Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins announces its results
A key contribution to economic development in difficult times
Montréal, February 12, 2009 – Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins today released the Company’s financial results. In spite of difficult economic times, Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins (the Company) closed its 2008 fiscal year with a negative return of 3.6% compared with a negative return of 3.2% for the preceding year. The results, which bring the share value to $9.54 as of noon today, secure for shareholders who bought shares seven years ago an after-tax return of over 9.2%.
Comparing very favourably to capital market indexes, this performance was no accident. To limit the effects of market volatility on share value while still fulfilling its mission of economic development, the Company prefers a global approach to managing its financial assets. The result is an overall balanced portfolio for both investments in our partner companies as well as in liquid investments, now reported as Other investments in the Company’s financial statements. Also, note that the Other investments portfolio is essentially invested in bond securities, which has the effect of offsetting investment portfolio risk. This prudent management approach has also been the standard in making investment decisions as the portfolio includes only a very few public companies.
Chairman of the Board André Lachapelle expressed satisfaction over the results, and particularly in light of an economic slowdown. “More than ever, Capital régional is playing a key role in the economic development of Québec, and its concrete contribution has significant ripple effects over entire regions.”
In spite of the particularly difficult conditions in the second half of the year, the Company maintained its investment activities, with new commitments totalling $65 million for fiscal 2008 compared with $88 million for the same period in 2007. Once again this year, the Company has met the statutory target of 60% for its aggregate eligible investments as well as the 35% for investments in cooperatives and in the resource regions. As at December 31, 2008, total commitments reached $477 million in 213 businesses and funds contributing to the retention of over 30,000 jobs.
Mr. Louis L. Roquet, President and COO of Desjardins Venture Capital, the Company’s manager, was quick to reassure entrepreneurs that partnership would continue through even the hardest times. “We’re continuing to support our partner companies, and we have capital to invest in new, promising companies. When we invest in a Québec company or cooperative, we make a commitment to back it for at least five years. We’re convinced that this way of doing business creates stronger companies that then have the ability to survive through the different cycles of the economy,” he explained.
Confidence in Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins remained high as the 2008 issue, which ends on February 28, 2009, raised $126.4 million. This resulted in increasing the Company’s net assets to $812.6 million as at the end of the fiscal year, up $80.1 million over 2007.In November 2008, some shareholders completed their minimum statutory holding period of seven years. Consequently, only 20% of the $79 million in shares issued in 2001 have been redeemed. The number of shareholders as at December 31, 2008 was 122,128. Shares from the 2008 issue are still available throughout the Desjardins caisse network and, by investing, shareholders enjoy a provincial income tax credit of 50%.
Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins
Founded in 2001, Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins is a publicly traded company managed by Desjardins Venture Capital. With over 122,000 shareholders, the Company contributes to Québec’s economic development while driving the growth of cooperatives and the resource regions. Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins currently supports more than 200 companies and cooperatives in various industries spanning all Québec regions. (www.capitalregional.com)
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Manager, Public Affairs
Desjardins Venture Capital