Press Releases

  • Tuesday, May 12, 2015
    WSP Reports Solid Q1 2015 Results

    MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - May 12, 2015) - WSP Global Inc. (TSX:WSP) ("WSP" or the "Company") today announced its financial and operating results for the first quarter ended March 28, 2015.

    FIRST QUARTER FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

    • Revenues and net revenues of $1,403.7 million and $1,024.8 million, up 174.6% and 132.6%, respectively, mainly as a result of business acquisitions. Global organic growth of 14.2%; 11.8% organic growth on a constant currency basis and 2.4% due to favourable foreign exchange impact.

    • EBITDA of $85.3 million up $43.2 million or 102.6%. EBITDA margins at 8.3% of net revenues.

    • Net earnings attributable to shareholders, excluding non-underlying items (net of income taxes), at $31.8 million, or $0.36 per share up 83.8% and 9.1%, respectively.

    • Net earnings attributable to shareholders, excluding non-underlying items and amortization of intangible assets related to acquisitions (net of income taxes), at $43.0 million, or $0.48 per share up 100.9% and 17.1%, respectively.

    • Backlog at $4,674.4 million representing approximately 9.6 months of revenues, up $739.3 million or 18.8% compared to Q4 2014.

    • DSO stood at 85 days, stable compared to a year earlier.

    • Quarterly dividend declared of $0.375 per share, with a 50.9% Dividend Reinvestment Plan ("DRIP") participation.

    • Net debt to trailing twelve-month EBITDA ratio at 2.97x; incorporating full 12 month EBITDA for all acquisitions, ratio falls to 2.15x.

    FIRST QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS

    • On March 24, 2015 WSP announced that it had entered into an agreement with the Multiconsult Foundation (the "Foundation") pursuant to which WSP has agreed to sell all of its shares in Multiconsult AS ("Multiconsult"), representing 24.73% of the issued and outstanding shares of Multiconsult, to the Foundation (the "Shares"). The Foundation is currently a shareholder of Multiconsult and owns approximately 21% of the shares of Multiconsult. The transaction is subject to the completion of the proposed initial public offering of Multiconsult on the Oslo Stock Exchange (the "IPO") and to other customary closing conditions. If all conditions precedent are satisfied prior to June 30, 2015, the Shares will be transferred to the Foundation shortly prior to the closing of the IPO. The total gross proceeds to WSP would be approximately $85-95 million Canadian dollars. Closing of the transaction is subject to the satisfaction or waiver of all closing conditions and as such there is no assurance that the sale of the Shares will be completed.

    • On April 1, 2015 WSP acquired SPL Consultants Limited, a multi-disciplinary consulting professional services firm based in Ontario that provides a diverse range of specialized engineering solutions in environment, geotechnical and buildings science across Ontario. This acquisition will add 250 employees to WSP's workforce and will position the Corporation as one of the leading environmental professional services firm in Canada.

    • The integration of Parsons Brinckerhoff, acquired in 2014, is well on its way and progressing as planned. Organizational structures have been put in place across all operating business segments and we are on schedule to deliver on previously announced annual synergies of USD$25 million, of which half are expected to be realized by the end of 2015.

    "After a full quarter of combined activities with Parsons Brinckerhoff, we are seeing the strength and promise of our combined business," said Pierre Shoiry, WSP's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our enlarged firm continues to perform in line with our expectations, and we are pleased with the impact that expected connectivity and revenue synergies will have on our growth. Our diversification across markets and geographies, our professional services business model, as well as the depth and breadth of our technical expertise provide increased opportunities for our clients and employees, which should sustain performance for our shareholders".

    DIVIDEND

    The Board of WSP declared a dividend of $0.375 per share. This dividend will be payable on or about July 15, 2015, to shareholders of record at the close of business on June 30, 2015.

    FINANCIAL REPORT

    This release includes, by reference, the 2015 first quarter financial reports, including the unaudited interim consolidated financial statements and the Management Discussion & Analysis ("MD&A") of the Corporation.

    For a copy of our full financial results for the first quarter of 2015, including the MD&A and the unaudited interim consolidated financial statements, please visit our Website at www.wspgroup.com

    CONFERENCE CALL

    WSP will hold a conference call at 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) on May 12, 2015, 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 first quarter of 2015 highlights and results will be available on the same day at www.wspgroup.com in the Investors section, under Presentations & Events.

    A replay of the call will be available until May 22, 2015. The telephone numbers to access the replay of the call are 1-416-621-4642 or 1-800-585-8367 (toll-free), access code 14669794. 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.

    ANALYST AND INVESTOR DAY

    The Corporation also announced that it will be holding an Analyst and Investor Day on June 10, 2015 at the View of the World located in New York, NY (USA). During this event, that will be webcast live, members of the WSP / Parsons Brinckerhoff US Team will provide an overview of the US business segments, as well as the US growth strategy, which now represents one of the largest geographical regions of the Corporation. For additional information on the Analyst and Investor Day and to register, please visit the Investor section of our website at www.wspgroup.com.

    ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS

    WSP will hold its annual general meeting of shareholders on May 21, 2012, at 10 a.m. (Eastern time) at the McCord Museum (J. Armand Bombardier Hall), at 690 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, Quebec.

    RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

    Q1
    2015 2014
    (in millions of dollars, except number of shares and per share data) For the
    period from
    January 1 to March 28
    For the
    period from January 1 to
    March 29
    Revenues $1,403.7 $511.1
    Less: Subconsultants and direct costs $378.9 $70.5
    Net revenues* $1,024.8 $440.6
    Personnel costs $798.6 $336.2
    Other operational costs(1) $143.4 $65.3
    Share of earnings of associates ($2.5 ) ($3.0 )
    EBITDA* $85.3 $42.1
    Non-underlying items* $4.7 -
    Amortization of intangible assets $18.3 $8.6
    Depreciation of property, plant and equipment $14.0 $6.4
    Financial expenses $10.7 $3.6
    Share of depreciation of associates $0.5 $0.6
    Earnings (loss) before income taxes $37.1 $22.9
    Income tax expenses $8.6 $5.3
    Share of tax of associates $0.5 $0.7
    Net earnings (loss) $28.0 $16.9
    Attributable to:
    - Shareholders $28.3 $17.3
    - Non-controlling interests ($0.3 ) ($0.4 )
    Basic net earnings (loss) per share $0.32 $0.33
    Diluted net earnings (loss) per share $0.32 $0.33
    Basic weighted average number of shares 89,037,858 52,634,219
    Diluted weighted average number of shares 89,045,783 52,634,219
    * Non-IFRS measures as described in the 'Glossary' section.
    (1) The Other operational costs include operation exchange loss or gain and interest income.

    NON-IFRS MESURES

    The Corporation reports its financial results in accordance to IFRS. However, the following non-IFRS measures are used by the Corporation: net revenues; EBITDA; EBITDA margin; adjusted EBITDA; adjusted EBITDA margin; net earnings (loss) excluding non-underlying items and amortization of intangible assets related to acquisitions (net of income taxes); net earnings (loss) excluding non-underlying items and amortization of intangible assets related to acquisitions (net of income taxes) per share; backlog; funds from operations; funds from operations per share; free cash flow; free cash flow per share; days sales outstanding ("DSO") and net debt to EBITDA.

    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 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.

    Net revenues

    Net revenues are defined as revenues less direct costs for subconsultants and other direct expenses that are recoverable directly from the clients. Net revenues are not an IFRS measure and do not have a standardized definition within IFRS. Therefore, net revenues may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers. Investors are advised that net revenues should not be construed as an alternative to revenues for the period (as determined in accordance with IFRS) as an indicator of the Corporation's performance.

    EBITDA

    EBITDA is defined as earnings before non-underlying items, financial expenses, income tax expenses, depreciation and amortization. EBITDA is not an IFRS measure and does not have a standardized definition within IFRS. Investors are cautioned that EBITDA should not be considered an alternative to net earnings for the period (as determined in accordance with IFRS) as an indicator of the Corporation's performance, or an alternative to cash flows from operating, financing and investing activities as a measure of the liquidity and cash flows. The Corporation's method of calculating EBITDA may differ from the methods used by other issuers and, accordingly, the Corporation's EBITDA may not be comparable to similar measures used by other issuers.

    EBITDA margin

    EBITDA margin is defined as EBITDA expressed as a percentage of net revenues. EBITDA margin is not an IFRS measure.

    Adjusted EBITDA

    Adjusted EBITDA is defined as EBITDA excluding global corporate costs. Global corporate costs are expenses and salaries related to centralized functions, such as global Finance, Human Resources and Technology teams, which are not allocated to operating segments. This measure is not an IFRS measure. It provides Management with comparability from one region to the other.

    Adjusted EBITDA margin

    Adjusted EBITDA margin is defined as adjusted EBITDA expressed as a percentage of net revenues. Adjusted EBITDA margin is not an IFRS measure.

    Net earnings (loss) excluding non-underlying items and amortization of intangible assets related to acquisitions (net of income taxes) and net earnings (loss) excluding non-underlying items and amortization of intangible assets related to acquisitions (net of income taxes) per share

    Net earnings (loss) excluding non-underlying items and amortization of intangible assets related to acquisitions (net of income taxes) is not an IFRS measure. It provides a comparative measure of Corporation performance in a context of significant business combinations. This measure is defined as net earnings (loss) attributable to shareholders excluding non-underlying items and the amortization expense of backlogs, customer relationships, non-competition agreements and trade names accounted for in business combinations and the income tax effects related to this amortization.

    Net earnings (loss) excluding non-underlying items and amortization of intangible assets related to acquisitions (net of income taxes) per share is calculated using the basic weighted average number of shares.

    Non-underlying items

    Non-underlying items is not an IFRS measure. Non-underlying items are items of financial performance which the Corporation believes should be excluded in understanding the underlying financial performance achieved by Corporation. Non-underlying items include transaction and integration costs related to business acquisitions as well as costs of restructuring and reorganizing existing operations.

    Backlog

    Backlog is not an IFRS measure. It represents future revenues stemming from existing signed contracts to be completed. The Corporation's method of calculating backlog may differ from the methods used by other issuers and, accordingly, may not be comparable to similar measures used by other issuers.

    Funds from operations and funds from operations per share

    Funds from operations is not an IFRS measure. It provides Management and investors with a proxy for the amount of cash generated from (used in) operating activities before changes in non-cash working capital items.

    Funds from operations per share is calculated using the basic weighted average number of shares.

    Free cash flow and free cash flow per share

    Free cash flow is not an IFRS measure. It provides a consistent and comparable measurement of free cash flow generated from operations and is used as an indicator of financial strength and performance. Free cash flow is defined as cash flows from operating activities as reported in accordance with IFRS, less capital expenditures.

    Free cash flow per share is calculated using the basic weighted average number of shares.

    Days Sales Outstanding ("DSO")

    DSO is not an IFRS measure. It represents the average number of days to convert our trade receivables and costs and anticipated profits in excess of billings into cash, net of sales taxes. The Corporation's method of calculating DSO may differ from the methods used by other issuers and, accordingly, may not be comparable to similar measures used by other issuers.

    Net Debt to EBITDA

    Net Debt to EBITDA is not an IFRS measure. It is a measure of our level of financial leverage net of our cash and cash equivalents and is calculated on our trailing twelve month EBITDA.

    ABOUT WSP

    WSP, through its acquisition of Parsons Brinckerhoff, is one of the world's leading professional services firms in its industry, working with governments, businesses, architects and planners and providing integrated solutions across many disciplines. The firm provides services to transform the built environment and restore the natural environment, and its expertise ranges from environmental remediation to urban planning, from engineering iconic buildings to designing sustainable transport networks, and from developing the energy sources of the future to enabling new ways of extracting essential resources. It has approximately 31,000 employees, including engineers, technicians, scientists, architects, planners, surveyors environmental specialists, as well as other design, program and construction management professionals, based in more than 500 offices, across 39 countries, on 5 continents. www.wspgroup.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 Discussion and Analysis for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2014, which are 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.

    Alexandre L'Heureux
    Chief Financial Officer
    WSP Global Inc.
    514-340-0046, ext. 5310
    alexandre.lheureux@wspgroup.com

    Isabelle Adjahi
    Vice President, Investor Relations
    and Corporate Communications
    WSP Global Inc.
    514-340-0046, ext. 5648
    isabelle.adjahi@wspgroup.com