Chesswood Group Limited
TSX : CHW

Chesswood Group Limited

March 17, 2016 07:30 ET

Chesswood Announces Results for 2015

Fifth consecutive record year of earnings

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 17, 2016) - Chesswood Group Limited (the "Company" or "Chesswood") (TSX:CHW) announced today its results for the three months and year ended December 31, 2015.

Chesswood posted its fifth consecutive year of record earnings from both a net income and operating income(1) perspective, during a very busy 2015 for the Company. Net Income was $19.8 million, up from $11.5 million in 2014, while operating income was $28.8 million compared to $19.6 million last year. Chesswood's two largest entities, Pawnee Leasing and Blue Chip Leasing, had originations growth of 37% and 47% respectively, to drive the record earnings.

The Company's operating earnings reflect the pretax profits from Pawnee Leasing, Blue Chip Leasing and Windset Capital. During the year, Chesswood sold the assets of Case Funding, as well as Acura Sherway, in February and November, respectively, and completed the sale of EcoHome Financial early in 2016. These businesses are reflected as discontinued operations in Chesswood's results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 2015 (and comparative values) and therefore their earnings and the net gains on sale are not included in operating earnings.

"We are very proud of achieving another record year and of the efforts of our extraordinary team" said Barry Shafran, Chesswood's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We believe that our North-American equipment finance businesses are extremely well positioned to continue to grow and to make use of our very strong balance sheet and access to multiple funding sources, in pursuit of market share" Shafran added.

Financial Highlights For the Three Mths Ended For the Year Ended
(in CDN $000's, except EPS) December 31, December 31,
2015 2014 2015 2014
Operating Income(1) $ 7,547 $ 4,002 $ 28,784 $ 19,632
Adjusted EBITDA(1) $ 7,395 $ 4,989 $ 32,429 $ 22,975
Net Income $ 8,052 $ 1,900 $ 19,804 $ 11,539
Earnings Per Share - basic $ 0.46 $ 0.16 $ 1.19 $ 0.98
(1) - See "Non-GAAP Measures" below.

Operating income for the fourth quarter was $7.5 million, compared to $6.8 million in the third quarter of this year and $4.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. Chesswood's gross receivables from continuing operations totaled $480 million at December 31, 2015, up from $451 million at the end of the third quarter.

Chief Operating Officer to Assume New Role as Strategic Advisor

Chesswood also announces that Daniel Wittlin has entered into a new agreement to serve as a strategic advisor to Chesswood under which he will seek out for Chesswood expansion opportunities in our current and new markets, as well as provide ongoing counsel to senior management.

Mr. Wittlin became a director, officer and significant shareholder of Chesswood upon Chesswood's acquisitions of Blue Chip Leasing Corporation and EcoHome Financial Inc. in March 2015. Chesswood did not have a chief operating officer prior to Mr. Wittlin's appointment, and there are no current plans to appoint a replacement chief operating officer. Mr. Wittlin will continue to serve as a director of Chesswood and remains Chesswood's largest shareholder. Mr. Wittlin's shareholdings are governed by a multi-year escrow agreement.

"Both our board and management greatly appreciate the role that Daniel provided in the successful integration of Blue Chip Leasing and the divestiture of EcoHome Financial. We value the entrepreneurial spirit and industry knowledge that Daniel provides and look forward to the continuing benefit of his strategic advice as a director and in his role of advisor" stated Barry Shafran.

Adjustment to Conversion Price of Convertible Debentures (TSX:CHW.DB)

The Company has adjusted the $21.25 conversion price of the 6.5% convertible debentures effective February 18, 2016 to $20.19 per Common Share as a result of the previously announced special dividend of $0.50 per Common Share, in accordance with section 6.5(a) of the trust indenture that governs the debentures. The debentures mature on December 31, 2018.

Non GAAP Measures

References to Adjusted EBITDA and Operating Income are not recognized measures under International Financial Reporting Standards and do not have standard meanings. Accordingly, these measures may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers.

Please refer to the Company's Management Discussion and Analysis for the three months and year ended December 31, 2015 for additional information concerning these measures and a reconciliation of these measures to the Company's consolidated net income for the period.

About Chesswood Group Limited

The Company operates primarily in the financial services industry with operating businesses in both Canada and the U.S. To learn more about Chesswood, visit www.ChesswoodGroup.com.

The separate websites of Chesswood Group Limited's operating businesses are at www.PawneeLeasing.com, www.BlueChipLeasing.com and www.WindsetCapital.com

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future. Many factors could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements.

NO STOCK EXCHANGE, SECURITIES COMMISSION OR OTHER REGULATORY AUTHORITY HAS APPROVED OR DISAPPROVED THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN.

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