Altus Group Income Fund
TSX : AIF.UN

Altus Group Income Fund

May 11, 2009 13:13 ET

Altus Group Income Fund Announces First Quarter Results

Management Team to Hold Conference Call on Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 9:00am EDT

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 11, 2009) - Altus Group Income Fund ("Fund") (TSX:AIF.UN) today announced financial and operating results for the quarter ended March 31, 2009.

Performance Highlights

- Year-over-year revenue growth of 8% for the quarter

- Generated adjusted distributable cash of $0.24 per unit

Revenue for the first quarter of 2009 was $50.6 million, compared to $46.9 million for the comparable period in 2008, an 8% increase, of which approximately 16% is attributable to revenues from businesses acquired in 2008. Notwithstanding a challenging operating environment, we continue to maintain a balanced approach and focused strategy while maximizing the productivity of internal resources.

"The increased effect of seasonality due to past acquisitions in our Tax division and continued pressure on oil and gas prices has caused a weakness in the first part of the year," said Gary Yeoman, Chief Executive Officer of Altus Group. "We remain optimistic about our ability to deliver solid performance for the full year, setting the stage for even stronger growth over the long term."

Salaries and benefits were $28.2 million for the first quarter 2009, compared to $27.5 million in the same quarter last year. Salaries and benefits as a percentage of revenue decreased to 56% for the quarter ended March 31, 2009 from 59% in the same period in 2008. Total salaries increased as a result of acquisitions in 2008 and higher average headcount; however, this was offset by significant cost saving measures undertaken by the Fund to reduce salaries, bonuses and headcount across all practice areas. Total salary savings from these measures amounted to $3.2 million in the quarter.

EBITDA for the first quarter 2009 was $6.2 million, compared to $8.6 million in the same period last year, a decrease of 27%.

Net earnings for the first quarter 2009 were $0.1 million, or $0.00 per unit, compared to $1.7 million, or $0.11 per unit, for the first quarter of 2008. Net earnings per unit are basic and diluted.

In the first quarter of 2009, the Fund generated adjusted distributable cash of $5.1 million, or $0.24 per unit, and an adjusted payout ratio of 124.0%, compared to $7.3 million, or $0.40 per unit, and an adjusted payout ratio of 75.0% in the first quarter of 2008. For the quarter, distributions declared totaled $0.30 per unit.

Subsequent to quarter end, on April 30, 2009, the Fund invested an additional $3.0 million in Solidifi Inc., increasing the Fund's total equity interest to 19.55%. Solidifi Inc. is a leading provider of collateral valuation, risk management and data analytic services to the North American mortgage industry. This investment will allow us to generate new service offerings by combining our comprehensive proprietary data with Solidifi's robust technology platform.

Also subsequent to quarter end, on May 1, 2009, the Fund acquired certain business assets of Suvius Inc. and Ben Surveys Ltd. The businesses provide administrative and field services support to Lennon Trilogy Professional Land Surveyors ("Lennon Trilogy"). Lennon Trilogy will be associated with Altus Geomatics to provide complete and specialized surveying services to clients in Manitoba, servicing the oil and gas and municipal sectors. This acquisition provides Altus with the ability to offer comprehensive Geomatics services across all four western provinces.

As previously announced the Fund is performing due diligence related to the anticipated acquisition of the assets of Australia-based Page Kirkland. With a presence through Australia and Asia-Pacific, Page Kirkland complements the Altus Group offering. It is a market leader with a client-focused culture whose services span the international property and construction industry life cycle from project inception to completion; maintenance; life cycle costing; and, ultimately, disposition. The acquisition of Page Kirkland is expected to close in the third quarter of this year and will be funded with a combination of equity and cash provided through bank financing.

"By capitalizing on the value of our brand and business model, Altus has begun to make inroads in key foreign markets that require our unique portfolio of independent advice and service offerings," continued Yeoman. "As we expand geographically, we remain focused on making careful and deliberate decisions that continue to respond to our clients' needs throughout Canada and overseas. A strategy of diversification and ongoing innovation will allow Altus to produce more stable returns as our business continues to grow and mature."

Analyst Call Details

Altus Group Income Fund will hold an analyst conference call at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Tuesday, May 12, 2009 to discuss these financial results and current industry conditions. Please dial 1-866-902-2211 (toll free) or 416-695-9748 (GTA) to access the call. You will be required to identify yourself and your organization. A recording of this call will be made available as of 11:30 p.m. EDT. To access the recording, please call 1-800-408-3053 or 416-695-5800 (passcode: 8506363). The recording will also be available at altusgroupincomefund.com.

About Altus Group Income Fund

Altus Group is the leading multidisciplinary provider of independent real estate consulting and professional advisory services worldwide. With a staff of over 1,200, Altus Group has a national network of 36 offices in 32 cities throughout Canada, 8 offices throughout the UK and 1 office in the U.S. We operate as: Altus Research, Valuation and Advisory; Altus Cost Consulting; Altus Realty Tax Consulting, Altus Geomatics; Altus InSite; Altus Edwin Hill; Altus Andrews; Altus Geocom; and, Altus Capital Planning. Altus' clients include banks, financial institutions, governments, pension funds, asset and fund managers, developers and landlords and companies engaged in the oil and gas industry.

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release may constitute "forward-looking" statements, which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Fund and its subsidiary entities, including Altus Group Limited Partnership, Altus Group Limited, Altus Group Advisory Services Limited, Altus Geomatics Limited Partnership, Physical Planning Technologies Ltd. and Altus UK Limited Liability Partnership or the industry, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. When used in this press release, such statements use words such as "may", "will", "expect", "believe", "plan" and other similar terminology. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including those described in the Fund's publicly filed documents, including the Annual Information Form, dated March 31, 2009 (which are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com). Those risks and uncertainties include: general state of the economy; ability to maintain profitability and manage growth; dependence on oil and gas sector; competition in the industry; revenue and cash flow volatility; credit risk; reliance on and retention of professionals; dependence on multi-residential market; integration of acquisitions; protection of intellectual property; weather; fixed-price and contingency engagements; performance of obligations / maintenance of client satisfaction; interest rate risk; currency risk; appraisal mandates; customer concentration; restrictions on potential growth; operating risks; risk of future legal proceedings; insurance limits; and legislative and regulatory changes. Given these risks and uncertainties, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results. These statements reflect management's current expectations regarding future events and operating performance and speak only as of the date of this press release. Although the forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based upon what management believes to be reasonable assumptions, the Fund cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release and, except in accordance with applicable law, the Fund assumes no obligations to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances. Additionally, the Fund undertakes no obligation to comment on analyses, expectations or statements made by third parties in respect of the Fund, its financial or operating results, or its securities.

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