend entitling shareholders who are Canadian resident individuals to a higher dividend tax credit.

SEE TABLE ATTACHED FOR ADDITIONAL FINANCIAL INFORMATION

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

On March 2, 2010, Benvest New Look Income Fund (formerly TSX: BCI.UN) was converted into a corporation named New Look Eyewear Inc. (TSX:BCI). As of February 28th, 2011, New Look had 10,039,732 common shares issued and outstanding New Look is a leader in the eye care industry in Eastern Canada operating a network of corporate stores and a laboratory using state-of-the-art technologies.

This press release may contain forward-looking statements that reflect the current views and / or expectations of New Look 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.

New Look Eyewear Inc.
Consolidated Statement of Earnings
for the Fourth Quarter and the Year ended December 25, 2010 compared with
the Fourth Quarter and the Year ended December 31, 2009
 
Unaudited
In thousands of dollars, except per share or unit amounts
  Fourth Quarter   Year  
For the periods ended Dec. 25, 2010   Dec. 31, 2009   Dec. 25, 2010   Dec. 31, 2009  
  $   $   $   $  
Revenues 19,514   17,625   70,778   68,958  
Cost of materials, direct labour, operating, selling and administration expenses 15,869   14,686   60,519   57,992  
EBITDA(1) 3,645   2,939   10,259   10,966  
Amortization 1,150   885   3,950   3,270  
Financial expenses, net of interest revenues 131   (9 ) 405   321  
Equity-based compensation expense 16   27   88   146  
  1,297   903   4,443   3,737  
Earnings before the following items 2,348   2,036   5,816   7,229  
Net gain (net loss) on foreign currency translation (9 ) 12   6   (212 )
Cost of conversion to a corporation         (853 )    
Recovery of expenses related to former portfolio investments     48       84  
Earnings before income taxes and non-controlling interest 2,339   2,096   4,969   7,101  
Income taxes (197 ) 555   207   1,677  
Net earnings 2,536   1,541   4,762   5,424  
Net earnings attributed to:                
  Non-controlling interest (17 ) 15   5   7  
  Shareholders / Unitholders 2,553   1,526   4,757   5,417  
  2,536   1,541   4,762   5,424  
Net earnings per share or unit                
  Basic 0.25   0.16   0.47   0.55  
  Diluted 0.25   0.16   0.47   0.54  

(1) EBITDA is defined as 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), net gains or losses related to portfolio investments, equity-based compensation, and the cost of conversion to a corporation. EBITDA is not a recognized measure under Canadian generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP") and may not be comparable to similar measures used by other companies. Investors should be cautioned that EBITDA should not be construed as an alternative to net earnings as determined in accordance with GAAP. New Look believes it is a useful financial metric as it assists in determining the ability to generate cash from operations.

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