WSP Starts 2018 With Strong First Quarter Financial Results

MONTREAL, May 10, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — WSP Global Inc. (TSX:WSP) (“WSP” or the “Corporation”) today announced its financial and operating results for the first quarter of fiscal 2018, which ended on March 31, 2018.

FIRST QUARTER 2018 HIGHLIGHTS
Good start to the fiscal year; all key financial metrics in line or slightly ahead of Management’s expectations.

  • Revenues and net revenues of $1,910.7 million and $1,469.7 million, up 16.9% and 15.2%, respectively, compared to Q1 2017.
  • Consolidated organic growth in net revenues of 4.6% for the quarter, spanning across all reportable segments and in line with Management’s expectations.
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $133.5 million, up $19.0 million, or 16.6%, compared to Q1 2017.
  • Adjusted EBITDA margin at 9.1%, compared to 9.0% in Q1 2017.
  • Adjusted net earnings and adjusted net earnings per share of $55.2 million, or $0.53 per share, up 10.8% and 8.2%, respectively, compared to Q1 2017.
  • Net earnings attributable to shareholders of $49.7 million, or $0.48 per share, up 4.4% and 2.1%, respectively, compared to Q1 2017.
  • Backlog at $6,718.8 million, representing 10.5 months of revenues, up $357.2 million, or 5.6% compared to Q4 2017 and up $733.5 million, or 12.3% compared to Q1 2017. Organic growth in backlog stood at 5.4% compared to Q4 2017.
  • DSO stood at 78 days, stable when compared to Q1 2017.
  • Trailing twelve-month free cash flow of $326.9 million, representing 151.8% of net earnings.
  • Incorporating a full twelve-month adjusted EBITDA for all acquisitions, net debt to adjusted EBITDA ratio stood at 1.8x, in line with our target range.
  • Quarterly dividend declared of $0.375 per share, with a 47.6% Dividend Reinvestment Plan (“DRIP”) participation.
  • Full year 2018 financial outlook reiterated.

“We are pleased to report a strong start to 2018, with solid net revenues organic growth across all reporting segments, and continued balance sheet strength. This performance, which was driven by sound execution, also reflects the positive impact of the acquisitions completed last year,” said Alexandre L’Heureux, WSP’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “As our business is well-positioned to benefit from continued global economic conditions in 2018, we are reiterating our full year 2018 outlook. In parallel, we will continue to seek value-creating opportunities that will supplement the profitable long-term growth of our company”.

DIVIDEND
The Board of WSP declared a dividend of $0.375 per share. This dividend will be payable on or about July 15, 2018, to shareholders of record at the close of business on June 30, 2018.

FINANCIAL REPORT
This release includes, by reference, the 2018 first quarter financial reports, including the unaudited interim consolidated financial statements and the Management’s Discussion & Analysis (“MD&A”) of the Corporation.

For a copy of our full financial results for the first quarter of 2018, including the MD&A and the unaudited interim consolidated financial statements, please visit our website at www.wsp.com.

CONFERENCE CALL
WSP will hold a conference call at 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) on May 10, 2018, to discuss these results. To participate in the conference call, dial 1-647-788-4922 or 1-877-223-4471 (toll-free). A presentation of the 2018 first quarter highlights and results will be available on the same day at www.wsp.com in the Investors section.

The telephone numbers to access the replay of the call are 1-416-621-4642 or 1-800-585-8367 (toll-free), access code 5188626. The replay of the conference call will also be available in the Investors section of the WSP website in the days following the event.

RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

 

Q1
    2018     2017  
(in millions of dollars, except number of shares and per share data) For the
period from January 1
to March 31
For the
period from January 1
to April 1
Revenues $ 1,910.7   $ 1,633.9  
Less: Subconsultants and direct costs $ 441.0   $ 358.0  
Net revenues* $ 1,469.7   $ 1,275.9  
Personnel costs $ 1,136.9   $ 989.7  
Occupancy costs $ 65.6   $ 57.6  
Other operational costs(1) $ 134.3   $ 114.9  
Share of earnings of associates $ (0.6 ) $ (0.8 )
Adjusted EBITDA* $ 133.5   $ 114.5  
Acquisition and integration costs* $ 7.2   $ 3.0  
EBITDA* $ 126.3   $ 111.5  
Amortization of intangible assets $ 25.2   $ 20.1  
Depreciation of property and equipment $ 21.7   $ 18.7  
Financial expenses $ 13.6   $ 8.1  
Share of depreciation of associates $ 0.3   $ 0.4  
Earnings before income taxes $ 65.5   $ 64.2  
Income-tax expense $ 15.7   $ 16.5  
Share of tax of associates $ 0.1   $ 0.1  
Net earnings $ 49.7   $ 47.6  
Attributable to:    
– Shareholders $ 49.7   $ 47.6  
– Non-controlling interests $   $  
Basic net earnings per share $ 0.48   $ 0.47  
Diluted net earnings per share $ 0.48   $ 0.47  
Basic weighted average number of shares   103,505,642     101,773,124  
Diluted weighted average number of shares   103,701,337     101,864,124  

*    Non-IFRS measures are described in the “Glossary” section of the MD&A
(1) Other operational costs include operation exchange loss or gain and interest income

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF FINANCIAL POSITION (UNAUDITED)

  March 31, 2018 December 31, 2017
(in millions of Canadian dollars)    
Assets $ $
Current assets    
Cash 192.6 185.1
Restricted cash 6.1 6.8
Trade, prepaid and other receivables 1,620.9 1,554.7
Income taxes receivable 14.2 18.0
Costs and anticipated profits in excess of billings 996.9 905.0
  2,830.7 2,669.6
Non-current assets    
Other assets 115.7 113.0
Deferred income tax assets 91.6 91.4
Property and equipment 321.5 315.4
Intangible assets 348.3 355.2
Goodwill 3,068.2 2,979.0
Total assets 6,776.0 6,523.6
     
Liabilities and equity    
Liabilities    
Current liabilities    
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities 1,367.1 1,361.9
Billings in excess of costs and anticipated profits 559.1 483.8
Income taxes payable 56.6 47.9
Dividends payable to shareholders 38.8 38.7
Current portion of long-term debts 279.5 276.3
Other current financial liabilities 18.4 45.8
  2,319.5 2,254.4
Non-current liabilities    
Long-term debts 946.9 882.4
Other non-current financial liabilities 20.2 25.4
Provisions 128.3 121.2
Retirement benefit obligations 210.6 206.7
Deferred income tax liabilities 72.2 74.5
Total liabilities 3,697.7 3,564.6
     
Equity    
Equity attributable to shareholders    
Share capital 2,597.4 2,577.4
Contributed surplus 204.3 204.2
Accumulated other comprehensive income 175.3 87.0
Retained earnings 101.3 90.4
Total equity 3,078.3 2,959.0
Total liabilities and equity 6,776.0 6,523.6

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS (UNAUDITED)

    March 31, 2018   April 1, 2017  
(in millions of Canadian dollars)   $   $  
Cash flows generated from (used in) operating activities          
Net earnings for the period   49.7   47.6  
Adjustments   48.4   32.4  
Income tax expenses   15.7   16.5  
Income taxes paid   (11.5 ) (6.3 )
Net finance expenses   12.2   7.6  
Change in non-cash working capital items   (54.0 ) (74.7 )
Net cash generated from (used in) operating activities   60.5   23.1  
Cash flows generated from (used in) financing activities          
Dividends paid to shareholders   (19.5 ) (16.7 )
Net variation in long-term debts   45.5   23.5  
Repayment of other financial liabilities   (4.2 ) (4.4 )
Finance expenses paid and financing costs   (11.1 ) (6.2 )
Issuance of common shares, net of issuance costs   0.7    
Dividends paid to a non-controlling interest      
Net cash generated from (used in) financing activities   11.4   (3.8 )
Cash flows generated from (used in) investing activities          
Business acquisitions   (41.3 ) (2.8 )
Additions to property and equipment   (19.6 ) (12.7 )
Proceeds from disposal of property and equipment   0.7   0.1  
Additions to intangible assets   (6.2 ) (5.9 )
Other   0.2    
Net cash generated from (used in) investing activities   (66.2 ) (21.3 )
Effect of exchange rate change on cash   7.5   3.2  
Net change in cash   13.2   1.2  
Cash, net of bank overdraft – Beginning of period   178.6   230.5  
Cash, net of bank overdraft – End of period   191.8   231.7  

NON-IFRS MEASURES
The Corporation reports its financial results in accordance with IFRS.  However, the following non-IFRS measures are used by the Corporation: net revenues; EBITDA; adjusted EBITDA; adjusted EBITDA margin; adjusted EBITDA before Global Corporate costs; adjusted EBITDA margin before Global Corporate costs; adjusted net earnings; adjusted net earnings per share; adjusted net earnings excluding amortization of intangible assets related to acquisitions; adjusted net earnings excluding amortization of intangible assets related to acquisitions per share; acquisition and integration costs; backlog; funds from operations; funds from operations per share; free cash flow; free cash flow per share; days sales outstanding (or DSO) and net debt to adjusted EBITDA.  Additional details for these non-IFRS measures can be found in WSP’s MD&A, which is posted on WSP’s website at www.wsp.com, and filed with SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Management believes that these non-IFRS measures provide useful information to investors regarding the Corporation’s financial condition and results of operations as they provide key metrics of its performance.  These non-IFRS measures are not recognized under IFRS, do not have any standardized meaning prescribed under IFRS and may differ from similar computations as reported by other issuers, and accordingly may not be comparable.  These measures should not be viewed as a substitute for the related financial information prepared in accordance with IFRS.

ABOUT WSP
As one of the world’s leading professional services firms, WSP provides technical expertise and strategic advice to clients in the Transportation & Infrastructure, Property & Buildings, Environment, Industry, Resources (including Mining and Oil & Gas) and Power & Energy sectors. We also offer highly specialized services in project delivery and strategic consulting. Our experts include engineers, advisors, technicians, scientists, architects, planners, surveyors and environmental specialists, as well as other design, program and construction management professionals. With approximately 43,000 talented people in 550 offices across 40 countries, we are uniquely positioned to deliver successful and sustainable projects, wherever our clients need us. www.wsp.com

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Certain information regarding WSP contained herein may constitute forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements may include estimates, plans, expectations, opinions, forecasts, projections, guidance or other statements that are not statements of fact. Although WSP believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to have been correct. These statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties and may be based on assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated or implied in the forward-looking statements. WSP’s forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. The complete version of the cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements as well as a description of the relevant assumptions and risk factors likely to affect WSP’s actual or projected results are included in the Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the year ended December 31, 2017, which is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date hereof and WSP does not assume any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise unless expressly required by applicable securities laws.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Isabelle Adjahi
Senior Vice President, Investor Relations and Communications
WSP Global Inc.
Tel: (438) 843-7548
isabelle.adjahi@wsp.com