Onex posts $77 million loss in fourth quarter, $39 million profit for 2012

TORONTO – Onex Corp. (TSX:OCX) recorded a $77 million net loss in the fourth quarter, an improvement from a year earlier as the conglomerate’s revenue increased slightly and its cash flow from operations rose dramatically.

The company, which buys, sells and manages a wide range of businesses in several industries, reported $6.9 billion of revenue for the three-month period, and $784 million of cash flow.

Revenue was up two per cent from the fourth quarter of 2011, when Onex recorded a $113 million loss, while cash flow from operations was up $77 million or nearly 11 per cent from $707 million.

The nature of Onex’s business makes year-to-year comparisons difficult.

Last year’s net profit, for example, is nearly 98 per cent below the $1.6 billion reported for 2011 following the sale of two businesses that added $1.7 billion to the bottom line.

However, excluding discontinued operations, the 2012 full-year profit was a $127-million improvement from the $88 million loss from continuing operations recorded in 2011.

Cash flow from operations, another measure of how the underlying businesses fared, was $2 billion in 2012 as a whole, up $800 million or 66 per cent from 2011 while annual revenue was up 11 per cent to $27.4 billion from $24.6 billion.