Richmond, B.C. – MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (TSE: MDA) today released the Company’s 1st Quarter results.
MDA President and CEO Daniel Friedmann said, “Our 1st Quarter performance is meeting our expectations, and we’re on target to achieve our objectives for 2001.”

Results From Operations

For the three months ended March 31, 2001 revenues increased 25% to $111.0 million. This compares to revenues of $89.1 million for the three months ended March 31, 2000. Information Systems contributed $70.0 million of these revenues, net of related party eliminations, compared to $69.4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2000. Information Products has revenues of 41.0 million, compared to $19.7 million for the three months ended March 31, 2000. After tax cash earnings increased 39% to $5.9 million, ($0.16 per share fully diluted) from $4.2 million for the three months ended March 31, 2000. This increase is after expensing $1.4 million of new business start-up costs in the quarter, compared to $638,000 in the 1st Quarter of 2000. New business start-up costs all relate to the Information Products Group.

As at March 31, 2001 the Company had an order backlog of $468 million.

Financing Activities

As at March 31, 2001, total assets employed were $432.1 million, resulting in an increase of $18.8 million over December 31, 2000. Net additions to capital assets of $5.4 million exceeded amortization of capital assets and licenses of $3.7 million. Cash balances decreased from $43.5 million to $19.3 million at March 31, 2001, primarily as a result of repayments of long-term debt and a deposit made with Local Government Information House in the United Kingdom.

Accounts receivable increased from $79.0 million at December 31, 2000 to $110.4 million at March 31, 2001 as a result of increased billings, including billings of $23.9 million in March related to work performed on the Radarsat-2 program.

Total long-term debt and capital leases and repayable government assistance, including current portion, decreased from $89.8 million at December 31, 2000 to $82.6 million at March 31, 2001. At March 31, 2001, unused bank facilities, amounted to $64.0 million, compared with $52.7 million at December 31, 2000.

At March 31, 2001, $77.8 million of long-term debt carried a floating rate of interest.

Other Matters
During 1998, the Company entered into a license agreement with Orbital Imaging Corporation (Orbimage), at market value for a ten-year exclusive license for certain specified data. During February, 2001, the Company terminated the original license agreement with Orbimage and entered into a new agreement. The new agreement, at market value, provides that the Company will license certain rights to data from the Radarsat-2 satellite. As at March 31, 2001, U.S. $30.0 million had been received and will form part of the total consideration for the new agreement. The Company will retain certain data rights that had been licensed under the original agreement.

Operational Highlights

We provide essential information from anywhere in the world for decision making in the workplace, through two principal business groups: the Information Systems Group, and the Information Products Group.

The Information Systems Group provides mission critical information systems that help organizations achieve their prime operational objectives. During the 1st Quarter of 2001, the Information Systems Group achieved several milestones:

MDA delivered the Robotic Work Station (RWS) to the International Space Station. Developed under contract to NASA, the RWS is the control system that astronauts will use to operate Canadarm2, the new 17-metre Canadian robotic system designed to build and maintain the Space Station.
The Canadarm2 was launched on April 19th. It was delivered to the International Space Station, and is now installed and undergoing testing. This marks a major milestone for our Company.
In February, MDA received funding from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to research and develop the next generation of robotics for commercial space use.
While the Radarsat-2 program continued to make progress, MDA began work on Radarsat-3 mission feasibility, confirming MDA and CSA objectives to enhance our leadership position in the use of advanced space-based radar imaging.
MDA also received R&D funding to evaluate the use of Radarsat-2 type data for the key markets of shipping and offshore drilling in northern waters.
MDA reached a major milestone by implementing the Vancouver Police Department records system in March. It allows police officers to electronically write their reports in the field, then electronically route those reports to the appropriate department for follow-up. The new system gives officers real-time access to police databases from a laptop computer in their vehicle.
We successfully completed and delivered the Maritime Command Operational Information System software to the Canadian Navy. It performs message handling and distribution, and provides the location and status of each vessel. MDA continues to be the premier Canadian supplier of military operational information systems.
MDA was awarded a $1 million contract by the Defence Research Establishment in Ottawa to develop software for a new radar Data Acquisition System, as part of the CP-140 Aurora aircraft modernization program by the Department of National Defence.
The Information Products Group has a clear objective: To electronically provide everything there is to know about a parcel of land, on a business-to-business basis. During the 1st Quarter of 2001, the Information Products Group achieved several milestones across its product offerings.

Our DataQuick subsidiary launched a new, industry-focused Internet home page and streamlined web site. Customers can select from a number of icons that feature the core industries that DataQuick serves–mortgage, insurance, real estate, title insurance and appraisal.
In addition, we continued to sign up key re-sellers for Freddie Mac’s powerful new “Home Value Estimator” (HVE) Service. By signing resellers, DataQuick has opened additional distribution channels that capitalize on existing vendor-customer relationships, positioning HVE to be more widely used and recognized as the most extensive automated valuation model in the United States.
DataQuick also substantially increased the coverage available through the online database, and introduced enhanced XML formats that provide direct access to our data stores for our web-based customers, allowing computers to talk to computers.
In the United Kingdom, the development of the first release of our Channel was completed and tested with the Hub. The Hub/Channel system is being used to deliver land information products to a select number of solicitors to ensure smooth operation before officially going live in the 2nd Quarter of this year.
In the geographic information product area, the 1st Quarter had very strong bookings. From helping to monitor locusts in Kazakhstan to mapping the headwaters of the Amazon River—from Florida to Ohio and Texas to Washington State—from the United Kingdom to Ontario to British Columbia, our Land Information subsidiaries secured a record number of contracts.
The Canadian Space Agency enhanced the orbit control of the RADARSAT-1 satellite in March. The tightening of the orbit allows for the collection of better terrain elevation data, and this translates into increased sales opportunities for our Company.
The UK government selected a consortium led by the Hays Group and MDA to develop Marketplace, an e-procurement service for Local Authorities.

Financial performance for the 1st Quarter was on plan, and we are on target to achieve our financial objectives.

Analyst/Investor Conference Call Today

MDA President and CEO Daniel Friedmann and Anil Wirasekara, Executive Vice-President and CFO, will be available on a Conference Call today, April 24th, at 1:30pm Pacific, (4:30pm Eastern), to explain the 1st Quarter financial results of MDA, and to answer questions. To participate, dial 1-877-888-4210 in Canada or the United States. A replay will be available for 72 hours at 1-888-509-0081. The Conference Call will also be webcast at


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For more information, please contact:
Ted Schellenberg
Media Relations
MacDonald Dettwiler
Telephone: (604) 231-2215