IDC posts record profits
$5 million in profits best performance ever for corporation

by Glenn Taylor
Northern News Services

INUVIK (Apr 25/97) - Inuvialuit Development Corporation posted its largest profit gain ever last year, reporting $5 million in profits on revenues of $85 million.

The good news comes at the right time for corporation president David Connelly, who is stepping down from a ship that was taking on water when he arrived in 1992.

IDC was a perennial money-loser five years ago, losing $7.5 million a year on revenues of $47 million, adding to its already burdensome $30-million debt load.

It now shoulders just $6 million in debt, while employing 200 Inuvialuit beneficiaries -- triple the 1992 figure.

"IDC now has the financial ability to choose strategies for the next phase of IDC's evolution," said IDC chairman Dennie Lennie. "David has turned IDC around and put the company on a growth curve."

Connelly would not give specific financial details of the corporation's report card, arguing that IDC is a private company. But he did say that 28 of IDC's 30 ventures turned a profit last year.

Inuvialuit Projects Inc. was one of the shining stars, Connelly said, producing profits in project management, construction, DEW Line clean-up and other reclamation work.

Other areas of growth included communications technology, hospital services and other high-tech operations. Connelly said the corporation's move into these new and growing areas have helped fuel much of the positive growth. Traditional areas of enterprise such as transportation and real estate continue to hum along in the black, he added.

Two corners of the company still in the red are Inuvialuit Sporting Goods Ltd. and IDC B.C. Properties. ISGL is a sporting goods company that IDC is currently negotiating to sell off to its employees.

An agreement in principle has been reached with the groups for the divestiture, but details still need to be ironed out before anything is signed.

B.C. Properties includes a nine-hectare undeveloped site in Port Moody, B.C. Purchased in the late 1980s, IDC is holding onto the site in hopes the city will rezone the land to allow for a more profitable sale. Connelly said the current value of the land stands approaches $12 million.

Connelly said he's most proud of the company's turnaround, and of the increase of Inuvialuit employment within the corporation. He said that once, only five per cent of administrative employees were beneficiaries, while 50 per cent are now.

Connelly leaves the corporation May 31 to start his own strategic intervention company, Ile Royal Enterprises, in Inuvik. The company will provide executive-level business services to Northern organizations.

He also remains president of the NWT Chamber of Commerce and an Inuvik town councillor.