WINNIPEG, Manitoba. December 9, 2019: People Corporation (the “Company”) (TSX Venture: PEO) today announced financial results for the quarter and full year ended August 31, 2019.
Laurie Goldberg, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer commented, “During 2019, we continued to make meaningful progress against our four key focus areas: sales and service; products; strategic acquisitions; and integration. These efforts resulted in solid financial progress during the year, with Revenue growing 24.5%, of which organic revenue growth was 8.9%. Further, Adjusted EBITDA grew faster than revenue at a pace of 31.0% for the year.”
Mr. Goldberg continued, “2020 will be another important year in our ongoing journey to build People Corporation into Canada’s premier independent provider of group benefit consulting and third-party administration services, group retirement services and human resource consulting. We will remain focused on executing against our four key focus areas in order to drive growth in Revenue and Adjusted EBITDA both organically and through judicious acquisitions. We are better positioned than ever to offer industry-leading services to our clients and their plan members, with access to a deeper pool of products, solutions and tools, delivered by best in class consultants. We have also taken steps to further integrate our national footprint through recent strategic acquisitions, where we see opportunities to generate synergies across our platform. We are in the early innings of leveraging the power of our growing scale and national distribution and are carving a pathway to a multi-year opportunity to drive growth and value for our shareholders, and generate sustainable long-term returns on capital.”
Highlights of Financial Results for the quarter and full year ended August 31, 2019
- Revenue increased 24.5% to $162.5 million from $130.5 million in 2018, including organic revenue growth of 8.9%;
- Adjusted EBITDA increased 31.0% to $36.1 million compared with $27.5 million in 2018;
- Adjusted net earnings decreased to $6.2 million, compared with $7.4 million in 2018 and adjusted net earnings per share decreased to $0.10, compared with $0.14 in 2018;
- Net loss improved $2.6 million, compared with $6.9 million in 2018 and net loss per share improved $0.04, compared with $0.13 in 2018;
- Acquired 3 new operating practices: ACL Student Benefits Ltd., Life Benefit Solutions Inc. and Benefit Partners Inc;
Financial Results from Operations
The Company’s financial results for the three and twelve months ended August 31, 2019, fully reflect the effect of last year’s acquisitions of Assurances Dalbec (“Dalbec”), Rockwater Benefits Company Ltd. (“Rockwater”), Lane Quinn Benefit Consultants Ltd. (“Lane Quinn”) and Silverberg & Associates Inc. (“Silverberg”). In addition, the effect of the current year acquisitions of Benefit Partners Inc. (“BPI”), Life Benefit Solutions Inc. (“Life”) and ACL Student Benefits Ltd. (“ACL”) are reflected in the current period.
The Company realized revenue growth for the three months ended August 31, 2019, of $6.9 million (19.1%). Organic growth of $3.3 million (9.1%) was recognized primarily from gaining new clients, increasing product and service penetration with existing clients and natural inflationary factors. The Company recognized acquired growth of $3.6 million (10.0%) resulting from the acquired operations of Silverberg, Life, BPI, and ACL.
Adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended August 31, 2019, was $9.9 million, an increase of $2.2 million (28.2%). Growth in Adjusted EBITDA for the three month period was primarily driven by contribution from acquired operations and the increase in fourth quarter organic revenue growth. This growth was partially offset by increases in variable compensation expenses tied directly to the higher revenue and expanded leadership primarily in Ontario and Western Canada to accommodate integration and current growth. The Company continued its investment in sales and support staff, along with marginal increases within the Corporate support function. The increase in Adjusted EBITDA was supplemented by a decrease in the amount due to the holders of the REI of $0.1 million (6.4%), primarily as a result of additional economic interest acquired by the Company during the year.
The Company reported Net income for the three months ended August 31, 2019 of $2.9 million, an increase of $12.4 million, due to higher Adjusted EBITDA and a reduction in fair value adjustments relating to the non-controlling interest put options and contingent consideration obligations.
Strategic and Operational Highlights
The Company continues to make significant progress on executing its strategic plan, while at the same time making investments to position the Company for ongoing future growth. Some notable milestones include:
- Completed the acquisitions of ACL Student Benefits Ltd., Life Benefit Solutions Inc. and Benefit Partners Inc.;
- Launched a new disability management and administration system solution;
- Completed and launched the pilot for People Care, a new online Mental Health solution for clients;
- Added partners to the Company’s market leading Preferred Provider Network, allowing our clients to access value added offerings and preferred pricing at some of Canada’s most recognized national retailers;
- Added the “HR @ Your Service” product to our Sirius small group solution;
- Launched a managing general agent solution to provide back office support to our third party consultants;
- Enhanced our small group offerings by expanding our carrier partnerships;
- Appointed Sue Tardi to the position of Chief Human Resources Officer;
- Hired senior leaders in Western Canada and Ontario and established regional office support to support the client base in these regions;
- Hired a new senior leader in Group Retirement Solutions with extensive enterprise market experience and several new professionals to support clients with expertise in product development, underwriting, sales and service, and group retirement and two senior corporate development resources to deepen and expand our ability to execute acquisitions;
- Completed the build‑out of the new corporate office in Laval, Quebec and integrated the Quebec based businesses;
- Initiated the first phase of integration related to shared support functions for the recently acquired firms, including Lane Quinn, Silverberg, BPI, Life, and ACL ; and
- Amended and increased the bank credit facility to $125 million in committed credit availability, with an option to increase the facility by an additional $50 million, to a total of $175 million to fund future growth initiatives.
Summary Financial Position
The Company is well-funded to execute on its growth strategy, with a strong financial position and access to capital. The Company had cash balances of $12.5 million as at August 31, 2019. In addition to its cash resources, the Company maintains a credit facility with its senior lenders that totals $125 million of credit capacity, with an option, subject to the satisfaction of certain terms and conditions, to increase the Facility by an additional $50 million, to a total of $175 million overall. As of August 31, 2019, the Company has drawn $71.2 million on the various components of it credit facility, leaving $53.8 million of unused credit capacity.
The complete Financial Statements and Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the three and twelve months ended August 31, 2019, along with additional information about the Company and all of its public filings are available at www.sedar.com.
Grant of Deferred Stock Units
The Company has granted long-term equity incentive awards to its independent directors. These incentive awards were granted under the Company’s Security Based Compensation Plan (the “Plan”), established to reward directors and senior officers and employees, based on individual and corporate performance, to align their interests with that of the Company and to provide long-term incentives.
- The Company granted 17,392 deferred stock units to its independent directors, vesting immediately and otherwise subject to the terms of the Plan; and
- The Company permits its directors to elect to take their director’s fees in the form of deferred stock units issued under the Company’s Security Based Compensation Plan, in lieu of cash payments. This quarter, the Company has granted 2,092 deferred stock units to directors in this regard.
Grant of Stock Options
The Company has granted options to a senior executive of the Company to acquire a total of 100,000 common shares of the Company on December 4, 2019. The options were granted in accordance with the Company’s Security Based Compensation Plan (“the Plan”) to reward the senior executive for individual and corporate performance, to align their interests with that of the Company and to provide for long-term incentives.
All of the granted options are subject to cliff vesting on the third anniversary of the issuance. Of the 100,000 options granted, 60% or 60,000 are performance conditioned options, with a requirement for the Company’s share price to reach a threshold of $12 in order for these options to vest. The remaining 40% or 40,000 are regular options. All of the options have an exercise price of $9.09 per share, have a term of 5 years and otherwise are subject to the terms of the Plan.
People Corporation will host a conference call on Monday, December 9, 2019, at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss its fourth quarter financial results and provide investors with key business highlights. The call will be chaired by Laurie Goldberg, Executive Chairman & CEO and Dennis Stewner, CFO & COO.
Date: December 9, 2019 | Time: 8:30am ET
Participant Dial-in: 416-764-8688 or 1-888-390-0546
Replay Dial-in: 416-764-8677 or 1-888-390-0541 (Available for 2 weeks) Conference ID: 59642113
Playback #: 642113
Listen to webcast: event.on24.com
About People Corporation
People Corporation (https://www.peoplecorporation.com) 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.
This news release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable securities laws, such as statements 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 a “forward-looking” statement. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including those described in the Company’s publicly filed documents (available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com). Those risks and uncertainties include the ability to maintain profitability and manage organic or acquisition growth, reliance on information systems and technology, reputation risk, dependence on key clients, reliance on key professionals and general economic conditions. Many of these risks and uncertainties can affect the Company’s actual results and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement made by the Company or on its behalf. Given these risks and uncertainties, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results. All forward-looking statements in this news release are qualified by these cautionary statements. These statements are made as of the date of this news release and, except as required by applicable law, the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additionally, the Company undertakes 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, REI, Adjusted EBITDA before REI, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted Net Earnings 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, 2019, which can be accessed via the SEDAR Web site (www.sedar.com).
Investor Relations Inquiries:
Investor Relations – People Corporation
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