Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Income Fund will hold a conference call and webcast to discuss 2008 fourth quarter and annual financial results, and corporate developments on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 8:00 am Pacific Time (11:00 am Eastern Time). To participate, please dial 1-800-594-3615 (toll free) or (416) 644 3418 (GTA and international) approximately five minutes before the call. A replay will be available through March 31, 2009 at 1-877-289-8525 (toll free) or (416) 640-1917 (GTA and international) passcode: 21301136 followed by the number sign. In addition, a live and archived webcast can be accessed at http://www.investorcalendar.com/IC/CEPage.asp?ID(equal sign)142043 or on the company's website at www.swisswater.com TRADING SYMBOL: The Toronto Stock Exchange - SWS.UN
VANCOUVER, March 16 /CNW/ - Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Income Fund ("the Fund") today reported financial results for the three and 12 months ended December 31, 2008. The three-month period represents the fourth quarter of its 2008 fiscal year. The Fund holds all of the outstanding securities of Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Company, Inc. ("SWDCC" or "the company") and its results are dependent on the operating results of SWDCC.
Operating Results In $000's except 3 Months Ended Year Ended per unit amounts December 31 December 31 2008 2007 2008 2007 ------------------------------------------- Sales $ 8,994 $ 8,680 $ 32,606 $ 31,064 Gross profit 2,391 2,860 7,931 10,800 EBITDA(1) 1,995 1,869 7,011 6,808 Net (loss) income (19,635) 837 (16,011) 5,180 Adjusted distributable cash(1) 1,451 2,143 6,608 7,109 Distributions paid 1,501 1,502 6,007 5,924 Per unit amounts: ----------------- Net (loss) income per unit (2.941) 0.125 (2.399) 0.776 Adjusted distributable cash generated per unit(1) 0.217 0.321 0.990 1.065 Distributions paid per unit(1) 0.225 0.225 0.900 0.887 (1) EBITDA, adjusted distributable cash and adjusted distributable cash per unit are non-GAAP financial measures that are defined in the Management's Discussion and Analysis to be posted on SEDAR on or before March 11, 2009.
During the fourth quarter of 2008, SWDCC's revenues grew by 3.6% over the same period of 2007. This was related to a shift in the company's business mix toward non-toll business, which generates higher revenue amounts than its fee-based toll business. Quarterly revenue also grew in tandem with improving US to Canadian foreign exchange conversion rates. Processing volumes declined by 12.8% during the quarter, due to a combination of lost business and inventory reductions, as many of SWDCC's customers reduced their coffee inventories in anticipation of slower demand through the 2008 holiday season and into 2009.
Revenues for the 12 months ended December 31, 2008 were up by 4.9% over 2007. The increase was primarily related to higher average commodity prices for green coffee, as well as a proportionate shift toward non-toll business. Processing volumes for 2008 were down slightly on a year-over-year basis, decreasing by 0.4% from 2007.
During 2008, SWDCC experienced 28% volume growth and virtually no customer turnover in geographic markets where it implemented new consumer-focused marketing and advertising programs in support of the Swiss Water brand.
In total, sales generated in US dollars represented approximately 77% of the company's 2008 revenues. During the first three quarters of the year, SWDCC recorded lower margins due to the relative strengthening of the Canadian dollar compared to the same period in 2007. In the fourth quarter, the Canadian dollar began to weaken significantly, easing some of the margin compression experienced during the first nine months of the year. As a result, the business experienced limited margin erosion due to the impact of foreign exchange on a full year basis.
SWDCC uses financial instruments to manage its US dollar risk, based on its estimated net exposure to currency fluctuations on a 12 to 24-month rolling basis. These contracts tend to mitigate, but not eliminate, the net effect of fluctuations in currency exchange rate.
During the fourth quarter, the Fund generated adjusted distributable cash of $1.5 million, and paid $1.5 million in distributions to unitholders. The monthly distribution level was maintained at $0.075 per unit, or $0.90 per unit on an annualized basis. For the 12 months ended December 31, 2008, the Fund generated adjusted distributable cash of $6.6 million and paid $6.0 million to unitholders, representing a payout ratio of 91% for the year.
During the fourth quarter of 2008, SWDCC recorded a net loss of $19.6 million, compared to net income of $837 thousand in Q4 2007. For full 2008 year, the company recorded a net loss of $16.0 million, compared to net income of $5.1 million in 2007. In both periods, the change was due to a $20.3 million impairment charge taken on Goodwill and Intangible Assets. This is a non-cash item that resulted from an identified impairment in carrying values related to weaker economic conditions. The economic environment markedly increased the discount rate which the Fund used to measure the discounted cash flows of the business, thus reducing the valuation of the entity. In addition, net income for both periods was affected by changes in the unrealized losses recorded on derivative instruments, and by a further recovery of future income taxes.
"We are satisfied with our distributable cash performance and with the response generated to date by our new consumer-oriented marketing campaigns," said Frank Dennis, President and CEO of SWDCC and a Trustee of the Fund. "It is clear that focused investment in brand-building initiatives is an important contributor to building the business. To that end, we plan to extend these programs to additional regions in 2009. While executing this strategy represents a substantial investment, we intend to maintain our 2009 cash distributions at current levels, based on the expectation that we will be developing new business through 2010."
A more detailed discussion of the Fund's financial results can be found in its fourth quarter Management's Discussion and Analysis, which is to be posted with the Fund's audited financial statements on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) and on the Fund's website www.swisswater.com on or before March 17, 2009.
The Fund owns Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Company Inc., (SWDCC) a premium green coffee decaffeinator located in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. SWDCC decaffeinates customer-owned coffees, including organically certified coffees, for a fee - known as its "toll" business; and also purchases high-quality green coffees, decaffeinates them and markets them to the green coffee trade - know as its "non-toll" business. The SWISS WATER(R) Process is a proprietary 100% chemical free decaffeination process using no methylene chloride or ethyl acetate to decaffeinate coffee. The SWISS WATER(R) Process is the world's only consumer branded decaffeination process and the company supports the brand through ongoing consumer research and focused consumer advertising.