2014

Clarke Inc. Reports 2013 First Quarter Results and a 33% Increase in Quarterly Dividend

HALIFAX, May 14, 2013 /CNW/ - Clarke Inc. ("Clarke" or the "Company") (TSX: CKI CKI.DB.A) today announced its results for the three months ended March 31, 2013.

RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Highlights of the interim condensed consolidated financial statements for the three months ended March 31, 2013 compared to the three months ended March 31, 2012 are as follows:

       
  Three months ended
March 31, 2013
$
  Three months ended
March 31, 2012
$
Revenue and other income 57.9   61.1
Income from continuing operations attributable to equity holders of the Company 3.1   3.7
Net income attributable to equity holders of the Company 3.1   3.7
Comprehensive income attributable to equity holders of the Company 5.4   4.6
Basic earnings per share ("EPS") (in dollars)      
  Income from continuing operations and net income 0.19   0.22
Total assets 225.0   236.9
Cash dividends declared per share (in dollars) 0.06  
Book value per share (in dollars) 5.42   5.37


Net income attributable to equity holders of the Company for the three months ended March 31, 2013 was $3.1 million, compared with net income of $3.7 million for the same period in 2012. During the three months ended March 31, 2013, the Company had realized gains on its publicly-traded securities of $3.0 million, compared to realized losses of $2.0 million for the same period in 2012. The Company had unrealized gains on its publicly-traded securities of $0.6 million for the three months ended March 31, 2013, compared to unrealized gains of $7.0 million for the same period in 2012. Realized gains in the first quarter of 2013 were the result of exiting our investments in Vitran Corporation Inc. and Imvescor Restaurant Group Inc.

The Freight Transportation segment had a strong quarter generating EBITDA (before intercompany dividend revenue) of $1.7 million for the three months ended March 31, 2013 compared to $0.9 million for the three months ended March 31, 2012. The significantly improved results in this segment are attributable to higher margin revenue, the turnaround of the refrigeration transportation business, lower operating costs and a decrease in accidents and claims.

The Commercial Tanks & Home Heating segment generated EBITDA of $1.4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2013 compared to $2.0 million for the same period in 2012. This year to date decrease is mainly due to strong earnings achieved at the start of 2012 by the commercial tanks division. Results in this division were not repeated to this extent in early 2013 as fluctuations in revenues are expected. However, the Company believes that results for this division and the segment as a whole in 2013 will meet or exceed that of 2012.

The Company has also reduced its debt levels and its cost of borrowing throughout 2012 and into 2013 which has translated into meaningful reductions of interest expense.

Basic earnings per share from continuing operations for the three months ended March 31, 2013 was $0.19, compared to a basic earnings per share of $0.22 for the three months ended March 31, 2012, a decrease of $0.03 per share. Book value per share at March 31, 2013 was $5.42 compared to $5.37 on March 31, 2012 and reflects the payment of $0.18 per share of dividends in the last twelve months.

Clarke's Board of Directors also announced an increase in its quarterly dividend to $0.08 per Common Share, from the previous level of $0.06 per Common Share. This dividend is payable on June 14, 2013 to shareholders of record at the end of business on May 31, 2013. The Board of Directors believes that the payment of a dividend is a useful way to return capital to shareholders and that this level of dividend will continue to allow Clarke to pursue its current business plan and invest in attractive growth opportunities.

George Armoyan, President and CEO of Clarke commented: "Clarke is dedicated to providing a dividend that is sustainable and meaningful to shareholders. Today's increase in our dividend highlights our commitment to providing an attractive yield to shareholders and reflects our confidence in the Company's underlying businesses."

Further information about Clarke, including Clarke's Interim Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements and Management's Discussion & Analysis for the three months ended March 31, 2013, is available at www.sedar.com and www.clarkeinc.com.

About Clarke

Halifax-based Clarke invests in a variety of private and publicly-traded businesses and participates actively where necessary to enhance the performance of such businesses and increase its return. Clarke's securities trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (CKI; CKI.DB.A); for more information about Clarke Inc., please visit our website at www.clarkeinc.com.

Note on Forward-Looking Statements and Risks

This press release may contain or refer to certain forward-looking statements relating, but not limited to, the Company's expectations, intentions, plans and beliefs with respect to the Company.  Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects", "does not expect", "is expected", "budget", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates" or "does not anticipate", or "believes", or equivalents or variations, including negative variations, of such words and phrases, or state that certain actions, events or results, "may", "could", "would", "should", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, those with respect to the future price of securities held by the Company, changes in these securities holdings, changes to the Company's hedging practices, currency fluctuations, requirements for additional capital, changes to government regulations and the timing and possible outcome of pending litigation. Forward-looking statements rely on certain underlying assumptions that, if not realized, can result in such forward-looking statements not being achieved. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause the actual results of the Company to be materially different from the historical results or from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.

With respect to the Company's Investment segment, such risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, the Company's investment strategy, legal and regulatory risks, general market risk, potential lack of diversification in the Company's investments, reliance on certain key executives, interest rates and foreign currency fluctuations and other factors.  With respect to the Company's Freight Transportation segment, such risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, competition, expiry of certain leases, labour relations, the use of third party service providers, dependence on certain personnel, fuel costs, weather conditions, customer relationships, claims, litigation and insurance, government regulation of the transport industry and other factors. With respect to the Company's Commercial Tanks & Home Heating segment, such risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, the costs of housing and major consumer products, energy costs, alternative energy sources, steel costs, product liability claims, foreign exchange risk, and other factors. Other general risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, environmental considerations, use of information technology and information systems, safety issues, concentration of sales among a small number of customers, the seasonality of business cycles for certain segments, commodity market risk, risks associated with investment in derivative instruments and other factors.

Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actions, events or results not to be as estimated or intended, there can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Other than as required by applicable Canadian securities laws, the Company does not update or revise any such forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this document or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

 

SOURCE CLARKE INC.



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