Great financial year, but no profit for Vail Resorts
AVON – Vail Resorts posted the best financial results in its 42-year history with total revenue of $721.9 million and showed a profit in all three of the company’s divisions. The company released its July 31 year-end results Thursday.But because of one-time charges this year – $37 million in debt refinance charges and $5 million spent cleaning up mold at an employee housing complex in Breckenridge – the company will report a $6 million loss. In January the company refinanced more than $490 million in long-term debt to get lower interest rates. That move will save the company nearly $5 million a year over the next five years, CEO and chairman of the board Adam Aron said.Without those one-time expenses, the company would have posted a $20.4 million profit – a $28.9 million swing in profitability from last year’s $8.5 million loss on revenue of $710 million.Aron said the increase in profitability came from a combination of growth in revenue, paring $25 million in expenses and higher prices. Skier numbers were actually down slightly at three of the company’s five resorts, and 1.6 percent overall, but the company profited from the return to the slopes of freer-spending hotel guests and from higher prices.”Vail Resorts completed a terrifically successful year,” he said. “We’re well positioned for another successful year.”Toward that end, the company guidance, or profit estimates for fiscal 2005 – which started Aug. 1 – is a bullish $152 to $160 million, with an after-tax profit of $14 million to $22 million. Apollo dissolves its VR Class A stockVail Resorts announced Thursday that its parent company and one of its largest shareholders, Apollo Advisors, which owns 17.8 percent of its stock, is dissolving its stake in the company and issuing its partners common shares of Vail Resorts stock.It will be converting its 6.1 million Class A shares, which carry voting privileges, to common stock that will be distributed to its other limited partner investors, the company said. The preferred shares owned by Apollo carried controlling interest in the company’s board of directors that allow it to elect up to two-thirds of the board of directors. Vail Resorts announced it will stop paying Apollo an annual $500,000 management fee and that it has trimmed its board of directors from 12 to seven people effective last Monday.
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