Western Investment Company Files Second Quarter Statements and Reports Strong Revenue and Net Income Growth
High River, Alberta – The Western Investment Company of Canada Limited (“WICC” or “Western”) (TSXV:WI) announces that it has filed its second quarter financial statements and MD&A on SEDAR+ (www.sedarplus.ca).
Year-to-date net income of $581,444 is the best result in Western’s six-year operating history. The third quarter is traditionally Western’s strongest, owing to seasonal activities of three of Western’s five investee companies.
In a message to shareholders, WICC CEO Scott Tannas provided the following commentary:
“Investment income from our portfolio companies improved by $1.6 million compared to the first half of 2022. This welcome result was driven by a substantial turnaround at Foothills Creamery, and continued growth at Fortress Insurance and GlassMasters Autoglass. Double digit sales growth at all three companies was achieved, but it’s the strengthening profit margins that are most noteworthy.
– Growth at Fortress Insurance continues and the company is now consistently profitable after just two years of operations. Gross Written Premiums (GWP) in the first 6 months of 2023 are at $11 million, compared to $7.3 million this time last year. The trailing 12-month claims ratio is 39%, an improvement over last year’s 43%. Management continues to pursue new growth opportunities in the insurance market in Western Canada and is on track to hit their year end GWP goal of $23 million. Strong investment income also helped Fortress as equity markets regained values over the first half of 2023.
– GlassMasters is on a roll. First half revenue is up 23%. EBITDA is up 62% over this time last year. The GlassMasters team continue to drive growth through same store sales increases and expansion of their network of locations. The wholesale business is also growing its sales to automotive industry customers. New locations in North Battleford, SK, and Okotoks, AB are operating now and a new wholesale facility in Kelowna, BC will open in the fourth quarter.
– Ocean Sales continues to build its sales channels for their unique household product lineup. With a first half sales result 3.8% above 2022, the company is now in its crucial summer exhibition and fair season with Ocean Sales booths at many events across Canada and the US. Online and TV home shopping sales continue to be important channels for fall and winter, and a number of new products are under development for 2024. While we no longer incorporate Ocean Sales into our numbers as the value of our investment is not material, we will continue to monitor and report on progress in our MD&A.
– We are pleased to report on significant progress made so far this year at Foothills Creamery. All financial measurements have improved substantially over prior year, including an improvement of $2.6 million in EBITDA and a $1.9 million positive swing in net income, coming from stronger profit margins and a gain on the sale of a non-core asset. The company carried this positive momentum into its busy summer months, with reports of demand for Foothills ice cream up 28% over last July. While there is still plenty of room for improvement at Foothills, the trajectory is upward, and we are grateful to the loyal staff and leadership team who stayed focused on taking the necessary steps to return the company to profitability.
– So far in 2023, Golden Health Care has modest growth in revenue, countered by rising labour and other operating costs. Management is focused on filling vacancies at two of our three homes, and reports some success in June and July, with still more to be done. The Saskatchewan government’s long term care homes are approaching full capacity, and Golden Healthcare’s facilities will be needed more than ever in the coming years.
With our best start to the year in our history on the books, we look to help our investee companies finish strong in the second half. Our early reports on Q3 confirm that positive momentum continues across the board.
About The Western Investment Company of Canada
Western is a unique publicly traded, private equity company founded by a group of successful Western Canadian business people, and dedicated to building and maintaining ownership in successful Western Canadian companies, and helping them to grow. The company’s shares are traded on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol WI. For more information on the company, please visit its website at www.winv.ca.
The Western Investment Company of Canada Limited
President and Chief Executive Officer
This news release may contain certain forward-looking information and statements, including without limitation, statements pertaining to future plans, acquisitions, financings and earnings. Statements containing the words: ‘believes’, ‘intends’, ‘expects’, ‘plans’, ‘seeks’ and ‘anticipates’ and any other words of similar meaning are forward-looking. All statements included herein involve various risks and uncertainties because they relate to future events and circumstances beyond Western’s control. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. A description of assumptions used to develop such forward-looking information and a description of risk factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from forward-looking information can be found in Western’s disclosure documents on the SEDAR website at www.sedar.com. Any forward looking statements are made as of the date of this news release and Western does not undertake to update any forward-looking information except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.