Transat A.T. Inc. Reports Third-Quarter Results - Earnings Per Share Up 44 %



For the quarter ended July 31, 1999, Transat A.T. Inc. reported net income of $8,839,000, or $0.26 per share, compared with $6,330,000, or $0.18 per share, for the same period in 1998, an increase of slightly over 44% in earnings per share. The Corporation's revenues rose 13.3% to $413.6 million, compared with $365 million for the same period last year.

For the nine months ended July 31, 1999, the Corporation posted net income of $13,513,000, or $0.40 per share, compared with $7,580,000, or $0.22 per share for the same period last year. Revenues rose 18.8% to $1.23 billion, compared with $1.03 billion last year, up $194.6 million. For the first three quarters of 1999, revenues for all the Corporation's Canadian companies are up almost 9% on average, while revenues for the Corporation's French companies increased by more than 30%.

"Both the Canadian and French markets contributed to this $48.6 million growth in revenue. In Canada, the group's companies reported an overall 6.2% increase in revenues. As for the Corporation's French subsidiaries, revenues climbed 11.1% due mainly to price and volume increases,'' noted Jean-Marc Eustache, Transat's President and Chief Executive Officer.

The third quarter represents the first part of the summer season, which runs from May 1 to October 31. During the quarter, profitability increased in Canada and France, the Corporation's two primary markets. Improved profitability in the Canadian market resulted from an increase in revenues, partially offset by higher costs, and lower fuel prices, while profitability in the French market was enhanced following higher volume and sales prices together with improved load factors. In France, Look Voyages reported improved results compared with last year.However, negative factors also came into play. In Canada, the major factors include the weakness of the Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar, intense competition with respect to European destinations and an increase in some operating expenses. In France, the results were also impacted by rising operating expenses and currency fluctuations.

"We are now in the final and very important period of the summer season. In Canada, the competitive conditions that prevailed in the last quarter persist,'' said Mr. Eustache.

"In the French market, this is the busiest period of the year as vacationers travel abroad in large numbers. We are standing by the objectives set regarding the results of Look Voyages for the fiscal year ending October 31, 1999. Overall, we are confident with respect to the results of the group for the entire summer season,'' concluded Mr. Eustache.

Transat, the leader in the Canadian tourism industry, is a public corporation listed on the Montréal and Toronto Stock Exchanges. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, it is involved in all aspects of the distribution of travel services and air transportation.

Its wholly-owned subsidiaries are: the airline Air Transat, tour operators Vacances Air Transat/Air Transat Holidays (Montréal, Québec City, Toronto, Vancouver and Fort Lauderdale), Vacances Air Transat (France), Nolitour (Montréal) and Regent Holidays (Toronto) as well as the Tourbec travel agency chain.

Transat A.T. holds interests in tour operators Look Voyages (98%), Brok'Air (39%), and World of Vacations (35%), in Consultour/Club Voyages, a travel agency franchise group (50%), as well as in Services Haycot (50%), an airport handling services company. Vacances Air Transat holds a 66.7% interest in the incoming tour operator DMC Transat, and Look Voyages owns 49.6% of STAR Airlines.