WSP Strong Performance Sustained in Q2 2018 With Continued Solid Organic Growth

MONTREAL, Aug. 08, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — WSP Global Inc. (TSX: WSP) (“WSP” or the “Corporation”) today announced its financial and operating results for the second quarter of fiscal 2018, which ended on June 30, 2018.

SECOND QUARTER 2018 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
WSP reports robust Q2 2018 results with key financial metrics slightly ahead of Management’s expectations.

  • Revenues and net revenues of $2,025.9 million and $1,541.1 million, up 18.0% and 17.1%, respectively, compared to Q2 2017.
  • Consolidated organic growth in net revenues of 8.7% for the quarter, spanning across all reportable segments and slightly ahead of Management’s expectations.
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $169.5 million, up $29.2 million, or 20.8%, compared to Q2 2017.
  • Adjusted EBITDA margin at 11.0%, compared to 10.7% in Q2 2017.
  • Adjusted net earnings of $81.2 million, or $0.78 per share, up 24.0% and 21.9%, respectively, compared to Q2 2017.
  • Net earnings attributable to shareholders of $67.4 million, or $0.65 per share, up 7.3% and 6.6%, respectively, compared to Q2 2017.
  • Backlog at $6,706.9 million, representing 10.3 months of revenues, stable when compared to Q1 2018 and up $842.3 million, or 14.4% compared to Q2 2017. Backlog organic growth stood at 7.8% compared to Q2 2017 and 4.9% for the six-month period ended June 30, 2018.
  • DSO stood at 79 days, a three-day improvement compared to Q2 2017 and slightly better than Management’s expectations.
  • Trailing twelve-month free cash flow of $337.3 million, representing 153.3% of net earnings attributable to shareholders.
  • 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 49.8% Dividend Reinvestment Plan (“DRIP”) participation.
  • Full year 2018 financial outlook once again reiterated.

PENDING ACQUISITION OF LOUIS BERGER
On July 30, 2018, WSP announced that it entered into an agreement in connection with the acquisition (the “Acquisition”) of Berger Group Holdings, Inc. (“Louis Berger”), the parent company of the group of companies doing business under the umbrella name of Louis Berger, a US-headquartered leading international professional services firm mainly active in the Transportation & Infrastructure and Environmental & Water sectors, as well as in Master Planning.  The purchase price of US$400 million will be financed by an underwritten term loan from Canadian imperial Bank of Commerce, as sole lead arranger and sole bookrunner.

Louis Berger has approximately 5,000 employees, predominantly located in offices across the United States, with an additional presence across Continental Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia (mainly India) and Latin America. The Acquisition, which is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2018, is subject to customary closing conditions.

“We are pleased with our performance this quarter, as all of our reportable segments posted solid organic growth in net revenues and we continued to execute on our strategic priorities. The acquisition of Louis Berger, once completed, will enable WSP to reach the objectives of its 2015-2018 Strategic Plan since upon closing and integration of the acquisition, WSP anticipates headcount of approximately 48,000 employees and surpassing the $6 billion mark in net revenues. Our efforts will now focus on the integration of Louis Berger and on finalizing our 2019-2021 Strategic Plan,” commented Alexandre L’Heureux, President & CEO of WSP. “Based on our solid first-half results and with the continued momentum in the business, we are confident in our ability to continue growing and delivering value for our clients and shareholders, and are therefore reiterating our 2018 outlook.”

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

FINANCIAL REPORT
This release includes, by reference, the 2018 second 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 second 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 August 8, 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 second 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 7296667. 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
  Q2 YTD
  2018 2017 2018 2017
(in millions of dollars, except number of shares and per share data) For the
period from April 1
to June 30
For the
period from April 2
to July 1
For the
period from
January 1 to June 30
For the
period from
January 1 to July 1
Revenues $2,025.9 $1,717.2 $3,936.6 $3,351.1
Less: Subconsultants and direct costs $484.8 $401.3 $925.8 $759.3
Net revenues* $1,541.1 $1,315.9 $3,010.8 $2,591.8
Personnel costs $1,171.9 $1,015.5 $2,308.8 $2,005.2
Occupancy costs $65.1 $52.4 $130.7 $110.0
Other operational costs(1) $135.4 $108.0 $269.7 $222.9
Share of earnings of associates $(0.8) $(0.3) $(1.4) $(1.1)
Adjusted EBITDA* $169.5 $140.3 $303.0 $254.8
Acquisition and integration costs* $18.2 $3.7 $25.4 $6.7
EBITDA* $151.3 $136.6 $277.6 $248.1
Amortization of intangible assets $23.8 $20.6 $49.0 $40.7
Depreciation of property and equipment $22.6 $19.2 $44.3 $37.9
Financial expenses $15.1 $8.5 $28.7 $16.6
Share of depreciation of associates $0.2 $0.3 $0.6 $0.7
Earnings  before income taxes $89.6 $88.0 $155.0 $152.2
Income-tax expense $21.7 $25.2 $37.4 $41.7
Share of tax of associates $0.1 $— $0.1 $0.1
Net earnings $67.8 $62.8 $117.5 $110.4
Attributable to:        
– Shareholders $67.4 $62.8 $117.1 $110.4
– Non-controlling interests 0.4 $— $0.4
Basic net earnings per share $0.65 $0.61 $1.13 $1.08
Diluted net earnings  per share $0.65 $0.61 $1.13 $1.08
Basic weighted average number of shares 103,770,823 102,246,776 103,606,677 102,009,950
Diluted weighted average number of shares 104,015,114 102,369,071 103,826,962 102,108,867

*    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)
     
(in millions of Canadian dollars) June 30, 2018 December 31, 2017
Assets $ $
Current assets    
Cash (note 4) 153.4 185.1
Restricted cash 6.5 6.8
Trade, prepaid and other receivables 1,660.9 1,554.7
Income taxes receivable 15.9 18.0
Costs and anticipated profits in excess of billings (note 5) 972.6 905.0
  2,809.3 2,669.6
Non-current assets    
Other assets 115.0 113.0
Deferred income tax assets 91.4 91.4
Property and equipment 314.1 315.4
Intangible assets 330.4 355.2
Goodwill (note 6) 3,049.7 2,979.0
Total assets 6,709.9 6,523.6
     
Liabilities and equity    
Liabilities    
Current liabilities    
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities 1,307.4 1,361.9
Billings in excess of costs and anticipated profits (note 5) 533.0 483.8
Income taxes payable 51.4 47.9
Dividends payable to shareholders (note 12) 38.9 38.7
Current portion of long-term debts (note 7) 281.9 276.3
Other current financial liabilities 16.8 45.8
  2,229.4 2,254.4
Non-current liabilities    
Long-term debts (note 7) 963.7 882.4
Other non-current financial liabilities 17.7 25.4
Provisions 132.3 121.2
Retirement benefit obligations 194.2 206.7
Deferred income tax liabilities 65.8 74.5
Total liabilities 3,603.1 3,564.6
     
Equity    
Equity attributable to shareholders    
Share capital (note 8) 2,616.3 2,577.4
Contributed surplus 204.5 204.2
Accumulated other comprehensive income 155.8 86.0
Retained earnings 129.8 91.4
  3,106.4 2,959.0
Non-controlling interests 0.4
Total equity 3,106.8 2,959.0
Total liabilities and equity 6,709.9 6,523.6

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS (UNAUDITED)
     
  Second quarter ended Year-to-date ended
                 
  June 30, 2018   July 1, 2017   June 30, 2018   July 1, 2017  
(in millions of Canadian dollars) $   $   $   $  
Cash flows generated from (used in) operating activities        
Net earnings for the period 67.8   62.8   117.5   110.4  
Adjustments  (note 13a)) 32.7   31.5   81.1   63.9  
Income tax expenses 21.7   25.2   37.4   41.7  
Income taxes paid (29.6 ) (33.6 ) (41.1 ) (39.9 )
Net finance expenses  (note 11) 14.8   6.8   27.0   14.4  
Change in non-cash working capital items  (note 13b)) (97.0 ) (90.2 ) (151.0 ) (164.9 )
Net cash generated from (used in) operating activities 10.4   2.5   70.9   25.6  
Cash flows generated from (used in) financing activities        
Dividends paid to shareholders (20.3 ) (17.5 ) (39.8 ) (34.2 )
Net variation in long-term debts 19.9   58.0   65.4   81.5  
Repayment of other financial liabilities (0.5 ) (0.6 ) (4.7 ) (5.0 )
Finance expenses paid and financing costs (15.6 ) (5.3 ) (26.7 ) (11.5 )
Issuance of common shares, net of issuance costs 0.3   2.3   1.0   2.3  
Net cash generated from (used in) financing activities (16.2 ) 36.9   (4.8 ) 33.1  
Cash flows generated from (used in) investing activities        
Business acquisitions (4.3 ) (15.2 ) (45.6 ) (18.0 )
Additions to property and equipment (19.0 ) (25.4 ) (38.6 ) (38.1 )
Proceeds from disposal of property and equipment 0.5   1.8   1.2   1.9  
Additions to intangible assets (8.5 ) (5.9 ) (14.7 ) (11.8 )
Other 0.6   (2.9 ) 0.8   (2.9 )
Net cash  generated from (used in) investing activities (30.7 ) (47.6 ) (96.9 ) (68.9 )
Effect of exchange rate change on cash (4.6 ) (1.1 ) 2.9   2.1  
Net change in cash (41.1 ) (9.3 ) (27.9 ) (8.1 )
Cash, net of bank overdraft – Beginning of period 191.8   231.7   178.6   230.5  
Cash, net of bank overdraft (note 4) – End of period 150.7   222.4   150.7   222.4  

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 Energy sectors, as well as offering project and program delivery and advisory services. 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 43,600 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