Canadian Underwriter

Western Financial results on the right track (August 29, 2002)

August 29, 2002   by Canadian Underwriter

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Second-quarter results for Western Financial Group (TSX: WES), formerly Hi-Alta Capital, are on track to hit the company’s yearend targets. Revenue is up 21.4% for the quarter ending June 30, 2002, to $7.6 million, versus $6.2 million in the same period a year earlier. Net income was also up, to $477,662 for the most recent quarter compared to $420,159 last year in the same quarter. However, earnings per share were down $0.01 during the same period, to $0.03 from $0.04, as the number of outstanding shares increased and the copany faced one-time costs relating to recent debenture and issuer bid tansactions.
For the first six months of this year, revenue is up 19.4%, to $13.5 million from $11.3 million in first-half 2001, and earnings per share were up $0.01, to $0.06 from $0.05. Net income year-to-date is $904,397, versus $556,956 in the first six months last year.
“Same-store sales showed strong growth with a 7.8% increase over the first six months of 2001,” says Western Financial president and CEO Scott Tannas. “Also, despite a challenging operating environment, our same-store customer count is up 2% in 2002, ahead of the industry average.”
The company recently announced its name change, and its plans to move into agency banking and investments on top of its insurance business. “New products and services were introduced subsequent to the end of the second quarter and early returns are positive,” states a company release.

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