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To all VITAR Board Members & Affiliates:
The VITAR General meeting Scheduled for April 21, 2004 has been rescheduled for June 5, 2004. Please make note of the new scheduled date.
By TIM FIELDS
Tuesday, April 20th 2004
ST. THOMAS - The Red Hook Community Alliance will present to government officials Wednesday a petition with more than 1,800 signatures in support of legislation to stop further development of 17 acres near Vessup Beach.
Miami-based Lionstone Hotels and Resorts already has an option-to-buy contract on the 17 acres. The company has been buying real estate in the area during the last year and may purchase the hotel operation of The Ritz-Carlton. Lionstone owns, leases and manages seven hotels in south Florida and the Caribbean.
From News Of St. John:
"The action is at the high end. One new offering during the past week is a 4-bedroom/4.5-bath, 1-acre hilltop property, with pool, at Chocolate Hole overlooking Hart Bay. The property, completed this year, is listed at $4.99 million (just couldn't bring themselves to round off to $5.0, I guess). Meanwhile, the new "most expensive property for sale" title goes to a 5-bedroom/5.5-bath house at Peter Bay - $5.975 million. Also new on the Multiple Listing Service is a $1.2875 million "cottage", 2-bedrooms/2-baths, with pool in Carolina."
ST. THOMAS - After a year of negotiations, Miami-based Lionstone Hotel & Resorts has closed on a $2 million deal for 3 acres in the Vessup Bay area, including the land on which the Latitude 18 bar and restaurant and Vessup Beach Marina are located.
SAN DIEGO, April 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- PriceSmart, Inc. (Nasdaq: PSMT - News; www.pricesmart.com) today announced financial results for the second quarter and six months ended February 29, 2004.
or the second quarter, total revenues declined 9.3% to $165.6 million, from $182.6 million in the second quarter of fiscal year 2003. Net warehouse club sales decreased 9.0% to $161.5 million in the current quarter, from $177.4 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2003. Excluding $3.9 million in wholesale telephone card sales in the Philippines (which began in September 2002 and were discontinued in May 2003), net warehouse sales decreased 6.9% from the comparable period sales of $173.5 million in fiscal 2003. Management believes net warehouse sales excluding wholesale telephone card sales provides a better measure of ongoing operations and a more meaningful comparison of past and present operating results than total warehouse sales, because wholesale phone card sales were only for a limited time, were discontinued in May 2003 and fell outside of the Company's core business of operating international membership warehouse clubs. The Company had an operating loss of $1.5 million in the second quarter, compared to an operating profit of $4.6 million in the second quarter last year. Second quarter net loss attributable to common stockholders was $4.5 million or $(0.61) per diluted share, compared to net income available to common stockholders of $1.0 million or $0.14 per diluted share in the second quarter last year.
For the six months ended February 29, 2004, total revenues decreased 9.8% to $313.5 million, from $347.4 million in the first six months of last year. Net warehouse sales declined 9.0% to $305.2 million in the first half of fiscal 2004 from $335.4 million in the first half of fiscal 2003. Excluding $8.7 million in wholesale telephone card sales in the Philippines (which began in September 2002 and were discontinued in May 2003), net warehouse sales decreased 6.6%. The operating loss for the first six months was $5.6 million, compared to operating income of $9.3 million in the comparable period last year. The six month loss attributable to common stockholders was $11.5 million or $(1.59) per diluted share, compared to net income available to common stockholders of $2.0 million or $0.29 per diluted share in the comparable period last year.
There were 25 warehouse clubs in operation at the end of February 2004 (excluding 3 unconsolidated warehouse clubs in Mexico that are owned through a 50/50 joint venture) compared to 27 at the end of February last year. The opening of a new warehouse club in the Philippines is planned for early June 2004.
Commenting on the results for the quarter, Robert Price, Chairman and Interim Chief Executive Officer, said, "We were gratified to see improving sales trends during the quarter, which appear to validate our efforts to redirect the Company back to the basics of the club business. We also improved our execution with the attainment of margin goals, better inventory management resulting in additional cash flow, and improved labor productivity. From an organizational perspective, a new senior financial team was hired in the quarter and plans were put in place for consolidation of substantially all U.S. buying in San Diego, which was completed in March. Much remains to be done to move PriceSmart back to profitability including increasing sales, reducing expenses, hiring a new President, and improving the Company's liquidity by monetizing a portion of our real estate assets. We continue to work diligently on these significant matters."
Management will provide additional details about the second quarter and will answer questions sent in advance, during an audio presentation that will be available beginning at 8:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday, April 21, 2004. Questions for management should be e-mailed to email@example.com or faxed to 858-404-8848 by Monday, April 19, 2004 at 5:00 p.m. ET. Interested parties may listen to the presentation by visiting the Investor Relations section of the Company's web site at www.pricesmart.com or by dialing 888-286-8010 (617-801-6888 for international callers) and entering the code 31769190 from 8:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 until 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, April 30, 2004.
PriceSmart, headquartered in San Diego, owns and operates U.S.-style membership shopping warehouse clubs in Central America, the Caribbean and Asia, selling high quality merchandise at low prices to PriceSmart members. PriceSmart now operates 25 warehouse clubs in 12 countries and one U.S. territory (four in Panama; three each in Costa Rica, and the Philippines; two each in Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Trinidad; and one each in Aruba, Barbados, Jamaica, Nicaragua and the United States Virgin Islands). PriceSmart also licenses 12 warehouses in China and one in Saipan, Micronesia and has an additional three warehouse clubs in Mexico as part of a 50/50 joint venture with Grupo Gigante, S.A. de C.V.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that might cause actual results to differ materially from those foreseen. These statements are often, but not always, made through the use of words or phrases such as "believe," "will," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "intend," "plan," and "would." Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance. They involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions that may cause actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to differ materially from any results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by any forward-looking statement. Some of the risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from estimates or projections contained in the forward-looking statements include but are not limited to: recent legal actions filed against us could adversely affect our future results of operations and financial position; we had a substantial loss in fiscal 2003 and the first half of fiscal 2004 and may continue to incur losses in future periods; we may not have adequate cash to meet operating and capital needs in future periods; we expect to incur substantial legal and other professional service costs; our financial performance is dependent on international operations; any failure by us to manage our growth could adversely affect our business; we face significant competition; we may encounter difficulties in the shipment of goods to our warehouses; the success of our business requires effective assistance from local business people with whom we have established strategic relationships; we are exposed to weather and other risks associated with our operations in Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia; declines in the economies of the countries in which we operate our warehouse stores would harm our business; substantial control of the Company's voting stock by a few of the Company's stockholders may make it difficult to complete some corporate transactions without their support and may prevent a change in control; the loss of key personnel could harm our business; we face the risk of exposure to product liability claims, a product recall and adverse publicity; we are subject to volatility in foreign currency exchange; and a determination that the Company's goodwill and intangible assets have been impaired as a result of a test under Statement of Financial Accounting Standards ("SFAS") No. 142 could adversely affect the Company's future results of operations and financial position; as well as the other risks detailed in the Company's SEC reports, including the Company's Form 10-Q filed pursuant to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 on January 14, 2004. We assume no obligation and expressly disclaim any duty to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. Certain prior period amounts have been reclassified to conform to current period presentation.
For further information, please contact Robert E. Price, Chairman of the Board and Interim President & Chief Executive Officer (858) 551-2336; or John M. Heffner, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (858) 404-8826.