High River, Alberta – The Western Investment Company of Canada Limited (“WICC”) (WI:TSXV) announced today it has filed its 2018 Financial Statements and MD&A on SEDAR.
In a message to shareholders, WICC CEO Scott Tannas reported:
“We are pleased with our progress in 2018. Our four foundation companies are all profitable, with strong opportunities for growth. Our year end net income stands at $1.13 million (3.7 cents per share). When our onetime costs for 2018 acquisitions are deducted (we call this NPIO) our net income is $1.7 million (5.6 cents per share). NPIO is a non-GAAP financial measure explained in WICC’s MD&A.”
Portfolio Company Reports
“In 2018, GlassMasters grew sales by 9% and net income by 18% over the prior year. Two new stores were opened in 2018, and management is focused on getting these new locations contributing to profits in 2019.
Golden Health Care saw growth in both revenue and profit of 1% and 7% respectively as a result of rent increases introduced early in 2018. We continue to work with Golden Health Care’s management and our partner investors to plan expansion of the existing network. In the meantime, our homes in Estevan, Regina (Emerald Park), and Prince Albert continue to operate at full occupancy with healthy waiting lists.
In our first year of operations at Ocean Sales, we had strong revenue and profits at the fall and winter consumer shows as well as the marquee summer events, including the Stampede, PNE, CNE and a number of US State fairs. The in-store partnership with a major global retailer lost momentum in the second half of the year, and the team at Ocean Sales is working through some new and unanticipated operating expenses in the USA operation. Canadian and US in-store sales are in transition as new innovative products are introduced. Ocean Sales remains profitable, and we have confidence that the issues in the in-store partnership programs in the US and Canada are temporary.
Also, our first year as owners of Foothills Creamery has been a delight, with strong sales and improving margins leading to EBITDA and Net Income well above expectations. Foothills also purchased a nondairy ice cream brand in late 2018, Screamin’ Brothers located in Lethbridge, Alberta. Production is expected to move to our central facilities and strong consumer demand for innovative plant-based ice cream will be a growth story for the company going forward.”
Proposed Fortress Insurance Transaction
“In 2018, we searched for – and found – an entry point into the specialty insurance industry. Our deal to acquire 50% of Fortress Insurance provides us with a rare opportunity to develop and sell specialty insurance products and provide surplus lines capacity in Alberta and the other western provinces. We are working diligently to obtain regulatory approvals for the transaction, and concurrent licencing approvals for the new product lineup at Fortress Insurance. We expect to be able to report positive news in the coming days.”
“So, while we made significant progress across many fronts in 2018 – including an encouraging financial result – we believe there are still many opportunities for our company to improve and grow all our businesses. We remain a small company with big plans. Persistence and strong execution are critical to our continued success.”
WICC 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.
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