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COMPETITION WATCH: Investment performance substantially improved earnings

HALIFAX, N.S. -- A two-month lock-out at a Clarke Inc. subsidiary, resulted in a disappointing first quarter for th...

HALIFAX, N.S. — A two-month lock-out at a Clarke Inc. subsidiary, resulted in a disappointing first quarter for the investment company’s Freight Transportation Segment. However, continuing operations for the company were reported at $5.7 million, or $0.44 per cent, up 434.7 per cent.

“A new four year collective agreement was reached at the end of February, which management believes will allow Clarke to ultimately recoup losses incurred during the lock-out,” stated George Armoyan, president and CEO of Clarke. “The remaining subsidiaries in the Freight Transportation Segment, Clarke Road Transport, Clarke Shipping and La Traverse Riviere-du-Loup/St. Simeon Limited, performed well.”

The sale by Clarke of all of the units it held in Advanced Fiber Technologies Income Fund resulted in a gain before income taxes of $2.1 million. As well, the gains realized as Clarke acted on opportunities to take profits from other positions in its marketable securities portfolio contributed a further $5.7 million, before income taxes.

“In the same quarter last year, net income from continuing operations was $1.1 million, or $0.08 per share, driven primarily by the Freight Transportation Segment’s operations in this seasonally slow quarter. Also, during the comparative period the contribution from both the investment holdings business and the Warehouse Segment was negligible” explained Armoyan.

Clarke also announces the appointment of Melinda Lee to the position of vice-president, Investments. Lee, who has served as vice-president of Geosam Investments for the past three years, will succeed Byron Corner. Corner, the former chief actuary for The Maritime Life Assurance Company, has accepted a senior actuarial position with a leading Canadian insurer.

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