WIT Maintains Profitability
Release Date: May 9, 2006
Additional grain shipping, combined with steady performances from the crop input, Vigro, and pro-pellet divisions resulted in a solid profit to start 2006 for Weyburn Inland Terminal Ltd., as seen in the Company’s first-quarter report. WIT showed an after-tax profit of $678,000 ($0.70/share, diluted), compared to last years profit of $146,000 ($0.15/share, diluted). Increased handlings of CWB grains, and aggressive flax and canola marketing programs resulted in significantly more grain handling, increasing earnings.
“This was a positive quarter for the Company and our customers,” said Company President Claude Carles. “Good quality grain in our area, and access to both the US market and offshore markets, allowed for a very strong shipping program through the winter months, when grain movement is often slow.” Carles noted although grain movement was up over 80% from 2005, the size of the 2005 harvest means there is still lots of grain to move.
“Cereal crop quality was generally good in our area, allowing WIT to focus on our customers and sales and shipping opportunities in the grain, oilseed, and special crops businesses” said CEO Rob Davies. “The last 24 months have been a difficult period for our customers, with low commodity prices and increasing energy and fertilizer costs. Our farmer directors have ensured that we stay on track, in order to assist customers in maximizing the value for their crops, and by providing excellent advice both on grain marketing and crop inputs.” Davies noted that the Company was investigating various diversification opportunities, and staying involved in policy debates to ensure that changes to the grain handling and transportation system would be of a benefit to WIT customers and shareholders.
Working capital at March 31 was $12,180,000 compared to $9,780,000 last year. Retained earnings increased $1,153,000 to $21,975,000. Carles noted that the Company was still completely free of long-term debt.
The Terminal continues to file the lowest grain handling and cleaning tariffs, and WIT continues to be the only major grain company to base tariffs on net weights. This results in handling cost savings to the farmer on every delivery, especially when there is any significant level of dockage. “Our ability to store and blend grain for our customers has allowed us to keep our handling costs low” said Davies. “This advantage to the farmer gives us more grain to handle, which allows us to keep our efficiency level high, to everyones’ benefit.” In March, WIT also declared a semi-annual dividend of $0.60 per common share totaling $578,000, giving an annualized yield of 5.00%.
WIT is a farmer-owned and farmer-directed grain company located on the CP Rail Soo Line near Weyburn, Saskatchewan. Since its start in 1976, ‘The Terminal’ has been at the forefront of change in the industry leading the way to help improve the overall efficiency of Canada’s grain-handling system. The philosophy and goals of the company are summed up in its mission statement: Profitability Through Service, Innovation and Integrity.
Claude Carles, President
Rob Davies, CEO