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Whistler Blackcomb posts higher Q1 net loss, lower revenue and adjusted earnings

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WHISTLER, B.C. - Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. (TSX:WB) says a drop in customer visits to its ski resorts in the final months of 2013 pushed down its first-quarter revenue and adjusted earnings.

Its net loss also more than doubled to $12.3 million in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with $5.6 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2012.

The loss amounted to 19 cents per share, compared with seven cents per share a year earlier, with the increase mostly due to non-operating items.

Whistler Blackcomb's adjusted earnings dropped to $9.5 million from $10.2 million while revenue declined by $400,000 to $49.8 million.

It says the number of visits fell about 13 per cent but revenue per visit was up 14 per cent as a result of higher ticket prices and guest spending on the company's other related businesses.

In the current quarter as of Feb. 2, skier visits were down 8.6 per cent compared with the same period last year but sales of seasons pass and frequency cards were up three per cent to $41.4 million.

Dave Brownlie, Whistler Blackcomb's president and CEO, said the resort company was pleased that its revenue and adjusted earnings held up despite fewer visits than expected.

"Our snowmaking infrastructure allowed us to open more skiable terrain than any other resort in North America for the holiday period and the success of our pre-commitment sales program contributed positively to our results during the quarter," Brownlie said.

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