People Corporation
TSX VENTURE : PEO

People Corporation

December 14, 2015 08:30 ET

People Corporation Announces Record Year-End Financial Results and Highlights Strategic and Operational Achievements for the Year

Revenues Grows 15.8% and Adjusted EBITDA Up 21.5% (Before Full Annualized Impact of Coughlin Acquisition)

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 14, 2015) - People Corporation (the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:PEO) today announced financial results for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2015, and provided an update on the organizational achievements during the year that contributed to the ongoing successful execution of its strategic plan.

"The Company has made strategic investments in people, technology and other organizational resources which have set the foundation for us to once again report records results for fiscal 2015. We will continue to judiciously make strategic investments, as they position us to take advantage of organic growth opportunities and acquisition opportunities, such as Coughlin and Associates Ltd.", commented Laurie Goldberg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "In addition to the Company's strong financial performance, I want to highlight the fourth quarter acquisition of Coughlin - one of Canada's leading full service national benefit and pension consulting and administration firms. As a result of this important addition, the People Corporation family is now one of Canada's largest independent Third-Party Administration businesses, serving clients across the country and as Canada's fastest-growing group benefits, group retirement and human resources consulting services organization with approximately $1 billion in annual premiums and $3 billion in pension assets under administration, serving approximately 750,000 Canadians from coast to coast."

Highlights of Financial Results for the year-ended August 31, 2015

Financial Results from Operations

People Corporation's financial results for the fiscal year-ended August 31, 2015 reflect the focused execution of its strategic and operational plans, which include organic growth initiatives, growth from acquisitions, and operational excellence. For the year ended August 31, 2015, revenues increased 15.8% to $49.3 million and Adjusted EBITDA increased 21.5% to $9.2 million. As noted below, the results for the fiscal year are not fully reflective of the effect of the acquisition of Coughlin & Associates Ltd. ("Coughlin"), whose financial results are only included from the date of closing of the transaction in the fourth quarter. As a result, 'run-rate' revenue and adjusted EBITDA on an annualized basis would be significantly higher than the published fiscal 2015 results.

Year-ended Year-ended Increase/
(In 000's, except percent amounts) Aug 31, 2015 Aug 31, 2014 (Decrease)
Revenue $ 49,293.3 $ 42,575.9 15.8 %
Operating Income before Corporate Costs $ 13,318.7 $ 11,256.3 18.3 %
Operating Income before Corporate Costs as a % of revenue 27.0 % 26.4 %
Adjusted EBITDA $ 9,161.4 $ 7,542.0 21.5 %
Adjusted EBITDA as a % of revenue 18.6 % 17.7 %
Net Income $ 1,394.4 $ 1,540.9 (9.5 %)

For the year-ended August 31, 2015, the Company experienced revenue growth of $6.7 million or 15.8%. The Company recognized acquired growth of $4.9 million (11.4%) and organic growth of $1.9 million (4.4%). Acquired growth was driven by the acquisition of Coughlin in the fourth quarter of 2015, as well as from acquisitions completed in the fourth quarter of 2014. Revenues for fiscal 2015 include Coughlin only from the date of closing of the acquisition, and therefore do not reflect a full year of revenue and financial impact. In its financial statements for the year ended August 31, 2015, the Company has disclosed pro-forma revenue of $19.9 million, which represents management's estimates of total annual revenue from Coughlin had the acquisition been completed on September 1, 2014 and a full year of results included. Organic growth was driven by the addition of new clients, natural inflationary factors and increased revenue from corporate Shared Services. These factors were partially offset by reduced sales volumes in the Human Resource Solutions division and the effect of a depressed labour market in Alberta on certain premium product lines.

The Company monitors Operating Income before Corporate Costs in order to assess the results of operations before consideration of the ongoing corporate investments required to position the Company for future growth. For the year-ended August 31, 2015, the Company reported Operating Income before Corporate Costs growth of $2.1 million or 18.3%, primarily driven by the acquisition of Coughlin during the fourth quarter and organic growth during the year. Corporate costs increased by $0.4 million compared to the previous year due to an increase in professional fees relating to implementing new initiatives and recruiting costs to fill corporate positions, as well as increases in public company costs, office space and office supplies. Those increases are partially offset by decreases in corporate travel and salaries and wages which are related to acquisition, integration, and reorganization costs. The Company also strengthened Operating Income before Corporate Costs as a percent of revenue by 0.6% in fiscal 2015.

For the year-ended August 31, 2015, the Company reported Adjusted EBITDA growth of $1.6 million or 21.5%, resulting from organic and acquired growth in the business. Growth in the Adjusted EBITDA for the year was primarily driven by the acquisition of Coughlin in the fourth quarter of the year, as well as from organic revenue growth. This is partially offset by increased operating and corporate costs, including expansion of the consulting team through hiring additional sales consultants, higher professional fees and claims administration costs. Adjusted EBITDA is determined net of the 34% Coughlin Retained Economic Interest, which is held by the vendors through a class of non-voting, non-cumulative, dividend bearing shares of Coughlin. The Company also strengthened the Adjusted EBITDA as percent of revenue by 0.9% in fiscal 2015.

For the year ended August 31, 2015, the Company reported a decrease in Net Income of $0.1 million or 9.5% resulting from acquisition-related amortization of intangible assets and an increase in acquisition, integration and reorganization costs primarily related to the Coughlin acquisition.

Summary Financial Position

The Company continues to be well-positioned to execute on its growth strategy, with a strong financial position and ready access to financial capital. In addition, the financial position of the Company will accommodate the ongoing operational investments required to ensure the Company is delivering upon its value proposition to its clients, and achieving operational excellence and enhanced profitability.

The Company had cash balances of $6.5 million as at August 31, 2015, an increase of $3.8 million or 136.97% as compared to August 31, 2014, primarily resulting from net cash from operating activities. In addition to its cash resources, as previously disclosed, during the first quarter the Company entered into an expanded credit facility agreement with its senior lender that totals $35.0 million of credit capacity, including a $7.0 million term loan, a $5.0 million operating revolving facility and a $23.0 million acquisition revolving facility. As of August 31, 2015, the Company had drawn the $7.0 million term loan and $15.8M against the acquisition revolving facility, resulting in $12.2 million of unused credit capacity available. The credit facility agreement also has an Accordion Feature, which provides for an option, subject to the satisfaction of certain terms and conditions, to increase the Acquisition Revolver by up to $15.0 million of additional capacity bringing the overall credit capacity up to $50.0 million.

In addition to the credit facility with its senior lender, as of August 31, 2015, the Company had $3.1 million owing to vendors from previous acquisitions, of which $1.8 million is due in the next twelve months.

Strategic and Operational Highlights for Fiscal 2015

During the year, the Company acquired Coughlin & Associates Ltd., one of Canada's preeminent independent full service national benefit and pension consulting and administration firms. Highlights of the transaction include:

  • The People Corporation family became one of Canada's largest independent Third-Party Administration businesses, serving clients across the country;

  • Positioned People Corporation as Canada's fastest-growing group benefits, group retirement and human resources consulting services organization with approximately $1 billion in annual premiums and $3 billion in pension assets under administration;

  • People Corporation now serves approximately 750,000 Canadians from coast to coast with broad capabilities in the benefits consulting, third-party administration, pension consulting and administration and human resources consulting sectors;

  • People Corporation's largest transaction to date, accelerating its strategy to build Canada's leading independent provider of innovative group benefits, group retirement and human resources consulting services; and,

  • The transaction was immediately accretive to Adjusted EBITDA per share.

Established in 1958, and based in Ottawa, Ontario and Winnipeg, Manitoba, Coughlin provides group benefit consulting, pension consulting, administrative solutions and claims management services to many of Canada's most respected corporations, unions and public service organizations. Through this acquisition, People Corporation significantly enhanced its national footprint and capability.

In addition, the Company continues to make significant progress in executing its strategic plan, pursuing growth opportunities both organically and through acquisitions in which new operating entities become part of the People Corporation group of companies. As part of this, the Company continues to invest in people, technology and other organizational resources to build its organizational capabilities. Some of these additional notable milestones include:

  • Acquired 100% of the voting interest and 66% of the economic interest of Coughlin, one of Canada's preeminent independent full service national benefit and pension consulting and third party administration firms, based in Ottawa, Ontario and Winnipeg, Manitoba;

  • Completed a bought deal private placement financing, issuing 4,232,000 common shares at $3.40 per share;

  • Entered into new expanded credit facility with $35.0 million of senior credit available, a significant increase over the previous senior credit facility of $24.5 million. The agreement also provides for the potential to increase the facility by a further $15.0 million to a total of $50.0 million of available credit, effectively doubling senior credit capacity;

  • Strengthened the organizational structure to position the Company for continued growth, with the appointments of Ms. Bonnie Chwartacki as President, Mr. Keith McMahon, CA as the Company's Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Brevan Canning as Executive Vice President and Group Head - Benefit Solutions, and Ms. Lisa Villani as Executive Vice President and Group Head - Consulting Solutions;

  • Expanded organic growth capabilities through the continued expansion of its consulting team, including hiring three additional consultants in Montreal, two in Toronto and one in Winnipeg;

  • Launched a new sales management and underwriting workflow management technology platform in its corporate focused third party administration division;

  • Laurie Goldberg, Chairman and CEO, named 2014 Prairie Region EY Entrepreneur of the Year for the professional and financial services category, as awarded by Ernst & Young LLP; and,

  • Appointed Mr. Eric Stefanson to the Company's Board of Directors.

The complete Financial Statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis for the year-ended August 31, 2015, along with additional information about the Company and all of its public filings are available at www.sedar.com.

About People Corporation

People Corporation is a national provider of group benefits, group retirement and human resource services. The Company has offices across Canada, each led by a team of experts and backed by the resources of a national company that is traded on the TSX-V. The Company's industry experts provide uniquely valuable insight while customizing an innovative suite of services to the specific needs of its clients. Whatever your sector, whatever your scale, putting People Corporation's expertise and proven track record to work will make a difference to your people and your bottom line.

Further information is available at www.peoplecorporation.com.

Forward-Looking Information

This news release contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities laws, such as information concerning anticipated future events, results, circumstances, performance or expectations that are not historical facts. Use of words such as "may", "will", "expect", "believe", "intends", "likely", or other words of similar effect may indicate forward-looking information including the completion of the transaction, the impact of that transaction on our earnings and cash flow, and the anticipated benefits of the transaction. This information is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including those described in our publicly filed documents (which are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com). Those risks and uncertainties include: our ability to maintain profitability and manage growth; strong competition from other consultants and changes in the current legislation could result in significant competition from the banking industry; failure of information systems and technology; dependence on key clients; seasonality of revenues and the resulting possible impairment on working capital; reliance on key professionals; additional financing may be required and may not be available under terms favourable to us; there can be no assurance that any suitable future acquisition will be available to us or that, if available, the terms of the acquisition will be favourable to us; and a change in general economic conditions. Many of these risks and uncertainties can affect our actual results and could cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking information made by us or on our behalf. Given these risks and uncertainties, investors should not place undue reliance on forward looking information as a prediction of actual results. All forward-looking information in this news release is qualified by these cautionary statements. This information is made as of the date of this news release and, except as required by applicable law, we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additionally, we undertake no obligation to comment on analyses, expectations or statements made by third parties in respect of the Company, its financial or operating results or its securities.

Non-IFRS Financial Measures

The Company reports non-IFRS financial measures, including Standardized EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA and Operating Income before Corporate Costs as key measures used by management to evaluate performance of the business, to compensate employees and to facilitate a comparison of quarterly and annual results of ongoing operations. Adjusted EBITDA is also a concept utilized in measuring compliance with debt covenants. The Adjusted EBITDA measure is commonly reported and widely used by investors and lending institutions as an indicator of a company's operating performance and ability to incur and service debt, and as a valuation metric. While used to assist in evaluating the operating performance and debt servicing ability of the Company, readers are cautioned that Adjusted EBITDA as reported by the Company may not be comparable in all instances to Adjusted EBITDA as reported by other companies. For a detailed explanation of how the Company's non-IFRS measures are calculated, please refer to the Company's MD&A filing for the year-ended August 31, 2015, which can be accessed via the SEDAR Web site (www.sedar.com).

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.

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