Sunday, October 2, 2016

Vail Resorts Reports Fiscal 2016 Results

Vail Resorts, Inc. has reported net income of $149.8 million, or $4.01 per diluted share compared to $114.8 million, or $3.07 per diluted share, in the prior fiscal year. Total net revenue increased $201.4 million, or 14.4%, to $1,601.3 million.

Commenting on the Company's fiscal 2016 results, Rob Katz, Chief Executive Officer, said, "We achieved another year of record-breaking results with significant growth across our business. We are very pleased to complete the year with Resort Reported EBITDA of $452.6 million, which included $1.4 million of transaction expenses related to the pending Whistler Blackcomb acquisition. Our results were driven by the strength of our network and excellent results across all of our resort locations. Our season pass program continued to drive both growth and stability with season pass revenue increasing 21.5% compared to the prior year, including a full season of Perisher season pass revenue in fiscal 2016. We experienced another outstanding year in Colorado with visitation and guest spending outperforming last year's results. In Park City, we met our very high expectations following our capital transformation last summer that combined Park City and Canyons into the largest mountain resort in the U.S. Tahoe results rebounded strongly as favorable weather conditions helped to reactivate visitation in the region. We officially launched Epic Discovery at Vail and Heavenly this summer, driving significant increases in visitation and revenue in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 compared to the prior year. Our summer business will continue to grow as we further build out activities at Vail and Heavenly and officially launch Epic Discovery at Breckenridgenext summer. Finally, we continue to execute our strategy with a focus on disciplined cost management which played a critical part in achieving Resort EBITDA Margin for the year of 28.7%, a 300 basis point expansion compared to fiscal 2015, excluding the non-cash gain on the Park City litigation settlement in fiscal 2015".
Katz added, "With a strong high-end U.S. consumer, we are continuing to leverage our growing network of resorts and sophisticated marketing strategies to drive higher visitation and yields across our Mountain segment. For fiscal 2016, total Mountain net revenue increased 18.2% to $1.3 billion. Total skier visits, including a full year of Perisher results, increased 18.5%, while total U.S. skier visits increased 13.2%. Total Effective Ticket Price ("ETP") increased 3.5%, driven by season pass and lift ticket price increases across our resorts, partially offset by higher visitation per pass. Our ancillary businesses also experienced growth with ski school, dining and retail/rental revenue, up 13.5%, 19.8% and 10.0%, respectively, compared to the prior year".

Mountain Segment
  • Total skier visits for fiscal 2016 increased to approximately 10.0 million, an increase of 18.5% compared to the prior fiscal year.
  • Season pass revenue increased $46.6 million, or 21.5%, compared to the prior fiscal year.
  • U.S. ETP, excluding season pass holders, increased $8.49, or 9.8%, compared to the prior fiscal year.
  • Mountain net revenue was $1,304.6 million for fiscal 2016, an increase of 18.2% compared to the prior fiscal year.
  • Mountain Reported EBITDA for fiscal 2016 increased $96.7 million, or 29.5%, to $424.4 million, excluding the non-cash gain on the Park City litigation settlement in the prior fiscal year.
  • Mountain Reported EBITDA includes $13.4 million and $11.8 million of stock-based compensation expense for fiscal 2016 and fiscal 2015, respectively.
Resort - Combination of Mountain and Lodging Segments
  • Resort net revenue was $1,579.2 million for fiscal 2016, an increase of 16.2%, compared to the prior fiscal year.
  • Resort Reported EBITDA increased 29.5% to $452.6 million for fiscal 2016, excluding the $16.4 million non-cash gain on the Park City litigation settlement in the prior fiscal year.
  • Resort EBITDA Margin was 28.7% in fiscal 2016, an increase of 300 basis points from the prior fiscal year, excluding the $16.4 million non-cash gain on the Park City litigation settlement in the prior fiscal year.
Commenting on season pass sales, Katz said, "We are extremely pleased with our season pass sales to date. Through September 18, 2016, U.S. ski season pass sales increased approximately 24% in units and 29% in sales dollars, compared to the prior year period ended September 20, 2015. Our growth continues to be driven by our increasingly sophisticated and targeted marketing efforts to move destination guests into our season pass products, with this segment representing over half of this year's growth. As always, we do expect our season pass growth rates to decline through the end of our selling season, given that some of the increase is driven by our efforts to encourage guests to purchase their passes earlier in the year. Last year at this point in the year, we had sold approximately 60% of our season passes for the upcoming ski season, though we believe that figure may be higher this year, given the aforementioned efforts to move purchases earlier in the selling cycle".

Vail Resorts is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons in Park City, Utah; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN).
On August 8, 2016, Vail Resorts entered into an agreement to acquire 100% of the stock of Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc., which operates North America's largest and most visited mountain resort. We are pleased to report that the Canadian Competition Bureau has issued a no-action letter for the transaction and we continue to expect that the deal will close this fall pending Whistler Blackcomb shareholder and remaining Canadian regulatory approvals. The Company intends to share additional detail on its expectations from the Whistler Blackcomb acquisition during its December earnings conference call.

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