Thursday, November 12, 2009

Polaris SoCal Terminal Development to Continue

Canadian aggregate firm Polaris Minerals, which has been trying to develop a sand and gravel terminal at the Port of Long Beach, reported Monday that a continuing decline in construction demand through all areas served by Polaris had resulted in a 50 percent drop in revenue during the third quarter and a 38 percent drop in revenue for the first nine months of the year.

Polaris, based in British Columbia and one of the largest aggregate firms on the West Coast, reported third-quarter revenues of $4.52 million, off 50 percent from the year-ago period. Revenue for the first nine months of the year fell to $13.66 million, off 38 percent compared to the same period in 2008.

During the third quarter, the publicly traded Polaris reported a net loss of $5.23 million compared with a net loss of $3.24 million during the third quarter of 2008. The firm also reported a net loss $9.96 million during the first nine months of the year compared with a net loss of $7.63 million in the same period a year ago.

As of Sept. 30, 2009, the firm reported working capital of $11.2 million (including cash of $5.9 million) and no long-term debt.

Polaris CEO Herb Wilson said that the firm expects to see a turnaround by 2010, with an acceleration thereafter.

"As a consequence, we have continued to pursue terminal developments," said Wilson. "In the Port of Long Beach, we have entered into a nine month option to lease an existing marine aggregates terminal in the port and have commenced due diligence. This site, which is permitted for 3 million tons per year throughput, offers the potential for an early and low cost entry into the greater Los Angeles market. At the successful conclusion of due diligence, the company intends to proceed with the sale of the [port's] Pier B land acquired in 2008."

Wilson added that an additional terminal development at the Port of San Diego is also moving forward.