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For immediate release: May 1, 2012

MDA reports first quarter 2012 results

Richmond, B.C. - MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (TSX: MDA), a provider of essential information solutions, today reported financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2012.

For continuing operations, operating earnings¹ this quarter increased to $29 million, or $0.92 per diluted share, compared to $27 million ($0.65 per diluted share) for the first quarter of 2011. Net earnings were $33 million ($1.05 per diluted share), up from $28 million ($0.69 per diluted share) for the first quarter of 2011. Revenues were $172 million compared to $206 million for the first quarter of last year. Excluding pass-through items, first quarter revenues were comparable year over year. Funded backlog at March 31, 2012 was $765 million (December 31, 2011 - $805 million).

The Company paid a semi-annual dividend of $0.65 per common share in the quarter, representing a 30% increase in the annualized dividend rate over last year.

Financial Highlights

($ millions, except earnings per diluted common share amounts)

Three months ended
March 31, 2012

Three months ended
March 31, 2011

Results from continuing operations






Operating earnings1



Operating earnings per share1, diluted



Net earnings



Net earnings per share, diluted






Results from discontinued operations



Gain on sale of discontinued operations, net of income taxes






Weighted average number of common shares outstanding:











1 See section "Non-IFRS Financial Measures" in this earnings release.
2 On October 4, 2011, the Company repurchased and cancelled 9,433,962 of its common shares at a price of $53 per common share under a substantial issuer bid. The shares repurchased represented approximately 22.9% of the common shares outstanding at October 4, 2011.

MDA’s unaudited consolidated financial statements and management’s discussion and analysis for the three months ended March 31, 2012 are available at:

About MDA

MDA provides advanced information solutions that capture and process vast amounts of data, produce essential information, and improve the decision making and operational performance of business and government organizations worldwide.

Focused on markets and customers with strong repeat business potential, MDA delivers a broad spectrum of information solutions, ranging from complex operational systems, to tailored information services, to electronic information products.

The Company's common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol TSX:MDA.

Investor/Analyst Conference Call Today

MDA President and CEO Daniel Friedmann and Executive Vice President and CFO Anil Wirasekara will be available on a Conference Call today, May 1, 2012 at 2:30 p.m. Pacific (5:30 p.m. Eastern) to explain the financial results of the Company and to answer questions.

To participate, dial 1-888-231-8191 in Canada or the United States
International: 1-647-427-7450

The Conference Call will also be Webcast live and archived at:

Telephone replay will be available from May 1, 2012 5:00 p.m. PDT (8:00 p.m. EDT) to May 15, 2012 8:59 p.m. PDT (11:59 p.m. EDT) at the following numbers:

Toll free: 1-855-859-2056
Toronto: 1-416-849-0833
Pass Code: 64484090

Related Websites:

Non-IFRS Financial Measures

In addition to results reported in accordance with IFRS, the Company discloses operating earnings and operating earnings per share as supplemental indicators of its financial performance. Operating earnings is defined as net earnings adjusted for specified items affecting comparability, including share-based compensation, fair value adjustments on financial instruments not subject to hedge accounting, write-downs and other gains or losses. Operating earnings per share is calculated using diluted weighted average shares outstanding. The Company uses operating earnings and operating earnings per share as a more meaningful way to compare financial results from one period to another.

Operating earnings and operating earnings per share do not have any standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS and therefore may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. The Company cautions readers to consider these non-IFRS financial measures in addition to, and not as an alternative for, measures calculated in accordance with IFRS.

($ millions)

Three months ended
March 31, 2012

Three months ended
March 31, 2011

Operating earnings from continuing operations



Items affecting comparability:



Share-based compensation



Fair value adjustments on equity forward contracts



Foreign exchange timing differences on certain project-
  related foreign exchange forward contracts not subject
  to hedge accounting



Foreign exchange gain on translation of intercompany



Foreign exchange loss on conversion and
  translation of foreign cash balances



Tax on items affecting comparability



Net earnings from continuing operations



Forward-Looking Statements

This earnings release and the associated conference call and webcast, which includes a business update, first quarter 2012 results, and question and answer session, contain certain forward-looking statements and information, which reflect the current view of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (the “Company” or “MDA”) with respect to future events and financial performance. Forward-looking statements generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "may", "will", "expect", "intend", "anticipate", "plan", "foresee", "believe" or "continue" or the negatives of such terms or variations of them or similar terminology. Any such forward-looking statements are based on MDA's current expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions made in light of its experience and perception of historical trends. Any such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties and MDA’s actual results of operations could differ materially from historical results or current expectations. The risks that could cause actual results to differ from current expectations include: changes in government priorities, funding levels, contracts and regulations; failure of third parties and subcontractors to complete contracts for which the Company is the prime contractor; risks of performance on firm fixed price construction contracts; changes in estimates of total revenues and costs on contracts; potential for product liability or the occurrence of defects in software and other products and resulting loss of revenue and loss of the Company’s reputation; quality issues and failure of systems to meet performance requirements; failure of the Company to manage its acquisitions and breaches of contracts and indemnities and related risks on divestitures; satellite failure; dependence on electronic systems and data and system security threats; detrimental reliance on third parties for data; dependence on key employees, potential for work stoppages and lack of oversight over a U.S. proxy board and management; failure to anticipate changes in technology, technical standards and offerings or comply with the requisite standards; failure to maintain technological advances and market positions; significant competition; infringement of the intellectual property rights of others through licensed software or otherwise; inadequate protection of the Company’s intellectual property rights; exposure to foreign currency fluctuations; changes in economic and political conditions; inability of suppliers or subcontractors to effect technology transfer; changes in customer security requirements and the resulting cancellation of contracts; failure to maintain business alliances; uncertainty in financing arrangements; failure of counterparties in financing arrangements and financial derivative contracts; wrongful call on letters of credit and performance bonds; and insufficient insurance against material claims or losses.

You are referred to the risk factors described in MDA's most recent annual Management's Discussion and Analysis, Annual Information Form and other documents on file with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities, available on SEDAR, or The forward-looking statements and information contained in this earnings release and the associated conference call and webcast represent MDA’s views only as of today’s date. MDA disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, other than as required by law, rule or regulation. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

The Toronto Stock Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved the form or content of this release.

For more information, please contact:

Wendy Keyzer
MDA External Relations
Telephone: 604-231-2743

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