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Temple revenue soars

TEMPLE Hotels Inc. has reported 2012 year-end revenue of $99.8 million, a 40 per cent increase over last year.

The Winnipeg-based hotel company -- that converted from a REIT to a share corporation in 2012 -- also reported a 54 per cent increase in operating income to $37 million.

That increase includes $5.1 million from 10 hotels that were owned for the entire year in 2011 and 2012 and $7.9 million from six new hotels.

During 2012, the company acquired five hotels and a 50 per cent limited partnership interest in two additional hotels.

Property REIT thrives

WINNIPEG-based residential property investment trust, Lanesborough REIT, generated comprehensive income of $20.1 million for the full year in 2012, compared with $5.0 million in 2011.

The $15.1-million increase mainly reflects the profit on the sale of two seniors housing complexes. In 2009, Lanesborough started a multi-year asset-divestiture program to reduce debt levels. During 2012, two senior housing complexes were sold, as well as one investment property and nine condominium units.

In total, the property sales in 2012 resulted in net sale proceeds of $21.9 million.

The REIT recorded a net operating income of $22.4 million, a 13 per cent decline from the previous year and $38.4 million in rental revenue, down 8.2 per cent from last year.

North West earnings up

THE North West Company Inc. reported Thursday lower operating and administrative costs helped to fuel a double-digit increase in its earnings for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012.

The Winnipeg-based retailer, which owns the discount junior department store chain Giant Tiger and other banners, saw its net income climb to $15.8 million or 32 cents per diluted share, for the period ended Jan. 31. That's up 17.3 per cent from $13.5 million, or 27 cents per diluted share in the prior-year period.

The strong fourth-quarter showing helped boost net earnings for the year by 12.4 per cent to $65.1 million, or $1.34 per share, from just under $58 million, or $1.19 per share in fiscal 2011.

Drought hits Ag Growth

LAST year's severe drought in the U.S. corn belt caused Ag Growth International's fourth-quarter results to droop significantly, with EBITDA down 44.7 per cent and total revenue down seven per cent.

For the full year, the Winnipeg-based company that makes a number of different varieties of portable grain-handling equipment reported total revenue of $314.6 million, an increase of 4.5 per cent and EBITDA of $49.5 million, a decrease of seven per cent.

The company reported a net loss of $3.4 million for the quarter, compared to a profit of $3.3 million during the fourth quarter of last year.

For the full year, Ag Growth reported net profit of $17.2 million, down 30 per cent from last year's $24.5 million.

Company CEO Gary Anderson said the loss in business as a result of the severe drought in the U.S. meant about a $10 million-to-$12 million decline in Ag Growth's EBITDA.

"That's an awful number for us and shareholders," Anderson said.

Pink slips at Tanco Mine

LAC DU BONNET -- The Tanco Mine in Manitoba is shutting down part of its operation and laying off 35 employees.

Mine officials say increasing production costs are to blame for the layoffs.

The company says the layoffs will not affect production of cesium.

It says it will continue to supply two-thirds of world demand for the rare metal used to manufacture biodegradable drilling fluid.

March 31 will be the last day of work for those laid off.

Saputo closing plant

MONTREAL -- Canadian cheese giant Saputo Inc. says it will close a manufacturing facility in Warwick, Que., next year, affecting 100 workers as it seeks to cut costs and improve its operational efficiency.

The Montreal-based company said Thursday cheese production will be shifted from the plant acquired in 2005 to other facilities in the province after the plant is closed in June 2014.

Some employees will be able to transfer to other plants.

Easton taken over

EASTON Communications, a privately owned Winnipeg company, has been acquired by Sensus Communications Inc.

The Winnipeg company, founded by Grant Easton in 1992, is a leading distributor of telephone equipment and service in the region and is one of the largest dealers in Canada for the ShoreTel voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) services.

-- staff / from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 15, 2013 $sourceSection0

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