March 29, 2006 14:22 ET

Sceptre Investment Counsel Reports Q1 Results

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 29, 2006) - Sceptre Investment Counsel Limited (TSX:SZ), one of Canada's leading independent money management firms, today reported its financial results for the first quarter ending February 28, 2006.

First quarter earnings were $1,043,000 or 7 cents per share fully diluted (7 cents per share basic) compared with $1,074,000 or 8 cents per share diluted (8 cents per share basic) for the same period last year.

Revenue for the first quarter was $6,189,000 compared with $5,828,000 for the first quarter last year. The Company's first quarter results are based on revenues calculated on market values as of December 31, 2005.

Assets under management increased in the quarter as mutual fund assets showed positive inflows and institutional assets benefited from market value increases. Revenue in the quarter was also enhanced by a special distribution of $100,000 paid on investments held by the Company.

Overall expenses for the quarter increased by 11.5% as compared to the similar quarter last year. A substantial portion of this increase was due to higher investment management fees paid to our new sub-advisor, AllianceBernstein. This expense was offset by a fee increase put into place last year for our institutional clients. Mutual fund trailer fees increased due to higher fund assets. Also, there were a number of one time expenses relating to website development, advertising and consulting services. The total cost of these charges was approximately $100,000 in the first quarter.

The combined effect of revenue and expense changes in the quarter resulted in a slight decline in net earnings of 2.9% from the same period last year. The previous years first quarter earnings were augmented by a one time payment received as a result of the termination of our strategic alliance with Putnam Investments.

"Sceptre's strong investment performance has continued to gain attention from consultants, institutions and retail investors. Our new business pipeline is building on the institutional side while additional distribution opportunities are developing for our retail products" stated Richard Knowles, President and Chief Executive Officer.

The Company, having considered its financial requirements, has declared a quarterly dividend of 6 cents per share on outstanding Common Shares, payable on April 28, 2006 to shareholders of record April 7, 2006. 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 management of $7 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 Private Client 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.

Contact Information

  • Sceptre Investment Counsel Limited
    Richard L. Knowles
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    (416) 866-2380