Press Releases

  • Thursday, May 21, 2015
    WSP Announces Results of Annual Shareholders' Meeting and Presents Its 2015-2018 Strategic Plan

    MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - May 21, 2015) - WSP Global Inc. (TSX:WSP) ("WSP" or the "Corporation") today held its annual meeting of shareholders (the "Meeting") at the McCord Museum in Montreal. A total of 68,529,488 common shares (representing approximately 76% of all issued and outstanding common shares of the Corporation) were represented in person or by proxy at the Meeting. The Corporation hereby announces that shareholders of the Corporation (the "Shareholders") voted in favour of all items of business put forth at the Meeting by the Corporation. The Corporation also presented highlights of its 2015-2018 Strategic Plan.

    The complete voting results for each item of business at the Meeting are as follows:

    ELECTION OF DIRECTORS

    The Board of directors of the Corporation fixed to eight (8) the number of directors (the "Directors") to be elected at the Meeting. Each of the eight nominees listed in the Corporation's Management Information Circular dated April 9, 2015 were elected as a Director of WSP until the end of the next annual meeting of Shareholders of the Corporation or until their successors are appointed. All of the nominee Directors were currently members of the Corporation's Board of directors.

    Nominee Votes For % For Votes Withheld % Withheld
    Richard Bélanger 67,208,258 98.26 % 1,190,236 1.74 %
    Christopher Cole 65,617,775 95.93 % 2,780,719 4.07 %
    Birgit Nørgaard 67,455,515 98.62 % 942,979 1.38 %
    Josée Perreault 67,680,719 98.95 % 717,775 1.05 %
    George J. Pierson 62,609,437 91.54 % 5,789,057 8.46 %
    Pierre Seccareccia 67,466,433 98.64 % 932,061 1.36 %
    Pierre Shoiry 66,301,918 96.93 % 2,096,576 3.07 %
    Pierre Simard 67,427,345 98.58 % 971,149 1.42 %

    APPOINTMENT OF AUDITORS

    PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Chartered Professional Accountants, was appointed as auditor of WSP until the close of the next annual general Shareholders' meeting, and the Directors were authorized to fix the remuneration of the auditors.

    Votes For % For Votes Withheld % Withheld
    67,395,103 98.35 % 1,134,085 1.65 %

    NON-BINDING ADVISORY VOTE ON EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

    Shareholders were also provided with a non-binding, advisory vote on executive compensation to provide their views on the executive compensation plans and related disclosed objectives.

    During today's Meeting, Shareholders voted in favour of such advisory as follows:

    Votes For % For Votes Against % Against
    67,119,413 98.13 % 1,279,081 1.87 %

    As mentioned in the Corporation's Management Information Circular dated April 9, 2015, while Shareholders have provided their collective advisory vote, the Directors remain fully responsible for their compensation decisions and are not relieved of these responsibilities by a positive advisory vote by Shareholders.

    The foregoing voting results will be published on the Corporation website (www.wspgroup.com) under "Investors" and filed on SEDAR (www.sedar.com).

    HIGLIGHTS FROM WSP'S 2015-2018 STRATEGIC PLAN

    During the Meeting, Pierre Shoiry, President and Chief Executive Officer of WSP presented the highlights of the Corporation's 2015-2018 strategic plan which aims to support the Corporation's vision to "Always be the first choice for clients, partners and employees".

    Based on four fundamental principles which are the basis of the Corporation's continued success - employees, clients, operational excellence and expertise- the 2015-2018 strategic plan aims to maintain WSP's track record of consistent revenues growth, margin increase and cash discipline. Detailed strategies for each of these four fundamentals pillars have been developed, in line with the Corporation's strategic priorities.

    While presenting the 2015-2018 strategic plan, Pierre Shoiry offered the following remarks: "This strategic plan is one of continuity and is built on our technical capabilities, our quality service offering, as well as our ability to seize opportunities. It sets out various priorities and initiatives aimed at achieving excellence by broadening our array of services, including creating a company-wide differentiation in the area of advisory services, which will enable us to develop more strategic relations with our clients by assisting them in the optimization of their assets and the development of their capital investments." He concluded by saying: "We are excited about the opportunities that will arise in the future and have great confidence in our people to achieve these objectives. The success of this strategic plan will be measured in terms of client retention, organic growth, employee engagement, operational performance and, of course, return on investment for shareholders".

    2015-2018 STRATEGIC PLAN

    WSP's 2015-2018 strategic plan comprises 3 elements, each of which should contribute to a stronger performance of the Corporation going forward. These elements are acquisitions, organic growth and strategic initiatives.

    Acquisitions: WSP will further develop its geographic and enhance its market sector footprint through a disciplined and structured M&A strategy which should enable it to create revenue synergies and increased value creation for clients, shareholders and employees.

    The Corporation's regions of choice to continue to expand will be Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Nordics, Australia, Colombia, China and selected South Asian countries, as well as the Middle East. It will also evaluate its expansion in Continental Europe, South America and Africa.

    In all these regions, the Corporation will focus its efforts on consolidating and developing locally its core market segments in building, transportation, infrastructure and environment. It will also expand its resource-based expertise by following existing clients globally and by leveraging the presence it already has in regions which have mining and oil and gas opportunities. Finally, the industrial and energy sector is one in which the Corporation wants to enhance its global reputation, through the leveraging of its technical centers of excellence worldwide.

    Organic growth: WSP will strive to operate efficiently and effectively to achieve the highest standards of client service and project delivery and to achieve the highest quality, on time and on budget. Through the leveraging of its technical networks, cross selling activities and revenue synergy strategies, the Corporation will also drive organic growth with its existing clients, while winning new clients and new projects.

    Strategic Initiatives: the coming together of WSP and Parsons Brinckerhoff has significantly enhanced the Corporation's portfolio of technical capabilities and provides the opportunity to drive specific initiatives that will create revenue synergies and help the Corporation move upstream in its clients' organizations, while delivering more strategic services. The Corporation has thus decided to grow its core value propositions by focusing on the following strategic initiatives:

    • Develop more front-end advisory services such as project/program management, advisory services in buildings sciences, as well as infrastructure and environment strategic consulting;
    • Globally leverage the Corporation's capabilities in specific subsectors such as high-rise building, rail, aviation, healthcare, large urban centers and sustainability. Revenue synergies will be a focal point of this global initiative aimed at making the most of the Corporation's integrated offering; and
    • Capitalize on the Corporation's strategic relationships with its clients to develop and invest in infrastructure projects that require non-traditional funding, while avoiding exposure to construction risk.

    FINANCIAL OBJECTIVES

    Solid financial performance and management have been essential for WSP's success to date and will remain so going forward. By the end of 2018, the Corporation aims to:

    • Reach $6.0 billion in net revenues through a combination of organic and acquisitive growth. Of this, $1.3 billion should be achieved through acquisitions of complementary and like-minded firms and the balance generated organically, which should translate into a 5% annual organic growth;
    • Deliver EBITDA margins higher than 11.0%;
    • Remain below the 85-days DSO mark;
    • Generate free cash flow equal or higher to its net earnings;
    • Maintain its leverage between 1.5 to 2.0 times EBITDA; and
    • Reach a workforce of 45,000 people across the globe

    WEBCAST

    The Meeting was covered by an audio webcast, available on WSP's website in the "Investors" Section.

    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.

    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.

    Pierre Shoiry
    President and CEO
    WSP Global Inc.
    (514) 340-0046, ext. 5104
    pierre.shoiry@wspgroup.com

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