People Corporation
TSX VENTURE : PEO

November 28, 2011 15:57 ET

People Corporation (Formerly Groupworks Financial Corp.) Announces Strong Year-end Results

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 28, 2011) - People Corporation (TSX VENTURE:PEO) -

Financial Highlights

For the year ended August 31, 2011:

  • Revenue grew by $3,587,712 compared to prior year results (17% growth)
  • EBITDA before restructuring costs grew by $845,769 compared to prior year results (44% growth)
  • EBITDA before restructuring costs per Share (Basic) of $0.084 for the year (vs. $0.059 for the comparative year)

For the fourth quarter ended August 31, 2011:

  • Revenue grew by $945,119 compared to prior year Q4 results (16% growth)
  • EBITDA before restructuring costs declined slightly by $58,527 compared to prior year Q4 results (comparative quarters)
  • EBITDA before restructuring costs per Share (Basic) of $0.022 for the Quarter (vs. $.024 for the comparative quarter)

Summary Financial Results

Three months ended
August 31,
Year ended
August 31,
2011 2010 2011 2010
Revenue $ 6,834,895 $ 5,889,776 $ 24,274,990 $ 20,687,278
EBITDA before corporate and restructuring costs $ 1,570,286 $ 1,581,453 $ 5,989,158 $ 4,873,426
Net Income (Loss) $ (20,729 ) $ (129,669 ) $ 517,636 $ (131,545 )
EBITDA before corporate and restructuring costs per share (Basic) $ 0.048 $ 0.048 $ 0.182 $ 0.148
Net Income (Loss)per share
(Basic)
$ (0.001 ) $ (0.004 ) $ 0.016 $ (0.004 )

People Corporation, formerly Groupworks Financial Corp. ("People Corporation", the "Company") announces strong financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended August 31, 2011 which included growth in revenue to $6.8 million for the quarter and $24.3 million for the year. This represents revenue growth of 16% for the quarter and 17% for the year. EBITDA before restructuring costs of $738,808 was earned during the quarter and $2,782,984 for the year, substantially ahead of last year's annual results.

During the past several years the Company has positioned itself for significant growth. Following the merger between Groupworks Financial Corp. and People Corporation in March 2009, the Company significantly increased the scale of the business, its operating capabilities, the size of its employee population and its geographic footprint.

In addition, the merger added a third party administration platform, a broader product offering which included group retirement, third party administration, HR consulting, recruiting and career transition services. Following the merger, the Company focused on strengthening the management team, developing a strategic plan, operating plan, acquisition model, value propositions for acquisitions, compensation model for new benefit consultants and a mentorship program for new benefits consultants. The Company also strengthened its balance sheet by paying off debt and by concluding a deal with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce which allowed the Company to refinance its balance sheet, provide for $10 million in acquisition financing and $2 million in operating credit. During this past fiscal year the Company executed on several of its strategic initiatives which included building out the Integrated Solutions division, Group Retirement Solutions division and Business Development division. These new divisions allow the Company to further enhance its capabilities through product development, cross selling and lead generation. In addition, these value propositions enhance the value proposition to potential acquisitions to join us. The Company recently hired two benefit consultants under its new compensation model and mentorship program and continues to focus on adding additional benefit consultants which will allow for further revenue generation capabilities. This past year also saw the Company completing an acquisition in the province of Quebec and the hiring of a Regional Vice President for Quebec which expanded the Company's offering and presence in that province. Most recently the Company focused on expanding its servicing capabilities through the restructuring of its client services team, the hiring of several client managers and the launch of several training initiatives.

"This is an extremely exciting time for our Company. The Company continues to provide strong organic growth and improved operating results which are directly attributable to the investments the Company has been making in its Integrated Solutions, Business Development and Group Retirement Solutions divisions. These divisions are continuing to gain momentum," said Laurie Goldberg, CEO of People Corporation. "This momentum, together with the financing arrangements announced earlier in the fiscal year, the rebranding of the Company, the launch of the Employee Share Ownership Plan and the investments being made to attract additional benefit consultants will continue to position the Company for growth."

Financial Results

Revenue for the fourth quarter and year ended August 31, 2011 was $6.8 million and $24.3 million respectively, up 16% and 17% from the $5.9 million and $20.7 million in the comparative periods of fiscal 2010. The increase in revenue for the fourth quarter and year ended August 31, 2011 is largely attributable to organic revenue growth which resulted from the investments the Company has made in its Integrated Solutions, Business Development and Group Retirement Solutions divisions. Through the Integrated Solutions division the Company has expanded its distribution through associate brokerage firms. Through the Company's Business Development division the Company has been able to expand its proprietary inside sales system and lead generation capabilities. Through the Group Retirement Solutions division the Company has been able to implement cross-selling initiatives to sell Group Retirement products to existing group benefit clients, as well as expanding its service offering to new clients.

Quarterly EBITDA before restructuring cost declined by $58,527 while for the fiscal year it increased by $ 845,769. During the quarter the Company incurred restructuring costs of $436,896 related to the reorganization of the Company's client service team and the centralization of the group benefit accounting function and technology operations into one location at the Company's executive offices in Winnipeg. In addition, Quarterly EBITDA was influenced by several projects initiated by the Company during the quarter. These projects included: the rebranding of the Company from Groupworks Financial Corp. to People Corporation, deploying a new website for the Company's student benefit operations, significant travel costs related to corporate initiatives, as well as, professional fees related to new employment agreements, hiring of staff and related matters. The Company rolled out new compensation programs at the beginning of the fiscal year. These compensation programs have significant variable components that reward consultants at greater levels of net new sales achieved through the fiscal year, as a result, compensation is greater in the latter part of the fiscal year than in the beginning of the fiscal year depending on sales success and the timing thereof.

Revenues for the year grew by $3,587,712, while operating costs increased by $2,471,979, thereby causing Operating Income before Corporate Costs to increase over the period to $1,115,732, representing an increase in operating profits of 23%. Accordingly, EBITDA increased by 44% to $2,782,984 for fiscal 2011. This generates an EBITDA per share of $0.022 and $0.084 for the quarter and year, respectively.

The Company had a Net Loss for the fourth quarter and Net Income for the year ended August 31, 2011 of ($20,729) and $517,636 respectively, compared to Net Losses of $129,669 and $131,545 in the same periods in the prior year. These increases result in basic earnings per share of ($0.001) and $0.016 for the fourth quarter and year ended August 31, 2011 compared to ($0.0004) and ($0.004) in the prior year, respectively.

Cash balances were $1,287,741 as at August 31, 2011, a decrease of $375,816 since August 31, 2010. The reduction in cash was in line with management's expectations and resulted from normal seasonal and cyclical cash impacts along with net repayment of $1,131,661 in long-term debt over the course of fiscal 2011.

The Financial Statements and Management Discussion and Analysis for the period ended August 31, 2011, along with additional information about the Company and all of its public filings are available at www.sedar.com.

Rebranding

On October 1, 2011, the Company was rebranded as People Corporation. As the Company continues to grow and expand its consultant team, service offerings and national footprint, Management felt that a rebranding was an essential part of the growth strategy in order to more accurately reflect what the Company does. The Company's business is to help its clients attract and engage their people, thereby enabling their people and the Company's clients to prosper. The Company's new tag line, 'Experience the Benefits of People', is intended to reflect a commitment to bring the right people to deliver solutions that help clients to attract and get the best from their people.

Corporate Developments

Overall corporate objectives continue to include; (i) the shifting of expenses from non-revenue generating activities to revenue generating activities with a view of boosting organic growth; (ii) promoting and recruiting leadership to execute our organic growth plans; and (iii) building out three key revenue generating functions to enhance growth: Integrated Solutions, Group Retirement Solutions and Business Development with a view to building our value proposition for future recruits and acquisitions and our clients; and (iv), continuing to grow and broaden our national service offerings by growth through acquisition.

This past quarter the Company completed several milestones that will continue to drive the Company forward and will allow the Company to further execute on its growth plans. During the fourth quarter the Company:

  • Hired an additional benefits consultant under the Company's HealthSource Plus brand in Toronto.
  • Continued to enhance sales and client service capabilities by expanding the compliment of Client Managers in Ontario and Quebec. Client Managers are responsible for ensuring top tier client service delivery.
  • In addition to the above, the Company continued to build upon its client service model by restructuring the client services departments under the leadership of the Client Managers previously hired in Ontario and Quebec. The new structure will allow the Company to provide localized client service based on its Concierge Service Standards.
  • As part of the continued roll-out of the Company's shared services division, combined business development specialists across the Company into one location based out of the Company's Executive Offices in Winnipeg. This provides the ability to scale operations, increase lead generation capabilities and provides for greater control and leverage across the Company.
  • Combined the Company's HealthSource Plus, Investment Guild and Group Retirement Solutions divisions into a single location taking advantage of synergies.
  • Centralized the group benefit accounting functions, technology operations and servers into one location at the Company's Executive Offices in Winnipeg.

Results from the implementation of the above strategic initiatives, momentum from past initiatives and the overall improvement in revenue growth can be seen in the Company's financial performance.

About People Corporation

People Corporation is a leading employee benefits, group retirement and human resource consulting firm in Canada. With a growing national footprint and fourteen offices across seven provinces, the Company is bringing together the leading consultants in the industry, offering innovative and customized human resource, benefit and pension solutions to its clients. Additional corporate 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", 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 GAAP Financial Measures

EBITDA, which is defined as earnings (loss) before interest, taxes, dividends, depreciation and amortization, is not a financial measure recognized by Canadian generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP") and does not have a standardized meaning prescribed by GAAP. Operating Income before Corporate Costs means EBITDA plus expenses incurred at the corporate office. The difference between EBITDA and Operating Income before Corporate Costs is equal to Corporate Costs which include expenses related to acquisitions. Analysis of these differences enables understanding of the operating leverage inherent in the financial results of an acquisitive company. Operating leverage is a term used to describe the quantum of acquired EBITDA that falls to EBITDA of a company following an acquisition and is useful to the understanding of the resulting incremental overheads and synergies. The Company believes that these Non-GAAP financial measures provide meaningful information on the Company's performance and operating results. Readers are cautioned that EBITDA or the Company's calculation of the Operating Income do not have standardized meanings as prescribed by GAAP and may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. Further, readers are cautioned that EBITDA or Operating Income should not replace Net income or loss or cash flows from operating, investing and financing activities (as determined in accordance with GAAP), as an indicator of the Company's performance.

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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