Mullen Group Ltd.
TSX : MTL

Mullen Group Ltd.

July 20, 2016 18:08 ET

Mullen Group Ltd. Reports Second Quarter Financial Results Including Record Trucking/Logistics Segment Results

OKOTOKS, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - July 20, 2016) - Mullen Group Ltd. ("Mullen Group" and/or the "Corporation") (TSX:MTL), one of Canada's largest suppliers of trucking and logistics services as well as specialized transportation services to the oil and natural gas industry in Canada, today reported its financial and operating results for the period ended June 30, 2016, with comparisons to the same period last year.

Key financial highlights for the second quarter of 2016 and 2015 are as follows:

HIGHLIGHTS
(unaudited) Three month periods ended
June 30
($ millions) 2016 2015 Change
$ $ %
Revenue
Trucking/Logistics 169.3 174.1 (2.8 )
Oilfield Services 79.5 111.2 (28.5 )
Corporate and intersegment eliminations (1.8 ) (0.5 ) -
Total Revenue 247.0 284.8 (13.3 )
Operating income before depreciation and amortization (1)
Trucking/Logistics 30.9 29.4 5.1
Oilfield Services 17.9 20.3 (11.8 )
Corporate (2.8 ) (3.3 ) -
Total Operating income before depreciation and amortization (1) 46.0 46.4 (0.9 )
Operating income before depreciation and amortization - adjusted (1) 46.6 47.5 (1.9 )
(1) Refer to notes section of Summary

Mullen Group operates a diversified business model combined with a highly adaptable and variable cost structure. The financial results for the three month period ending June 30, 2016 were negatively impacted by: (i) the continued lack of demand in the Oilfield Services segment with drilling activity experiencing multi-year lows; (ii) the ongoing economic slowdown in Alberta; and (iii) the lack of investment in capital projects. Despite these challenges, our Trucking/Logistics segment had record second quarter operating income before depreciation and amortization ("OIBDA") and the Oilfield Services segment was able to increase its margin.

The highlights for the quarter are as follows:

  • consolidated revenue of $247.0 million, a decrease of $37.8 million, or 13.3 percent, as compared to $284.8 million in 2015 due to:
    • a $31.7 million decline in the Oilfield Services segment
    • a $4.8 million decline in the Trucking/Logistics segment
  • consolidated OIBDA of $46.0 million, a decrease of $0.4 million as compared to $46.4 million in 2015 due to:
    • record second quarter OIBDA of $30.9 million generated by the Trucking/Logistics segment
    • second quarter OIBDA of $17.9 million representing 22.5 percent of segment revenue in the Oilfield Services segment compared to $20.3 million or 18.3 percent of segment revenue in 2015
  • adjusting for the negative impact of foreign exchange losses at Corporate office, operating income before depreciation and amortization ("OIBDA - adjusted") was $46.6 million, or 18.9 percent of revenue, as compared to $47.5 million, or 16.7 percent of revenue, in 2015. These results more accurately reflect the operating performance of Mullen Group.

Second Quarter Financial Results

For the three month period ended June 30, 2016, revenue decreased by $37.8 million, or 13.3 percent, to $247.0 million as compared to $284.8 million in 2015, due to a $31.7 million decline in revenue in the Oilfield Services segment and a $4.8 million decrease in the Trucking/Logistics segment. The $31.7 million decrease in revenue in the Oilfield Services segment was due to extremely low drilling activity and reduced capital investments in western Canada. Revenue declines were most notable in those Business Units involved in the transportation of fluids and servicing of wells, from those Business Units most directly tied to oil and natural gas drilling activity and from lower demand from within Alberta's oil sands region. These decreases were somewhat offset by greater demand for services related to large diameter pipeline construction projects. The Trucking/Logistics segment experienced a $4.8 million decrease in revenue, which was mainly due to lower fuel surcharge revenue and lower demand for transportation services predominately within Alberta. These decreases were somewhat offset by greater demand for services related to Kleysen Group L.P.'s ("Kleysen") transload facility in Edmonton, Alberta and from the incremental revenue generated from the acquisition of Courtesy Freight Systems Ltd. ("Courtesy").

OIBDA for the second quarter was $46.0 million, a decrease of $0.4 million or 0.9 percent over the same period in 2015. OIBDA - adjusted was $46.6 million, a decrease of $0.9 million or 1.9 percent as compared to $47.5 million in 2015. The Oilfield Services segment generated OIBDA of $17.9 million, a decline of $2.4 million due to reduced drilling activity and a very challenging operating environment, whereas the Trucking/Logistics segment continued to deliver strong financial results by generating record second quarter OIBDA of $30.9 million, an increase of $1.5 million or 5.1 percent from 2015. Stated as a percentage of consolidated revenue, OIBDA - adjusted increased to 18.9 percent as compared to 16.7 percent in 2015. As a percentage of segment revenue, margins in the Oilfield Services segment increased to 22.5 percent from 18.3 percent in 2015 due to our highly adaptable and diversified business model along with cost control initiatives. Margins in the Trucking/Logistics segment increased to 18.3 percent as compared to 16.9 percent due to lower direct operating expenses resulting from the greater availability of subcontractors in western Canada.

In the second quarter of 2016, Mullen Group generated net income of $13.7 million or $0.14 per share, an increase of $12.8 million, or 1,422.2 percent, compared to $0.9 million or $0.01 per share in 2015. The $12.8 million increase in net income was mainly attributable to a $6.9 million positive variance in net unrealized foreign exchange, a $4.7 million decrease in income tax expense and a $0.9 million decrease in finance costs. These increases were partially offset by a $1.0 million increase in loss on sale of property, plant and equipment and a $0.4 million decrease in OIBDA.

"The markets we operate in today are very challenging, to say the least. The oil and gas industry struggles are well documented; the Province of Alberta is mired in what I describe as a "pretty deep recession", exacerbated by one of the costliest natural disasters in Canadian history - the fires in Fort McMurray; and today, the Canadian economy is showing the strains associated with the lack of private investment in capital projects, an important element of any sustaining economy. In spite of all these negatives we generated some impressive results this quarter, reflecting the diversity of our business model as well as the hard work and commitment to managing all aspects of our business by every single Business Unit in our organization. Our focus on quality, safety and use of technology allowed our organization to manage the workload efficiently as well as minimize costs, two critical aspects important to generating the best margins possible. From this perspective I am most pleased with our financial performance this quarter," said Mr. Murray K. Mullen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Financial Position

At June 30, 2016, Mullen Group had $350.5 million of working capital (December 31, 2015 - $187.1 million) including $236.2 million of cash and cash equivalents (December 31, 2015 - $147.2 million), net debt of $327.5 million (December 31, 2015 - $522.0 million) and had access to additional funding of $75.0 million from our undrawn bank credit facility. On May 17, 2016, Mullen Group closed a bought deal offering and a non-brokered private placement for net proceeds of $153.2 million. The Corporation's long-term debt consists mainly of its Private Placement Debt of U.S. $314.0 million and Canadian $261.0 million. The weighted average interest rate on our U.S. dollar debt and our Canadian dollar debt is 4.43 percent and 4.58 percent, respectively. The majority of this debt matures on October 22, 2024 and October 22, 2026. In July 2014 Mullen Group entered into two cross-currency swap contracts to swap the principal portion of $229.0 million of U.S. dollar debt into a Canadian currency equivalent of $254.1 million for an average exchange rate of $1.1096. At June 30, 2016, the carrying value of these cross-currency swaps was $33.1 million and is recorded within derivative financial instruments on Mullen Group's consolidated statement of financial position. The net book value of property, plant and equipment was $964.4 million, the majority consists of $460.8 million of real property (carrying cost of $510.1 million) and $406.7 million of trucks and trailers.

"Having a strong, well-structured balance sheet is imperative when markets are challenged, such as they are today. In 2016 we have deleveraged the balance sheet, paid down a series of Notes, restructured the debt covenants with our noteholders, thereby ensuring we have the flexibility to use the strong cash position we hold for the purpose of determining the covenant calculation, and raised new equity of $153.2 million. We are now extremely well-positioned to manage through this challenging downturn and can utilize our balance sheet to acquire complementary businesses that meet our strategic objectives. Our stakeholders understand the near-term market challenges as well as the rational and strategic approach we utilize when evaluating acquisitions," added Mr. Mullen.

Six Month Period Ended Financial Results

Consolidated revenue in the first six months of 2016 decreased by $103.3 million, or 16.6 percent, to $518.7 million as compared to $622.0 million in 2015. The majority of this decrease in revenue, specifically $65.5 million, occurred in the first quarter. Revenue in the Oilfield Services segment decreased by $90.1 million, or 33.4 percent, to $179.3 million as compared to $269.4 million in the same period one year earlier. This decrease was due to lower revenue generated by those Business Units involved in the transportation of fluids and servicing of wells, a reduction in revenue from those Business Units most directly tied to oil and natural gas drilling activity in western Canada, lower demand for services from Alberta's oil sands region along with the cancellation of core drilling programs. These decreases were partially offset by greater demand for services related to large diameter pipeline construction projects. Revenue in the Trucking/Logistics segment decreased by $11.0 million, or 3.1 percent, to $343.2 million from $354.2 million in 2015. This decrease was due to lower fuel surcharge revenue as well as decreased demand for most freight services in western Canada, and Alberta in particular. These decreases were partially offset by revenue generated by Kleysen related to increased demand for transload services, modestly increased demand and market share gains in Manitoba and Saskatchewan as well as incremental revenue related to the acquisition of Courtesy.

OIBDA - adjusted for the first six months of 2016 decreased to $92.1 million, or 12.2 percent, as compared to $104.9 million generated in the same period last year. The decrease of $12.8 million was primarily due to the Oilfield Services segment that experienced a $16.4 million decrease in OIBDA. This decrease was somewhat offset by the Trucking/Logistics segment that experienced a $4.5 million increase in OIBDA. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange gains and losses on U.S. dollar cash held, the Corporate office recorded a $0.9 million increase in operating loss on a year over year basis due to a reduction in costs recovered from the Business Units and an increase in various administrative expenses, which was somewhat offset by a reduction in salaries due to cost control initiatives.

Net income in the first six months of 2016 increased to $35.1 million, as compared to $3.7 million in 2015. The increase of $31.4 million was mainly attributable to a $41.1 million positive variance in net unrealized foreign exchange, an $11.2 million decrease in income tax expense and a $4.2 million positive variance in the fair value of investments. These increases were somewhat offset by a $26.3 million decrease in OIBDA and a $0.8 million increase in loss on sale of property, plant and equipment.

A summary of Mullen Group's results for the three and six month periods ended June 30, 2016 and 2015 are as follows:

SUMMARY
(unaudited)
($ millions, except per share amounts)
Three month periods ended
June 30
Six month periods ended
June 30
2016 2015 Change 2016 2015 Change
$ $ % $ $ %
Revenue 247.0 284.8 (13.3 ) 518.7 622.0 (16.6 )
Operating income before depreciation and amortization(1) 46.0 46.4 (0.9 ) 84.9 111.2 (23.7 )
Operating income before depreciation and amortization - adjusted(2) 46.6 47.5 (1.9 ) 92.1 104.9 (12.2 )
Net unrealized foreign exchange (gain) loss (5.7 ) 1.2 (575.0 ) (22.2 ) 18.9 (217.5 )
Decrease in fair value of investments 4.2 4.2 - 4.3 8.5 (49.4 )
Net income 13.7 0.9 1,422.2 35.1 3.7 848.6
Net Income - adjusted(3) 11.9 11.2 6.3 17.3 36.1 (52.1 )
Earnings per share(4) 0.14 0.01 1,300.0 0.37 0.04 825.0
Earnings per share - adjusted(3) 0.12 0.12 - 0.18 0.39 (53.8 )
Net cash from operating activities 48.9 62.7 (22.0 ) 83.4 104.6 (20.3 )
Net cash from operating activities per share(4) 0.50 0.68 (26.5 ) 0.88 1.14 (22.8 )
Cash dividends declared per Common Share 0.14 0.30 (53.3 ) 0.38 0.60 (36.7 )
Notes:
(1) Operating income before depreciation and amortization ("OIBDA") is defined as net income before depreciation of property, plant and equipment, amortization of intangible assets, finance costs, net unrealized foreign exchange gains and losses, other (income) expense and income taxes.
(2) Operating income before depreciation and amortization - adjusted ("OIBDA - adjusted") is defined as net income before depreciation of property, plant and equipment, amortization of intangible assets, finance costs, net unrealized foreign exchange gains and losses, other (income) expense, income taxes and foreign exchange gains and losses recognized within its Corporate office.
(3) Net income - adjusted and earnings per share - adjusted are calculated by adjusting net income and basic earnings per share by the amount of any net unrealized foreign exchange gains and losses and the change in fair value of investments.
(4) Earnings per share and net cash from operating activities per share are calculated based on the weighted average number of Common Shares outstanding for the period.
Non-GAAP and Additional GAAP Terms - Mullen Group reports on certain financial performance measures that are described and presented in order to provide shareholders and potential investors with additional measures to evaluate Mullen Group's ability to fund its operations and information regarding its liquidity. In addition, these measures are used by management in its evaluation of performance. These financial performance measures ("Non-GAAP and Additional GAAP Terms") are not recognized financial terms under Canadian generally accepted accounting principles ("Canadian GAAP"). For publicly accountable enterprises, such as Mullen Group, Canadian GAAP is governed by principles based on IFRS and interpretations of IFRIC. Management believes these Non-GAAP and Additional GAAP Terms are useful supplemental measures. These Non-GAAP and Additional GAAP Terms do not have standardized meanings and may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other entities. Specifically, OIBDA, OIBDA - adjusted, net income - adjusted and earnings per share - adjusted are not recognized terms under IFRS and do not have standardized meanings prescribed by IFRS. Management believes these measures are useful supplemental measures. Investors should be cautioned that these indicators should not replace net income and earnings per share as an indicator of performance.

This news release may contain forward-looking statements that are subject to risk factors associated with the oil and natural gas business and the overall economy. Mullen Group believes that the expectations reflected in this news release are reasonable, but results may be affected by a variety of variables. The forward-looking information contained herein is made as of the date of this news release and Mullen Group disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly any such forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise, other than as required by applicable Canadian securities laws. Mullen Group relies on litigation protection for "forward-looking" statements. Additional information regarding the forward-looking statements is found on pages 1, 50 and 51 of Mullen Group's Management's Discussion and Analysis.

Mullen Group is a company that owns a network of independently operated businesses. The Corporation is recognized as one of the leading suppliers of trucking and logistics services in Canada and provides a wide range of specialized transportation and related services to the oil and natural gas industry in western Canada - two sectors of the economy in which Mullen Group has strong business relationships and industry leadership. The corporate office provides management and financial expertise, technology and systems support, shared services and strategic planning to its independent businesses.

Mullen Group is a publicly traded corporation listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "MTL". Additional information is available on our website at www.mullen-group.com or on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Contact Information

  • Mullen Group Ltd.
    Mr. Murray K. Mullen
    Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President
    403-995-5200 or Toll Free: 1-866-995-7711
    403-995-5296 (FAX)

    Mullen Group Ltd.
    Mr. P. Stephen Clark
    Chief Financial Officer
    403-995-5200 or Toll Free: 1-866-995-7711
    403-995-5296 (FAX)

    Mullen Group Ltd.
    Mr. Richard J. Maloney
    Senior Vice President
    403-995-5200 or Toll Free: 1-866-995-7711
    403-995-5296 (FAX)
    www.mullen-group.com