Fargo Execs

Paul Stephenson has been named Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Fargo Electronics, Inc. (Nasdaq:FRGO), according to Gary R. Holland, President and CEO of Fargo. Eden Prairie-based Fargo is the world’s leader in innovative technologies for desktop plastic card personalization systems. “We are very pleased to have Paul join Fargo’s management team,” said Holland. “His extensive background working with manufacturing organizations will be very valuable as Fargo continues to grow.”

Stephenson brings over 25 years of professional business experience to Fargo. Most recently, he served as Chief Financial Officer of the Minnesota Orchestral Association. From 1992 to 1999 he was Vice President – Finance and Chief Finance Officer for Check Technology Corporation. His previous experience includes positions at Honeywell Inc. and KPMG International. Stephenson is a graduate of Cambridge University, England, and holds professional qualifications as both a Certified Public Accountant in the United States and a Chartered Accountant in the United Kingdom.

Elaine A. Pullen, President of Trident International, Inc. of Minneapolis, and Everett V. Cox, General Partner, St. Paul Venture Capital, were re-elected to the Board of Directors of Fargo Electronics, Inc. (Nasdaq:FRGO) at its Annual Meeting of Stockholders Thursday. Stockholders also approved a proposal to adopt the Fargo 2001 Employee Stock Purchase Plan by reserving 250,000 shares of common stock for use under the plan, and a second proposal to amend and restate the 1998 Stock Option and Grant Plan. Gary R. Holland, President and CEO of Fargo, reviewed 2000 operations and results, and discussed the prospects for 2001 and beyond.

About Fargo

Fargo Electronics, Inc. (Nasdaq:FRGO) is the world’s leader in innovative technologies for desktop plastic card personalization systems. Based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Fargo printing systems create personalized plastic identification cards complete with digital images and text, lamination, and electronically encoded information. Personalized identification cards provide physical, information and transaction security for a wide variety of applications including retail stores, e-commerce, government installations, schools, sports and recreation facilities, clubs and associations, and correctional facilities. More than 50,000 Fargo systems are currently installed throughout the U.S. and in over 100 other countries. For more information, visit Fargo’s website at [http://www.fargo.com][1].

[1]: http://www.fargo.com/

Details

Newspaper Card Sales

Old news is shunned in the newspaper business, but now it might mean new money: Cold North Wind Inc. and microCreditCard Inc. announced today a strategic alliance designed to bring searchable images of newspapers in their original published form and the power of online content sales to the newspaper industry.

Cold North Wind generates new revenue from old news by digitizing newspaper archives on microfilm and then publishing and selling those images on the Internet. Together with microCreditCard, the Internet’s leading credit-card-based micro-payment facilitator and alternative billing provider, they will tour North America, educating publishers on ways to turn old news into real profits.

“We are excited about this partnership with microCreditCard. They are the best online payment solution around – it will be a powerful relationship,” said Bob Huggins, CEO of Cold North Wind. “Newspapers on microfilm provide us with a remarkable view of the past. Unfortunately, access to this material is limited by the locality of both microfilm readers and microform collections. Today, users want to get this information on the Internet. But digitizing these archives and then marketing them over the web can be arduous and expensive for a newspaper to undertake on its own. Together with microCreditCard, we offer newspapers a painless, quick method for converting archives and realizing profits from them.”

Cold North Wind’s process creates and publishes searchable digital images of every page in a newspaper — not just selected stories. Currently, most newspapers provide a limited number of online articles in ASCII form from the past five to ten years only. As a result, the sole method of searching newspaper archives is through microfilm, a time-consuming process. In February, New York Post and Cold North Wind Corp. announced a letter of intent to digitize and publish the microfilm archives of the New York Post newspaper and make it available on the Internet. Readers will be able to search and view the original printed format from the paper’s almost 200 year-old archive.

“We want to help publishers get past the online content sales hurdle,” said Leslie Poole, CEO of microCreditCard. “The Internet has great potential to act as a record keeper and revenue generator, but that potential has not yet been realized. microCreditCard eliminates a myriad of technical, administrative and financial obstacles, so that Web sites can realize revenue from content within hours. The best part is that our technology is applicable to an array of content formats, from music, to movies to articles. Our solution comes at a critical time when content providers are searching for revenue sources – microCreditCard and Cold North Wind are here to help.” microCreditCard’s products were created in response to content providers’ frustration with the difficulties and cost involved in developing a payment process. microCreditCard is one of the first companies to offer a micro-payment solution and its services suite is the only same-day solution enabling credit card transactions. Cold North Wind was attracted to the company’s ability to accommodate multiple currency management, subscription management, digital content management, and the ability to sell digital content either via subscription or in “unbundled” individual units, such as a single archived page.

About microCreditCard

Headquartered in Arlington, Va., microCreditCard, Inc., is the Internet’s leading credit card-based micro-payment facilitator and alternative billing provider. Founded in 1999, microCreditCard’s robust solution, which consists of a Content Gateway(TM), a Payment Gateway(TM), and an Aggregation Engine(TM), is easy to set up and allows transactions for 10(cent) and higher. microCreditCard offers three tiers of service – microCreditCard Managed, Managed Plus, and Premium – depending on the needs of the merchant. For more information about microCreditCard, visit its Web site at [www.microCreditCard.com][1].

About Cold North Wind

Founded in 1999, Cold North Wind is creating a worldwide online newspaper archive. The company turns newspaper archives on microfilm into high-resolution, searchable, digital images on the Internet. Cold North Wind provides revenue-producing solutions to organizations that hold valuable microform archives, as well as to distributors of online content. Through partnerships with newspapers, media corporations, micropublishers and content distributors, Cold North Wind is providing business solutions to enable publishers to create new revenue streams from archived materials. Cold North Wind Corp. is based in Framingham, Massachusetts. Its parent company, Cold North Wind Inc. is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada. For further information, please visit [www.coldnorthwind.com][2].

[1]: http://www.microcreditcard.com/
[2]: http://www.coldnorthwind.com/

Details

Mexican Connection

Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corp, Banco Nacional de Mexico, S.A. (Banamex) and California Commerce Bank announced that they have entered into a strategic alliance to facilitate consumer money transfers to and from Mexico, beginning July 1.

Banamex, and CCB, both subsidiaries of Grupo Financiero Banamex-Accival (Banacci), will become a principal agent in Mexico for Western Union consumer money transfers. As Mexico’s leading bank, Banamex will offer the Western Union Money Transfer(R) services at its approximately 1,300 bank branch locations beginning in July and will add to the Western Union agent network in Mexico, which currently includes more than 4,800 locations.

“We are pleased to establish this relationship with Western Union, and to offer their premium, value-added services to consumers throughout Mexico,” said Manuel Medina Mora, chief executive officer for Banacci. “The Mexican immigrant population represents the largest group of Hispanics living in the U.S. They have a growing need to send monies back home with the highest standard of convenience, safety and reliability. With this agreement, Western Union, a global leader in providing money transfer services, and Banamex, Mexico’s leader in the delivery of quality financial services, come together to offer a first-class money transfer experience between Mexico and the United States.”

“For more than a century, Western Union and Banamex each have served the Mexican market, and consumers have trusted and relied on us to handle their banking and money transfer needs,” said Charles T. Fote, president and chief operating officer for First Data Corp. “By bringing together our two powerful and recognized brands we will offer consumers tremendous peace of mind in knowing that their money transfers are being handled with the greatest speed and security.

“This association carries an even deeper significance, as Western Union and Banamex both share a strong commitment to the community,” Fote added. “Beyond providing the best in financial services, our companies support social projects that help our customers and their families in Mexico.”

In a separate release, Western Union’s sister company, Orlandi Valuta, announced a similar agreement to facilitate money transfers with Banamex and CCB.

About Banacci

Grupo Financiero Banamex-Accival is Mexico’s leading financial group. Following a universal banking strategy, the Group offers a variety of financial services to companies and individuals, which include commercial and investment banking, insurance, and fund management. Banamex, founded in 1884, is Mexico’s leading commercial bank in terms of equity. The Bank has an extensive distribution network of more than 1,300 branches and 3,000 ATM’s located throughout the country.

About California Commerce Bank

California Commerce Bank provides full banking services for companies and individuals that do business in Mexico and the United States. As part of Grupo Financiero Banamex-Accival, CCB is the U.S. banking arm of Banco Nacional de Mexico (Banamex), Mexico’s leading bank. As such, CCB is the gateway to and from Mexican financial markets. With over $2.1 billion in assets and advanced international information technology systems, CCB is a valued resource for customers with interests, which cross national boundaries. For more information, visit California Commerce Bank at [http://www.ccbusa.com][1].

About Western Union

Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corporation (NYSE: FDC), is a worldwide leader in consumer money transfer services. The company provides rapid money transfer service through a global agent network. Consumers can quickly, safely and reliably transfer money at approximately 101,000 agent locations in more than 185 countries and territories using the Western Union and Orlandi Valuta money transfer networks. Famous for its pioneering telegraph service, the original Western Union dates back to 1851 and introduced electronic money transfer service in 1871. Western Union is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2001. For more information please visit [http://www.westernunion.com][2].

About First Data Corp.

Atlanta-based First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC) powers the global economy. Serving nearly 2.5 million merchant locations, more than 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, First Data makes it easier, faster and more secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services, using virtually any form of payment: credit, debit, stored-value card or check at the point-of-sale, over the Internet or by money transfer. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site at [http://www.firstdata.com][3].

[1]: http://www.ccbusa.com/
[2]: http://www.westernunion.com/
[3]: http://www.firstdata.com/

Details

E-Vending

PA-based e-Vend.net this week unveiled a new service enabling consumers to purchase items from vending machines using a cellular phone linked to a credit card. While several advertisers and wireless companies have claimed to be in development of this technology, e-Vend’s new ‘1-800-CELLPAY’ service is the first to be delivered in the USA. Customers need only approach a vending machine, dial the posted telephone number and select the snack or beverage of their choice. The charge shows up on the customer’s cellular phone bill or on a credit card/debit card linked to the account. Kodak is gearing up to offer the new service for the 2002 Olympics whereby consumers will be able to purchase film and disposable cameras with their cellular phone. Maytag’s Dixie Narco division, an e-Vend investor, is also considering the technology under an OEM arrangement. In March USA Technologies and Marconi Online Systems signed a deal to bring together Marconi Online’s ‘Intelligent Vending’ service with USA Technologies’ ‘e-Port’ technology. Marconi and the primary European Coca-Cola bottler launched a pilot in February for ‘Dial-a-Coke’ with enables European consumers to pay for their drink using a GSM cellular phone. A similar service was launched this year in Australia according to RAM Research Group. (CF Library 2/8/01;3/15/01;4/24/01)

Details

Internationally

MasterCard is setting up a Middle East and Africa unit in Dubai by October according to yesterday’s issue of The RAM Report. Canadian Tire says its 1Q/01 gross operating revenue increase primarily due to the portfolio conversions of Canadian Tire retail cards to the ‘Options MasterCard’. RAM also reported the completion of the sale of Citibank’s merchant VISA portfolio to Scotiabank following its acquisition last year of Canada Trust’s MasterCard credit portfolio.([www.ramresearch.com][1])

[1]: http://www.ramresearch.com

Details

IRELAND

Trintech Group Plc, a leading provider of secure electronic payment
infrastructure solutions for the real world, internet and wireless
transactions, announced the appointment of Mr. Dennis Goggin and Mr. Paddy
Byrne as Regional Directors representing Asia Pacific and Europe on the
Advisory Board of Trintech Group Plc.

Mr. Goggin joins Trintech after nearly three decades of successful
international banking assignments with Chase Manhattan. He previously
served as
President and CEO of VISA International/Asia Pacific Region. His extensive
payment and card association experience will be invaluable to the Trintech
team. In addition, he brings extensive Asia Pacific market knowledge as a
result of his highly visible campaign to position Visa as the charge card and
debit card leader in the Asia Pacific Region. In his Advisory Board role,
Dennis will focus and concentrate Trintech on ePayment developments and
progress in Asia Pacific.
Mr. Byrne joins Trintech after thirty years of banking, card and payment
systems experience. He was the former Head of Payments, Credit Card,
Electronic
Business and Information Systems in Bank of Ireland for more than twenty
years.

In addition, his external financial services roles have included Chairman of
the Irish Payment Services Organization and Irish Banks Nominee on the
European
Payment Strategy Group. He also served on the VISA Advisory Board and the
Europay Regional Board for a number of years. In his Advisory Board role,
Paddy
will focus on the dynamics in the European bank card market and the evolving
security standards and protocols in the Region.
“Trintech is very fortunate to have two such highly regarded and
well-respected
executives joining the Advisory team,” said Cyril McGuire, Executive Chairman.
“The addition of Paddy and Dennis as Regional members of our Advisory Board
comes at an important time in our global growth,” added McGuire. “Given the
current state of the global economy, seasoned individuals with comprehensive
payment knowledge of strategically important regions like Asia Pacific and
Europe are very important to us as we move to solidify our global leadership
position in online card payment, eCommerce and mCommerce product offerings.”
Commenting on the Advisory Board appointments Ed Jensen, Advisory Board
Chairman said, “I am delighted to welcome Dennis and Paddy on board and am
assured that their vision and payment industry knowledge will benefit Trintech
in it’s mission to be the leading global provider of secure ePayment
infrastructure solutions. Our Advisory Board is a dynamic and proactive group
of payment specialists and I have no doubt that it will be further supported
and enhanced by Dennis and Paddy’s appointments.”

About Trintech

Trintech is a leading provider of secure electronic payment infrastructure
solutions for real world, Internet and wireless transactions. The company,
founded in 1987, offers a complete range of payment software products for
credit, debit, commercial and procurement card applications. Trintech’s secure
product range is deployed in over 35 countries worldwide and covers the
payment
requirements of consumers, card issuing banks, merchant acquiring
institutions,
merchants, eMerchants, telcos, wireless operators, ISPs/CSPs, Portals and
large
corporations. The Group’s range of scalable, open systems architecture
solutions for UNIX(R) and Windows NT(TM) platforms covers consumer, merchant
and financial institution requirements for all card-based payments, including
eCommerce and the emerging world of mCommerce.
Trintech can be contacted in the U.S. at 2755 Campus Drive, San Mateo, CA
94403
(Tel 650-227-7000) and in Ireland at Trintech Building, South County Business
Park, Leopardstown, Dublin 18 (Tel 353-1-207-4000). The ReconNET division of
Trintech can be contacted at Trintech Inc., 15851 Dallas Parkway, Suite 940,
Addison, TX 75001 (Tel 972-701-9802). Trintech can be reached on the Web at
http//www.trintech.com. Investor information can be
found at www.trintech.com/investor.

Details

CANADA

Equifax Canada Inc. announces the launch of a
newly designed web site that will provide Canadian consumers and businesses
with access to important credit related information. The new site – located
at-
– www.equifax.ca – has been designed to provide
consumers and businesses with
an information tool that delivers comprehensive, relevant and easy to
understand information on personal credit management, managing risk, credit
behaviour, and various business-to-business and business-to-consumer products
and services.

Development of this new web site is intended to evolve and reflect the
ever-changing and growing consumer and commercial credit marketplace in
Canada. The new web site offers detailed information in areas such as a
Consumer Information Centre, News and Perspective, Services and Solutions and
Legislative Topics.

Today, Equifax delivers sophisticated decisioning, data, fraud and e-
commerce solutions to the business community which, in turn, allows Canadian
consumers and businesses to conveniently participate in millions of financial
transactions daily.

Equifax (www.equifax.com), a worldwide leader in
enabling and securing
global commerce, brings buyers and sellers together through its information
management, transaction processing, direct marketing, and customer
relationship management businesses. Equifax (NYSE EFX) customers include
financial services, retail, credit card, telecommunications/utilities,
transportation, information technology and healthcare industries. Equifax adds
knowledge, expertise, convenience and security to provide value-added
solutions and processes for its customers wherever they do business, including
the Internet and other networks. Equifax employs about 12,000 associates in 17
countries, with sales in almost 50, and has $2 billion in revenue.

Details

FRANCE

Banque Directe introduced a translucent ‘VISA Carte Bleue’ smart card to be
marketed as the ‘Directe Card’. One of the cards unique features is the
option for cardholders to set a monthly spending limit for online
purchases. Once the limit has been reached the cardholder is notified by
email. The ‘Directe Card’ carries a 39 Euro annual fee. The bank describes
the card as “very Zen”. In October, Schlumberger Test & Transactions
unveiled its new transparent smart card called ‘Luxea’.

Details

IRELAND

Trintech announced it’s most recent customer win in the US ASP market with a
licensing agreement with Princeton eCom.
Princeton eCom is a leading solutions provider in the billing and payments
area
for some of the top billers in the telecommunications, mortgage and financial
services, utility, and cable industries.
The integration of Trintech’s PayWare eIssuer(TM), PayWare eAcquirer(TM) and
mAccess(TM) server technology enables Princeton eCom to substantially expand
its service offerings in eCommerce and mCommerce with Trintech’s complete
payment infrastructure solution for eMerchants, financial institutions,
telecommunication companies and technology companies, including ASPs, CSPs and
wireless application service providers.

Princeton eCom intends to fully integrate mAccess(TM), eIssuer(TM) and
eAcquirer(TM) with its own multi-currency payment processing services to
facilitate global eCommerce and mCommerce among its broad customer portfolio
including billers, financial institutions and merchants.
John McGuire, Trintech’s CEO stated, “We continue to broaden our US customer
base by licensing our PayWare infrastructure to Princeton eCom a trusted ASP
service provider for billing software. This latest customer announcement
endorses Trintech’s continued mission to become the leading global
multi-platform provider of secure ePayment infrastructure solutions.”
Curtis R. Welling, CEO of Princeton eCom stated, “Selecting Trintech
technology
means that eCom’s brand recognition is enhanced by association with a leading
player in secure payment solutions. We believe that Trintech has clearly
demonstrated its leadership position in eCommerce and now mCommerce with its
eIssuer(TM), eAcquirer(TM) and mAccess(TM) products. We plan to combine our
skills with the unrivalled ePayment domain expertise of Trintech to provide
our
customers with a powerful payment processing solution. We will use the PayWare
product suite as our launch pad for our internationalization and to further
deepen our current and future customer offerings.”

About Trintech

Trintech is a leading provider of secure electronic payment infrastructure
solutions for real world, Internet and wireless transactions. The company,
founded in 1987, offers a complete range of payment software products for
credit, debit, commercial and procurement card applications. Trintech’s secure
product range is deployed in more than 35 countries worldwide and covers the
payment requirements of consumers, card issuing banks, merchant acquiring
institutions, merchants, eMerchants, telcos, wireless operators, ISPs/CSPs,
Portals and large corporations. The Group’s range of scalable, open systems
architecture solutions for UNIX(R) and Windows NT(TM) platforms covers
consumer, merchant and financial institution requirements for all card-based
payments, including eCommerce and the emerging world of mCommerce. Trintech
can
be contacted in the U.S. at 2755 Campus Drive, San Mateo, CA 94403 (Tel
650/227-7000) and in Ireland at Trintech Building, South County Business Park,
Leopardstown, Dublin 18 (Tel 353-1-207-4000). Trintech can be reached on the
Web at http//www.trintech.com. Investor information
can be found at www.trintech.com/investor.

Details

UNITED KINGDOM

Coinstar Inc. announced plans to rollout the Coinstar service in the United
Kingdom.

Agreements have been reached with Asda Stores, a subsidiary of Wal-Mart, and
Sainsbury’s Supermarkets. Combined, Asda and Sainsbury’s operate 680 stores in
the United Kingdom and have a market share of nearly 40 percent.
Today’s rollout announcement was prompted by consumer demand for the Coinstar
service. Coinstar installed its first machines in the United Kingdom just two
years ago as part of an eight store pilot test. Strong initial customer
response prompted Coinstar to install nineteen more pilot machines in 1999 and
2000.

“The United Kingdom represents a great expansion opportunity for Coinstar,”
said Alex Camara, managing director of Coinstar’s United Kingdom business.
“With signed contracts from two of the country’s leading retailers, we fully
expect to repeat the success Coinstar has enjoyed in the United States.”
“We know the United Kingdom is a very attractive market for Coinstar based on
the results achieved during our two year pilot,” said Rich Stillman, chief
operating officer of Coinstar. “Additionally, because much of the U.K.
infrastructure is located at our Bellevue headquarters, Coinstar is able to
further leverage its U.S. operation.”

About Coinstar Inc.

Coinstar Inc. (NasdaqCSTR) owns and operates the only nationwide network of
supermarket-based machines that offer coin counting and other electronic
services. Linked by a sophisticated interactive network, the company has more
than 8,500 machines throughout North America as well as in the United Kingdom.
Meals.com, the company’s majority-owned subsidiary, is an infrastructure
provider that helps supermarket retailers and packaged goods manufacturers
communicate directly to consumers through the use of online and in-store
technologies.

Details

CANADA

Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited reported
2001 first quarter consolidated net earnings of $28.7 million, compared to the
$24.2 million recorded in the first quarter of 2000, an 18.9 per cent
increase. First quarter consolidated net earnings per share were $0.37, up
18.2 per cent compared to $0.31 per share recorded in the first quarter of
2000.

“We are pleased with our ability to deliver double digit earnings growth
in a difficult operating environment,” said Wayne C. Sales, president and
chief executive officer, Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited. “We had strong
sales performance in hardware, housewares and home improvement; however, the
timing of the start of the Spring selling season can cause variation in our
seasonal business. In March, we experienced a significant impact in our
seasonal business compared to 2000. April consumer spending on seasonal goods
reversed this trend and increased nicely,” added Sales.
The increase in earnings was primarily due to strong contributions from
Financial Services — including a total positive earnings impact of $8 million
from the divestiture of Hamilton Discount Corporation Limited and a third-
party portfolio of receivables — and from Petroleum. During the first quarter
the Corporation’s retail business was negatively impacted by the shift of
consumer spending in the Spring selling season into the second quarter, and by
incremental expenses compared to the same quarter last year associated with
the continued development of growth initiatives including PartSource and the
Corporation’s consumer online business. As a result, Canadian Tire Retail
total and comparable store sales, and earnings contributions, were impacted.
Consolidated gross operating revenue for the first quarter of 2001 was
$1,135.3 million, up 2.8 per cent from the $1,104.3 million recorded in the
first quarter of 2001. The increase in gross operating revenue was due to
growth in all three business units, led by an increase of 14.6 per cent in
Financial Services. Petroleum experienced a 3.7 per cent increase in gross
operating revenue in spite of an industry volume decline during the quarter,
while Canadian Tire Retail gross operating revenues were up only 1.5 per cent
from the same quarter last year, due to the unseasonable weather conditions
described previously.

FIRST QUARTER OPERATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS
– Four new-format stores were opened, bringing to 237 the total number of
new-format stores that have been opened since the rebuilding program
was initiated in 1994.

– “Next Generation” merchandising, offering improved sightlines,
navigation and expanded assortments, was introduced in those four new-
format stores and retrofitted in 16 existing stores.

– For the first time in the Corporation’s history, direct shopping via
phone or online from the annual catalogue was introduced.

– The product assortment available to shoppers visiting
www.canadiantire.ca was expanded to 12,000
products, including 4,000
available from the catalogue.

– PartSource, the Corporation’s standalone specialty automotive parts
chain, opened one new store bringing the total to 29. PartSource also
progressed significantly in completing the conversion of recently
acquired Auto Village/Drivers stores to the PartSource format.

– Financial Services continued its strategic progress in simplifying its
business structure including the divestiture of Hamilton Discount
Corporation Limited, while increasing performance from its continued
investments in Canadian Tire-branded products and services.

“Our focus on building shareholder value and in investing in our future
growth and leadership remains unchanged. I am pleased with our progress on our
strategic agenda and have great confidence in our ability to drive our
organization to a new level of performance,” added Sales.

OUTLOOK
The Corporation reaffirms its outlook for an increase in consolidated net
earnings in the range of seven to nine per cent in 2001 and to increase gross
operating revenues in the range of six to eight per cent.

DIVIDENDS
On March 1, 2001 the Board of Directors declared a dividend of $0.10 per
share on each Common and Class A Non-Voting share. The dividend is payable on
June 1, 2001 to shareholders of record on April 30, 2001.

Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (TSE CTR.A, CTR) — the country’s
most shopped retailer — offers a unique mix of products and services through
three distinct, yet inter-related businesses. Canadian Tire Retail and the
Associate Dealers together form one of Canada’s best-known and most successful
retailers, offering customers the convenience and leadership of three
specialty stores under one roof — Automotive, Sports and Leisure, and Home
Products. Since the launch of its webstore at
www.canadiantire.ca and phone
order at 1-866-SHOP-CTR, Canadian Tire has become one of a few retailers in
Canada to offer customers an integrated shopping experience using all of the
key shopping channels available today, including stores, online, by phone and
from the catalogue. Canadian Tire Financial Services manages related financial
products and services for retail and petroleum customers, and also markets
other value-added products to our customers. Canadian Tire Petroleum is one of
the country’s largest independent retailers of gasoline, with 207 outlets.
With 443 Canadian Tire Associate Stores serving communities nationwide,
Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited and the Associate Dealers together employ
more than 38,000 Canadians.

2001 First Quarter Report to Shareholders

—————————————–

Dear Fellow Shareholder,

The business and operating environment we entered in the first quarter of
2001 had a high degree of uncertainty about both economic growth and the
impact of anticipated weather patterns on seasonal retail businesses.
Within this environment, we are pleased to deliver consolidated net
earnings of $28.7 million, an improvement of 18.9 per cent in the first
quarter compared to the same period last year. Earnings per share were $0.37
per share in the first quarter, up 18.2 per cent from $0.31 per share in the
first quarter of 2000. Our earnings improvement was driven primarily by
contributions from our Petroleum and Financial Services businesses, including
a gain on the divestiture of Hamilton Discount Corporation Limited.
Gains in these two businesses more than compensated for reduced earnings
and modest revenue growth in our Canadian Tire Retail business. We are pleased
with our sales performance in hardware, housewares and home improvement;
however, the timing of the start of the Spring selling season can cause
variation in our seasonal business. In March, we experienced a significant
impact in our retail business compared to 2000. April consumer spending on
seasonal goods reversed this trend and increased nicely. Earnings in our
retail business were also impacted by incremental expenses compared to the
first quarter in 2000 associated with the continued development of growth
initiatives including PartSource and our consumer online business.
While we are pleased with our continued progress in delivering net
earnings improvement, our results also clearly demonstrate the need to
continue our focus of driving higher levels of performance and growth in our
core retail business.

Looking forward

As you will read in the following pages, Canadian Tire is making solid
progress on our strategic agenda. We are working on two distinct initiatives
(i) delivering superior operating performance while driving down costs in the
short-term, and (ii) designing our strategic growth roadmap for the future.
Your management team is committed to success on both fronts. Canadian Tire
will continue to be an organization that shapes the landscape in North
American retailing.

Sincerely,

Wayne C. Sales
President & Chief Executive Officer

Management’s Discussion and Analysis

Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (“Canadian Tire” or the “Corporation”)
comprises three business units Canadian Tire Retail (“CTR”), Canadian Tire
Petroleum (“Petroleum”) and Canadian Tire Financial Services (“Financial
Services”).

The 2.8 per cent increase in consolidated gross operating revenue during
the quarter was due to growth in all three of the business units, led by a
14.6 per cent increase in Financial Service’s gross operating revenue.
Consolidated net earnings year-over-year increased by 18.9 per cent as a
result of strong earnings contributions by Financial Services and Petroleum
that more than offset the decline in operating earnings recorded by CTR. On a
per share basis, the rise in consolidated net earnings was only slightly less
at 18.2 per cent as the weighted average number of shares outstanding
increased to 78.6 million from 78.2 million a year earlier.

Review of Operations

This discussion of the Corporation’s business units reviews their
operational and financial performance in the first quarter of 2001 compared to
the same period of 2000.

Canadian Tire Associate Dealers reported first quarter retail sales that
were relatively flat compared to the same period last year. This performance
derives from a 5.2 per cent reduction in comparable store sales, offset by
sales increases attributable to new stores. Comparable store sales were
impacted by the shift in consumer seasonal spending into the second quarter
because of unseasonable weather.

CTR’s gross operating revenue increased 1.5 per cent reflecting quarterly
shipments that were 1.9 per cent higher than in the first quarter of last
year.

Operating earnings were 24.0 per cent lower in the quarter than in the
same quarter of 2000 as a result of higher expenses associated with the
continued investment in CTR’s growth initiatives, which are designed to
enhance future earnings. Increased expenses associated with these growth
initiatives comprise $7 million associated with the 2001 expansion of CTR’s e-
commerce offering and $4 million for PartSource, including the amortization of
previously capitalized expenses and higher operating costs that reflect the
large number of new stores.

During the first quarter, CTR opened four additional new-format stores,
bringing to 237 the total number of new-format stores that have been opened
since the rebuilding program was initiated in 1994. The total store network
increased to 443 stores at the end of the first quarter.
“Next Generation” merchandising, which offers customers improved sight
lines, easier navigation and expanded assortments in hardware, home
improvement, housewares and tires, was incorporated in the four stores opened
to date in 2001 and retrofitted in 15 existing new-format stores. Since the
launch of this program, 108 stores have incorporated the Next Generation
merchandising innovations.

CTR offers customers an integrated shopping experience using all the key
shopping channels available today, including stores, online, phone and, for
the first time in the Corporation’s history, national direct shopping via
phone or online from the annual catalogue. The e-commerce offering on
www.canadiantire.ca has been expanded to 12,000
products and now includes
4,000 products from the catalogue.

PartSource, the Corporation’s stand-alone automotive parts retail chain,
also opened one new store in the first quarter, bringing the total to 29 of
these specialty stores in operation. Complete conversion of the six acquired
Auto Village/Drivers stores to the PartSource format is expected by mid-2001.

Petroleum’s quarterly gross operating revenue rose by 3.7 per cent as
gasoline prices across the industry were on average higher over last year,
reflecting the higher cost of crude oil. Industry gasoline litre sales volume
declined by 3 per cent in the quarter, while Petroleum’s volume sales were
down 0.9 per cent, indicating a further gain in market share.

Operating earnings increased 14.1 per cent as expenses continued to be
well managed.

Financial Services’ gross operating revenue increased primarily due to
growth in credit charge receivables balances during 1999 and 2000 attributable
to portfolio conversions of Canadian Tire retail cards to the Options
MasterCard, a higher number of new accounts and the introduction of Canadian
Tire ‘Money’ on the Card. Also, the larger base of cardholders created in 2000
allowed for significant growth in revenues from the sale of insurance products
to credit card holders in the first quarter.

Operating earnings increased 65.0 per cent in the first quarter. A major
factor contributing to this performance was a total positive impact of $8.0
million from the sale of $135.0 million in non-securitized third-party credit
portfolios, including the sale of Hamilton Discount, a stand alone subsidiary
dedicated to the third-party credit business. These sales reflect Financial
Services’ continued initiative to simplify its business structure and
processes to reduce operating expenses and focus its resources on building its
Canadian Tire branded credit card and MasterCard portfolios. First quarter
operating earnings also benefited from earlier investments in the re-launch of
Canadian Tire branded credit cards under the new Canadian Tire ‘Money’ on the
card loyalty program. First quarter operating earnings, before the benefit of
the sale of non-securitized third-party credit portfolios, were strong, up
$3.6 million or 20.1 per cent.

Strategic Review

In the quarter, Canadian Tire continued its comprehensive strategic
review of the Corporation’s businesses and the opportunities for long-term
growth. While the strategic priorities and the timetable for their
implementation are being developed, management is committed to improving near-
term earnings by continuing to invest in existing programs designed to
increase total and comparable store sales and to significantly drive down
costs. The strategic review will result in the development of a long-term
strategic plan, which will include the identification of new business
opportunities. The review will also ensure that the Corporation has the
capital structure and competencies to realize appropriate returns from any
such opportunities.

Financial Condition

A primary objective of Canadian Tire is to maintain consistently strong
earnings and cash flows, as well as a strong capital structure. This is
essential to ensure that the Corporation maintains its ability to fund future
growth at competitive rates and to build long-term shareholder value.

Capital Structure

Canadian Tire’s objectives in selecting appropriate funding alternatives
includes managing its capital structure in such a way as to diversify its
funding sources, minimize its funding costs and risk and optimize its credit
rating. Canadian Tire continues to have ready access to debt markets at
competitive interest rates.

Equity – The book value of Common and Class A Non-Voting Shares at the
end of the quarter was $18.98 per share compared to $17.58 at the end of the
first quarter of 2000.

During the first quarter of 2001, the Corporation issued 286,852 Class A
Non-Voting Shares under various corporate and Dealer employee profit-sharing
programs as well as under the Corporation’s stock-purchase, stock-option and
dividend-reinvestment plans. In 2000, 1.8 million shares were issued under
these plans.
The issuance of Class A Non-Voting Shares during the quarter was offset
by the purchase of 200,000 of these shares under the Corporation’s Normal
Course Issuer Bid Program (“Issuer Bid Program”) on the Toronto Stock
Exchange.

During 2001, the Corporation proposes to purchase up to 2.7 million Class
A Non-Voting Shares through its Issuer Bid Program to offset the expected
dilutive effect on earnings per share of various programs. A further 3.4
million of these shares may be purchased through the Issuer Bid Program if the
purchases can be made on terms that serve the best interests of the
Corporation and its shareholders.

Shares Outstanding – At March 31, 2001 there were 75,216,186 Class A Non-
Voting Shares and 3,423,366 Common Shares outstanding; this compares to
75,129,333 Class A Non- Voting Shares and 3,423,366 Common Shares outstanding
at December 30, 2000.
Dividends – Dividends declared on Common and Class A Non-Voting Shares
were $8 million in the quarter, unchanged from the same period of 2000.
Short-term Debt – The Corporation has a Commercial Paper program with an
$800 million authorized limit. At the end of the quarter, $412.7 million of
commercial paper was outstanding. No commercial paper was outstanding at
December 30, 2000.

Credit ratings for the Corporation’s commercial paper at the end of the
quarter were “R-1(low)” from Dominion Bond Rating Service Limited (“DBRS”) and
“A-1(low)” from Standard & Poor’s harmonized Canadian national scale
commercial paper rating.

The Corporation also has committed lines of credit that are equal to or
greater than the maximum projected amount of outstanding commercial paper
balances; none of these lines has been drawn upon. Undrawn committed lines of
credit were $800 million as at March 31, 2001.

Long-term Debt – In order to gain access to debt markets in a timely
manner as required, Canadian Tire has filed a shelf prospectus with provincial
securities commissions for the issuance of $500 million of Medium Term Notes.
This program is evaluated every two years. The last renewal was completed in
December 2000. Long-term debt, including the current portion, was $1,115
million at March 31, 2001, unchanged from December 30, 2000.
The Corporation’s long-term debt is currently rated “A(low)” from DBRS
and “BBB+” under Standard & Poor’s harmonized corporate debt rating program.
Like most issuers, Canadian Tire has provided covenants to certain of its
lenders. All of the covenants were complied with during 2001 and 2000.

Funding Program

Funding Requirements
The Corporation’s capital expenditures, working capital needs, dividend
payments and other financing needs, such as debt repayments and share
purchases under the Issuer Bid Program, are funded from a combination of
sources. In the first quarter of 2001, funding was comprised of $413 million
from the issuance of commercial paper, $80 million of cash generated from
operations, and $135 million from the sale of Hamilton Discount Corporation
Limited (HDCL), of which $75 million was used to extinguish HDCL’s debt to the
Corporation.

2001 Capital Program
Canadian Tire’s 2001 capital requirements, which are determined on a
consolidated basis, are still expected to total just over $422 million.
Of the $70 million of capital invested in the first quarter of 2001, $56
million was spent on Real Estate projects associated with the roll-out of new-
format stores and $8 million was spent on CustomerLink.

Sources of Liquidity
The Corporation has access to funding well in excess of its 2001
requirements.
In 2001 it intends to fund its capital program through a combination of
cash flow from operations, improvements in working capital, the use of both
commercial paper (up to $800 million available) and medium-term note ($500
million available) programs and additional credit card receivable
securitization. The Corporation is also exploring the potential for a real
estate based financing transaction.

Working Capital – The Corporation’s commitment to better manage working
capital resulted in a reduction in net working capital of $150 million in
2000. In the first quarter of 2001, as usually happens in the first quarter of
each year, seasonal patterns in Canadian Tire’s business resulted in an
increase in net working capital. In this quarter, while over $72 million in
cash was generated from operations, net working capital increased by $500
million and, as a result, $428 million of cash was used to fund net operating
activities. The first-quarter change in working capital included a $340
million ($227 million in 2000) reduction in accounts payable, an $85 million
($60 million in 2000) increase in accounts receivable and a $56 million ($2
million in 2000) increase in inventory as the Spring selling season was
delayed due to weather.

Cash and Short-term Investments – As at March 31, 2001 Canadian Tire’s
cash and short-term investments totaled $236 million, an 80 per cent increase
from the $131 million held at December 30, 2000. Short-term investments held
at the end of the quarter included Canadian and United States’ government-
guaranteed securities and high-quality commercial paper.
During the first quarter of 2001, cash generated from operations totalled
$72 million the same level as in the first quarter of 2000. First quarter cash
flow from operations in both years was $0.92 per share.

Canadian Tire Financial Services Receivables – The objective of the
Corporation’s credit charge receivables securitization program is to provide
Financial Services, and the Corporation, with a cost-effective, alternative
source of funding. The securitization of credit charge receivables is an
integral part of the program for funding growth.

In the first quarter of 2001, gross credit charge receivables were 17.1
per cent lower than at December 30, 2000 reflecting the sale of the third-
party credit portfolios during the quarter. Financial Services owned $265
million of the net credit charge receivables at the end of the quarter. The
balance of the credit charge receivables is securitized through the sale of
co-
ownership interests in the credit charge receivables to the Canadian Tire
Receivables Trust(R) (the “Trust”). During 2001, the Corporation expects its
gross credit charge receivables to grow by approximately $200 million. The
majority of this growth will be funded from the sale of additional receivables
and from the sale of HDCL.
The success of these programs is due primarily to the Trust’s ability to
obtain funds by issuing debt instruments of the highest credit rating. As of
December 30, 2000 the Trust’s asset-backed Commercial Paper program had a
rating of “A-1 (high)” from CBRS and “R-1(high)” from DBRS. The Senior Notes
received a rating of “AAA” from CBRS and “AAA” from DBRS. In all cases, these
are the rating services’ highest categories. The Subordinated Notes have a
rating of “AA” from CBRS and “A(high)” from DBRS. The harmonized ratings on
these debt instruments from the combined operations of Standard & Poor’s and
CBRS has yet to be announced.

Financial Ratios

Canadian Tire continues to have a strong balance sheet and financial
ratios. These allow the Corporation relatively easy access to funding from
financial markets. It is the Corporation’s long-standing policy that the ratio
of long-term debt to total capitalization not exceed 50 per cent. Long-term
debt as a percentage of total capital decreased to 36.8 per cent from 42.9 per
cent at the end of 2000.

The current ratio at the end of the quarter was 1.31 compared to 1.41
at December 30, 2000. At the end of the quarter interest coverage on a cash-
flow basis, after adjusting earnings from operations for depreciation and
amortization, was 5.1 times compared to 4.5 times a year earlier.

Canadian Accounting Guideline 12

In the second half of 2001, Canadian issuers will adopt Canadian
Accounting Guideline 12, which establishes new conditions applicable to
accounting for securitized credit charge receivables. Canadian Tire is
reviewing the impact of the provisions of Canadian Accounting Guideline 12 and
expects to continue to account for its securitizations as sales of
receivables. Accordingly, gains would have to be recognized on the sale of new
securitizations. As the Corporation has already established an allowance for
uncollectible accounts related to the entire credit charge receivables
portfolio, management expects no material impact on earnings in 2001 from the
adoption of this new accounting standard.

Details

FRANCE

Gemplus International S.A., a global provider of smart card solutions, has
been
named the undisputed leader in the smart card industry, according to the
latest
market survey conducted by Gartner Dataquest. Gemplus tops the smart card
market with 35% market share for memory and micro-processor cards in 2000, 3%
ahead of its nearest competitor. In all, the company shipped 623 million units
last year, according to Gartner Dataquest estimates. Gemplus is even further
ahead in the crucial microprocessor segment where it is 5% ahead of its
closest
rival.

This new study ratifies Gemplus’ long standing leadership in an industry that
has experienced significant and rapid restructuring in the past year. Gemplus
remains the world’s most prolific smart card solutions provider for
telecommunications, financial services and e-business security offering
integrated and tailor-made smart card-based systems.
“We are very proud to be recognized by a body as well respected as Gartner
Dataquest as the leader in every segment of our industry,” said Antonio Perez,
CEO of Gemplus International SA. “We will continue to develop our product
offerings, software and services to better serve our clients and to reinforce
our position. Our recent listing and strong financial position allow us to
further our ambitions in a market, which in spite of the slow-down in mobile
telephony, continues to experience significant growth.”
2000 was a record year for Gemplus with the highest revenue growth amongst the
major players in the industry (57% up from 1999) demonstrating its strong
business model, technological leadership and powerful market position.
This research is published by Gartner Dataquest, the recognized leader in
market intelligence for the hi-tech industry
(www.gartner.com).

About Gemplus

Gemplus The World’s Leading Smart Card Solutions Provider

Since its creation in 1988, Gemplus International S.A.(Euronext Sicovam 5768
and NASDAQGEMP) has driven the global marketing and deployment of smart
card-based applications for telecommunications, financial services and
e-business security.
Gemplus is instrumental throughout the value chain — chip design, card
management systems, software development, and consulting — delivering
integrated custom-made solutions for the security, personalization and privacy
management needs of clients and partners worldwide.
Gemplus technology has played a defining role in the development of wireless
telephony since the introduction of SIM cards into the GSM standard in 1990.
For more than a decade, Gemplus has pioneered applications that enable network
operators around the world to answer the changing needs of their customers.
Gemplus was first to market with a 3G card and supplies a product range
compliant with new and emerging transmission standards – 2.5G, 3G.
In 2000, revenue was 1.205 billion Euros, up 57% from the previous year’s 767
million Euros. Net income was 99 million Euros. Gemplus employs more than 7800
people in 37 countries worldwide.
Since December 11, 2000, Gemplus shares have been trading on Euronext Paris
S.A. First Market and on Nasdaq Stock Market(TM) at GEMP in the form of ADSs.
Gemplus www.gemplus.com

Details