SCEPTRE INVESTMENT COUNSEL LIMITED

SCEPTRE INVESTMENT COUNSEL LIMITED

March 30, 2005 15:53 ET

Sceptre Investment Counsel Reports Q1 Results


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

FOR: SCEPTRE INVESTMENT COUNSEL LIMITED

TSX SYMBOL: SZ

MARCH 30, 2005 - 15:53 ET

Sceptre Investment Counsel Reports Q1 Results

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 30, 2005) - Sceptre Investment
Counsel Limited (TSX:SZ), one of Canada's leading independent money
management firms, today reported its financial results for its first
quarter ended February 28, 2005.

Revenues for the first quarter were $5,828,000 compared with $6,587,000
for the first quarter last year. First quarter earnings were $1,074,000
or 8 cents per share diluted (8 cents per share basic) compared with
$1,046,000 or 7 cents per share diluted (7 cents per share basic) for
the same period last year.

Revenue decreased from the same quarter last year due to lower assets
serviced under the strategic alliance with Putnam Investments LLC
("Putnam") and some loss of Institutional assets. This quarter's revenue
also incorporates the proceeds of a one time settlement received from
Putnam on termination of the strategic alliance effective January 1,
2005. Mutual fund revenue increased during the quarter as a result of
strong cash inflows and market appreciation, particularly in the Sceptre
Equity Growth Fund and the Sceptre Income Trusts Fund. Both of these
funds have achieved high ranking in industry reviews and continue to
attract assets. Revenue this quarter also includes investment management
fees received from Sceptre Income & High Growth Trust, the second listed
closed end fund that was completed on December 30, 2004.

Overall expenses declined by 16.9% as compared to the comparable quarter
in 2004. Remuneration costs were reduced by 5.9%, as cost initiatives of
the prior year were offset by the addition of a new team of
professionals with a unique capability in the portfolio risk
optimization area. No revenue has been generated from this initiative to
date but several mandates are being actively pursued. The next quarter's
results will be temporarily adversely affected by the costs associated
with a new subadvisor for our global assets. An increase in fees for our
balanced institutional clients will commence in the third quarter.
Increased mutual fund assets will generate higher trailer fee costs and
the high level of activity within our marketing group will increase
travel and promotion expenses which had fallen to very low levels.

Net earnings were 2.7% higher than the similar quarter of 2004 and
diluted earnings per share rose by 1 cent. The latter resulted from the
reduction in weighted capital outstanding following the repurchase of
251,000 Common shares for cancellation under the Normal Course Issuer
Bid and a lower number of dilutive shares.

Our financial position remains strong even though we reduced our
position in cash and liquid investments to $19 million with the
repurchase of shares

The Company, having considered its financial requirements, has declared
a quarterly dividend of 6 cents per share on outstanding Common Shares,
payable on April 29, 2005 to shareholders of record April 8, 2005. The
previous quarterly dividend was 6 cents.

About Sceptre Investment Counsel

Sceptre Investment Counsel Limited is a leading Canadian independent
investment management firm with assets under supervision of $6.6
billion. The Company's Pension and Institutional Fund group manages
investment portfolios for a wide range of clients, including
corporations, governments, hospitals, charitable foundations,
endowments, universities and unions. Through its Wealth Management
group, Sceptre provides discretionary funds and segregated account
management for high net-worth individuals and offers a family of seven
mutual funds and two closed end funds. Sceptre employs approximately 50
people in its office in Toronto. Sceptre's Common shares trade on the
Toronto Stock Exchange, under the symbol SZ.


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Contact Information

  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
    Sceptre Investment Counsel Limited
    Richard L. Knowles
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    (416) 866-2380