Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Compagnie des Alpes reports Record Sales and Sale of the Group's stake in Verbier

Compagnie Des Alpes (CDA), reported record business with ski-lift ticket sales up 38 percent, thanks mostly to Easter weekend, which fell during April. Thanks to a very good winter season at ski areas and specially the strong April business, combined sales for winter 2008-9 were up 3 percent overall for the company--2.3 percent for ski lift ticket sales alone--from 2007-8, which was a record season in terms of visitor numbers.
"This steady activity in ski areas despite the general economic climate illustrates the resilience of our business line, which has experienced uninterrupted organic growth for more than ten years", said a company statement.
In addition the company reported that its wholly owned subsidiary SwissAlp SA has established an agreement with the municipality of Bagnes to sell the totality of its stake in Téléverbier SA (20.3%) for about € 13.8 million. Acquiring its stake in 1999, CDA brought its widely recognized expertise to Téléverbier's development and governance. However, CDA has since determined that the particularities of the company and its environment prevent CDA from fully carrying out its role of industrial operator in the medium term.
Said Dominique Marcel, "The sale of the Group's stake in Téléverbier is in line with the more active asset-management policy that I announced at the end of 2008. The sale is being carried out under excellent financial conditions, providing a very satisfying return on CDA's initial investment".
The capital gain yielded by the sale, about €1.5 million, will have a positive impact on consolidated net income for the current financial year, helping pay down Group debt and making the Group moreflexible both strategically and financially.
Compagnie des Alpes operates 16 ski areas (stake on the companies swing between 100% and 20%): La Plagne, Les Arcs, Tignes, Val d’Isere, Les Menuires, Flaine et Giffre, Méribel, Peisey-Vallandry, Serre Chevalier, Chamonix, Courmayeur, Saas Fee, Morzine-Avoriaz, Valmorel and Le Rosière in three countries: France, Italy and Switzerland. The CDA Group constitutes 28% of the French market in terms of skier days, and close to 38% in lift sales. It makes up 9% of the European market for skier days. Compagnie des Alpes will be world leader in terms of visitor numbers with 18 million skier days in 2007/2008.