Racetrack Losses Impact MI Developments' Bottom Line

Losses sustained during 2004 and the fourth quarter by racetrack operator Magna Entertainment had a negative impact on the financial results for MI Developments during the same periods.

MID, which is the parent company of Magna Entertainment (MEC), reported a net loss of $13.8 million for the three months ending Dec. 31 and had an annual loss of $8.5 million. The company reported annual revenues increased to $169.4 million. During 2003, MID had a loss of $50.4 million, with revenues of $165.9 million.

Net income from MID's real estate operations rose to $17.6 million from $103 million in 2003 and annual net income from real estate was $52.3 million in 2004, compared with a year-earlier figure of $49.8 million.

Those positive numbers were more than offset by the losses at MEC, which last week reported a quarterly loss of $28.9 million and an annual loss of $57.7 million.

Last year was the first full year of operations for MID since it was spun off from Magna International, the giant auto-parts manufacturer headed by Frank Stronach, the controlling shareholder in MID.

"In our first full year as a public company, we have continued to nurture our key Magna relationship and have grown our core rental portfolio of industrial facilities as evidenced by our strong 2004 results," said John Simonetti, MID's chief executive officer. "We continue to see strong demand for real estate developments coming not only from Magna, but also from Magna Entertainment."

MID also announced that a date of May 4 has been set for the company's annual and special meeting of shareholders, at which time consideration will be given to a proposal for MID to dispose of its equity stake in Magna Entertainment and convert into a real estate investment trust. The proposal has been submitted by Greenlight Capital, which holds 9.9% of MID's class A shares. A special committee of independent MID directors is reviewing the proposal.