Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canam Criticizes Quebec City Amphitheatre Bidding Process Won by ADF

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canam Criticizes Quebec City Amphitheatre Bidding Process Won by ADF

Article excerpt

Canam's Q4 profits surge to $7.4 million


MONTREAL - Structural steel provider Canam Group Inc. criticized the bid process for Quebec City's new amphitheatre Wednesday and said its losing submission was "relatively aggressive."

"The Quebec bid was the most difficult bid conditions we've seen in the last 20 years," CEO Marc Dutil told analysts during a conference call to discuss its fourth-quarter and 2012 results.

He pointed specifically to a requirement prohibiting companies from publicly talking about their bid.

Although the Quebec-based company wanted to win the contract for the provincial capital's new hockey arena, Dutil said the company couldn't go lower given the project risk. He said its contract to build an arena in Pittsburgh, Pa., suggests that the "right price" for Quebec City was $52 million.

"So at $50.8 million, we felt we were relatively aggressive in spite of the general conditions which were fairly risky."

Ultimately, ADF Group (TSX:DRX) won the contract earlier this month with a reported bid of nearly $47 million.

"It's funny nobody ever congratulates you for having done something which results in nothing but sometimes that's a good decision too," Dutil said, adding that Canam could still provide ADF with joists and decks for the amphitheatre.

Canam met expectations Wednesday as it reported a more than doubling of profits to $7.4 million in the fourth quarter despite a nearly 17 per cent drop in sales.

The Quebec-based company earned 18 cents per share for the period ended Dec. 31, up from seven cents per share or $3.3 million last year.

Sales were $238.5 million, down from $285.6 million.

For the full year, it reversed last year's loss by earning $17 million, or 40 cents per share. That compared with a loss of $32.5 million, 72 cents per share in 2011. The 2011 results contained a $25 million after-tax provision related to work on BC Place.

Consolidated sales increased 2.8 per cent to $905.4 million, from $881 million in 2011.

Canam (TSX:CAM) was expected to earn 18 cents per share on $282 million of revenues in the quarter, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

For the full year, analysts forecast the company would earn 38 cents per share on $949. …

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