WSP Global Inc.
TSX : WSP

WSP Global Inc.

March 01, 2017 08:00 ET

WSP Ends Fiscal 2016 With Strong Financial Results

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - March 1, 2017) - WSP Global Inc. (TSX:WSP) ("WSP" or the "Corporation") today announced its financial and operating results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2016. The fourth quarter results cover the period from September 25, 2016 to December 31, 2016.

FOURTH QUARTER AND FISCAL 2016 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

WSP's geographically diverse revenue streams, combined with its diverse public/private and fee-for-service/fixed fee client base, enabled it to attain all of its key 2016 outlook financial targets.

Q4 2016

  • Revenues and net revenues of $1,798.4 million and $1,327.7 million, up 8.3% and 6.4%, respectively, compared to Q4 2015. Robust global organic growth in net revenues of 4.5%, on a constant currency basis, and in line with expectations.


  • Adjusted EBITDA of $135.3 million, up $11.3 million or 9.1% compared to Q4 2015.


  • Adjusted EBITDA margin at 10.2%, compared to 9.9% in Q4 2015.


  • Adjusted net earnings of $68.8 million, or $0.68 per share, up 112.3% and 106.1%, respectively, compared to Q4 2015.


  • Adjusted net earnings excluding amortization of intangible assets related to acquisitions of $81.7 million, or $0.81 per share, up 88.2% and 84.1%, respectively, compared to Q4 2015.

  • Net earnings attributable to shareholders of $56.0 million, or $0.55 per share, up 281.0% and 266.7%, respectively, compared to Q4 2015.

  • Backlog at $5,668.8 million, representing 10.1 months of revenues, up $297.6 million or 5.5% compared to Q3 2016.


  • Quarterly dividend declared of $0.375 per share, with a 56.2% Dividend Reinvestment Plan ("DRIP") participation.

  • We acquired Hoyer Finseth in Norway and AWT Consulting in Australia, increasing our expertise in structural engineering.


Fiscal 2016

  • Revenues and net revenues of $6,379.6 million and $4,895.1 million, up 5.2% and 9.1%, respectively, compared to 2015. Global organic growth in net revenues of 1.0%, on a constant currency basis, and in line with our previously published 2016 outlook.

  • Adjusted EBITDA of $499.0 million, up $57.5 million or 13.0% compared to 2015.

  • Adjusted EBITDA margin at 10.2%, compared to 9.8% in 2015.

  • Adjusted net earnings of $223.7 million, or $2.22 per share, up 29.5% and 18.7%, respectively, compared to 2015.

  • Adjusted net earnings excluding amortization of intangible assets related to acquisitions of $271.0 million, or $2.69 per share, up 25.1% and 14.5%, respectively, compared to 2015.

  • Net earnings attributable to shareholders of $199.1 million, or $1.97 per share, up 5.5% and down 3.9%, respectively, compared to 2015. The decrease in net earnings attributable to shareholders per share was mainly due to a significant gain realized on the sales of associates in 2015.

  • Backlog at $5,668.8 million, representing 10.1 months of revenues, up $469.1 million or 9.0% compared to 2015.

  • DSO stood at 77 days, stable compared to 2015; the 10-day improvement compared to Q3 2016 was in line with expectations.

  • Funds from operations of $389.6 million, or $3.86 per share, up 21.3% and 10.9%, respectively, compared to 2015.

  • Free cash flow of $244.9 million, or $2.43 per share, up 24.3% and 14.1%, respectively, compared to 2015.

  • Incorporating full 12-month adjusted EBITDA for all acquisitions, net debt to adjusted EBITDA ratio stands at 1.7x, stable compared to 2015 and in line with our target range.

"We are pleased to report another year of solid results, with strong financial performance in the fourth quarter. During this year of change, we have enhanced our operational capabilities, particularly in the buildings, infrastructure and rail sectors, as well as sharpening our focus on clients and engaging extensively with employees. We also added over 2,500 new colleagues to our workforce through eight acquisitions, thus expanding our geographical presence in South America and the Nordics and strengthening our expertise in the UK and Australia. I would like to thank all employees for delivering a solid performance and for their continued dedication, as well as welcoming all our new colleagues to the WSP family," said Alexandre L'Heureux, WSP's President and Chief Executive Officer. "In 2017, as we rebrand all our operations to WSP, we will remain committed to providing our clients with technical excellence, pursuing organic and acquisition growth and further engaging with all stakeholders, with the objective of meeting our 2018 strategic plan targets".

OUTLOOK FOR 2017

Management of the Corporation ("Management") has provided guidance on 2017 operating results in the Management's Discussion & Analysis ("MD&A") for the year ended December 31, 2016. The outlook is provided to assist analysts and shareholders in formalizing their respective views on 2017. These measures are subject to change.

DIVIDEND

The Board of WSP declared a dividend of $0.375 per share. This dividend will be payable on or about April 15, 2017, to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 31, 2017.

FINANCIAL REPORT

This release includes, by reference, our 2016 financial reports, including the audited consolidated financial statements and MD&A of the Corporation.

For a copy of our 2016 financial results, including the MD&A and the audited consolidated financial statements, please visit our website at www.wsp-pb.com.

CONFERENCE CALL

WSP will hold a conference call at 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) on March 1, 2017, to discuss these results. The telephone numbers to access the conference call are 1-647-788-4922 or 1-877-223-4471 (toll-free).

A presentation of the fourth quarter and fiscal 2016 highlights and results will be available on the same day at www.wsp-pb.com in the Investors section, under Presentations & Events.

A replay of the call will be available until March 11, 2017. The telephone numbers to access the replay of the call are 1-416-621-4642 or 1-800-585-8367 (toll-free), access code 40918902. The replay of the conference call will also be available in the Investor section of the WSP website under Presentations & Events, in the days following the call.

RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Q4 YTD
2016 2015 2016 2015
(in millions of dollars, except number of shares and per share data) For the
period from September 25 to December 31
For the
period from September 27 to December 31
For the
period from January 1 to December 31
For the
period from January 1 to December 31
Revenues $1,798.4 $1,660.1 $6,379.6 $6,064.0
Less: Subconsultants and direct costs $470.7 $411.9 $1,484.5 $1,577.2
Net revenues* $1,327.7 $1,248.2 $4,895.1 $4,486.8
Personnel costs $987.4 $935.6 $3,704.4 $3,420.0
Occupancy costs $55.9 $56.9 $226.8 $215.0
Other operational costs(1) $148.9 $132.2 $466.9 $415.6
Share of earnings of associates $0.2 $(0.5 ) $(2.0 ) $(5.3 )
Adjusted EBITDA* $135.3 $124.0 $499.0 $441.5
Acquisition and integration costs* $15.1 $30.3 $32.9 $3.9
Amortization of intangible assets $20.4 $21.4 $81.1 $75.8
Depreciation of property, plant and equipment $23.7 $19.6 $78.4 $64.2
Financial expenses $9.7 $2.2 $38.9 $35.0
Share of depreciation of associates $0.8 $0.1 $1.9 $1.1
Earnings before income taxes $65.6 $50.4 $265.8 $261.5
Income-tax expense $10.0 $36.0 $67.1 $71.8
Share of tax of associates $(0.4 ) $- $- $1.1
Net earnings $56.0 $14.4 $198.7 $188.6
Attributable to:
- Shareholders $56.0 $14.7 $199.1 $188.8
- Non-controlling interests $- $(0.3 ) ($0.4 ) $(0.2 )
Basic net earnings per share $0.55 $0.15 $1.97 $2.05
Diluted net earnings per share $0.55 $0.15 $1.97 $2.05
Basic weighted average number of shares 101,257,040 99,109,839 100,883,512 92,280,269
Diluted weighted average number of shares 101,309,305 99,192,114 100,919,789 92,324,972
* Non-IFRS measures are described in the "Glossary" section of the MD&A
(1) Other operational costs include operation exchange loss or gain and interest income

NON-IFRS MEASURES

The Corporation reports its financial results in accordance with IFRS. However, in this press release, the following non-IFRS measures are used by the Corporation: net revenues; adjusted EBITDA; adjusted EBITDA margin; adjusted EBITDA before Global Corporate costs; adjusted EBITDA margin before Global Corporate costs; adjusted net earnings (loss); adjusted net earnings (loss) per share; adjusted net earnings (loss) excluding amortization of intangible assets related to acquisitions; adjusted net earnings (loss) excluding amortization of intangible assets related to acquisitions per share; acquisition and integration costs; backlog; funds from operations; funds from operations per share; free cash flow; free cash flow per share; days sales outstanding (or DSO) and net debt to adjusted EBITDA. Additional details for these non-IFRS measures can be found in WSP's MD&A, which is posted on WSP's website at www.wsp-pb.com, and filed with SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Management believes that these non-IFRS measures provide useful information to investors regarding the Corporation's financial condition and results of operations as they provide key metrics of its performance. These non-IFRS measures are not recognized under IFRS, do not have any standardized meaning prescribed under IFRS and may differ from similar computations as reported by other issuers, and accordingly may not be comparable. These measures should not be viewed as a substitute for the related financial information prepared in accordance with IFRS.

ABOUT WSP

As one of the world's leading professional services firms, WSP provides technical expertise and strategic advice to clients in the Property & Buildings, Transportation & Infrastructure, Environment, Industry, Resources (including Mining and Oil & Gas) and Power & Energy sector. We also offer highly specialized services in project delivery and strategic consulting. Our experts include engineers, advisors, technicians, scientists, architects, planners, surveyors and environmental specialists, as well as other design, program and construction management professionals. With approximately 36,000 talented people in 500 offices across 40 countries, we are uniquely positioned to deliver successful and sustainable projects, wherever our clients need us. www.wsp-pb.com.

Forward-looking statements

Certain information regarding WSP contained herein may constitute forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements may include estimates, plans, expectations, opinions, forecasts, projections, guidance or other statements that are not statements of fact. Although WSP believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to have been correct. These statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties and may be based on assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated or implied in the forward-looking statements. WSP's forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. The complete version of the cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements as well as a description of the relevant assumptions and risk factors likely to affect WSP's actual or projected results are included in the Management's Discussion and Analysis for the year ended December 31, 2016, which is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date hereof and WSP does not assume any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise unless expressly required by applicable securities laws.

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