April 1, 2008
POLARIS ANNOUNCES 2007 YEAR END RESULTS AND CONFERENCE CALL
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Polaris Minerals Corporation (TSX:PLS) today reported financial results for the year ended December 31, 2007. All financial results are in US Dollars, unless otherwise noted. The Company reported a loss of $18.4 million ($0.52 per share) compared with a loss of $3.3 million ($0.11 per share) in 2006. Polaris generated a gross margin of $1.0 million from operations in 2007, the year in which product sales commenced. Revenue for 2007 was $15.5 million (2006 – Nil).
The loss from operations, net of stock based compensation, was $4.3 million compared with a loss of $4.4 million in the prior year. The loss for the year was impacted by several non-cash adjustments: stock-based compensation $8.2 million (2006 - $0.8 million); revaluation of debt repaid $3.4 million (2006 – Nil); provision on an investment $2.0 million (2006 – Nil); and foreign exchange of $1.5 million (2006 – $0.1 million). Net interest received in the year was $1.4 million (2006 - $1.8 million).
At December 31, 2007, the Company had cash and cash equivalents on hand of $15.2 million and no debt.
The company sold 1.15 million tons of sand and gravel to customers in California, Vancouver, BC, and Hawaii from its Orca Quarry, located near Port McNeill, BC, and had 0.25 million tons of finished products in inventory at year end.
Marco Romero, Polaris President & CEO, said: "2007 was a year of transformation for Polaris, during which we commenced production at the Orca Quarry, which I am pleased to report is operating extremely well." He added: "Capital and operating costs at the quarry were in line with our expectations and sales volumes exceeded targets set out in the 2005 feasibility study. The 2007 financial performance of the Company and its operations was gratifying, considering that it was achieved during the start up period for this large and logistically complex business. The fourth quarter of 2007 was particularly impacted by the strengthening Canadian dollar and rising bunker fuel costs for shipping, which are recovered in the year after they occur. Dead freight on two lightly loaded ships, necessary to meet customer requirements, together with excess port costs in Canada, reduced the gross margin by $0.9 million. These factors will gradually be eliminated as the business grows."
Mr Romero continued: "Of particular importance during the year was the signing of a Strategic Alliance with Cemex Inc. With this agreement, Polaris aligned itself with one of the largest consumers of construction aggregates in California and received exclusive access to two construction aggregate receiving terminals in San Francisco, and one to be developed in Sacramento. In addition, the two companies have established a mechanism to jointly develop new terminals in southern California, as well as in other West Coast markets. Our actions are intended to take full advantage of these terminal opportunities, in readiness for the next cycle of increasing demand in the United States. With an eye to the future, we are finalizing a bankable feasibility study for the proposed Eagle Rock Quarry and have also secured up to 2.8 million tons of additional annual shipping capacity with CSL International, commencing late in 2010."
Commenting on 2008, Mr Romero said: "The Orca Quarry is ramping up very successfully. We have already produced over 750,000 tons of sand and gravel in the first quarter of this year. During this period, we also shipped 511,000 tons to our customers, meeting guidance provided in January 2008. Looking forward, based on our customer's expectations, we continue to expect shipping between 2.9 and 3.2 million tons in 2008, a solid increase over 2007".
This financial summary should be read in conjunction with the Company's December 31, 2007 audited consolidated financial statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis, both of which will be available on www.sedar.com.
The Company will host a conference call at 6:30 am PT on Wednesday, April 2, 2008. Investors and other interested parties may access the teleconference live by calling 416.644.3417 or 800.732.0232 in North America or internationally and 00 800 2288 3501 from the United Kingdom.
A live webcast of the conference call will be available through the link below:
The webcast will be archived for 90 days following the call.
The conference call will be recorded and available for replay at 11:00 am PT and will be available until April 15, 2008. In North America dial 416.640.1917, and for international calls, dial 877.289.8525. The access code to hear the recording is 21267061 followed by the pound sign.
Polaris Minerals Corporation is exclusively focused on the development of quarries and the production of construction aggregates in British Columbia for marine transport to urban markets on the west coast of North America to meet growing local supply deficits. In 2007, Polaris began shipping sand and gravel from the Orca Quarry to San Francisco Bay, Vancouver, BC and Hawaii.
For further information, please contact:
Marco Romero, President & CEO or
Mike Westerlund, Director, Corporate Development
Polaris Minerals Corporation
Tel: (604) 915-5000
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" and "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities laws. These statements and information appear in this document and include estimates, forecasts, information and statements as to management's expectations with respect to, among other things the future financial or operating performance of the Company, costs and timing of the development of the construction aggregate quarry, the timing and amount of estimated future production, costs of production, capital and operating expenditures, requirements for additional capital, government regulation of quarrying operations, environmental risks, reclamation expenses, and title disputes. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements and information can be identified by the use of words such as "may", "will", "should", "plans", "expects", "intends", "anticipates", "believes", "budget", and "scheduled" or the negative thereof or variations thereon or similar terminology. Forward-looking statements and information are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by management, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. Readers are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements and information are not guarantees and there can be no assurance that such statements and information will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations are disclosed under the heading "Risks and Uncertainties" in the Company's Annual Report and under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Information Form (AIF) in respect of its financial year-ended December 31, 2007, both of which are filed with Canadian regulators on SEDAR ( www.sedar.com ). The Company expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements and information whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. All written and oral forwardlooking statements and information attributable to us or persons acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the foregoing cautionary statements.