People Corporation (the “Company”) (TSX Venture: PEO) today announced financial results for the quarter and full year ended August 31, 2020. The Company also announced the closing of its previously announced acquisition of Alliance Pour La Santé Etudiante Au Quebec Inc. (“ASEQ”).
Laurie Goldberg, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer commented, “During 2020, 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 29.8%, of which organic revenue growth was 9.2%. Further, Adjusted EBITDA grew faster than revenue at a pace of 68.3% for the year. I am particularly proud of our team’s performance this year in light of the presence of COVID-19 and we are well positioned to continue navigating this environment with a laser focus on serving our clients and supporting our people.”
Mr. Goldberg continued, “During 2021, we will continue executing against our four key focus areas in order to drive growth in Revenue and Adjusted EBITDA. The two primary client needs that we identified over 10 years ago – cost containment and the efficient provision of mass customized solutions – are more relevant today than ever before. With these needs squarely in focus entering 2021, we will continue to enhance our suite of products, solutions and tools, while further expanding our national team of best in class consultants. People Corporation enters 2021 from a position of strength. The Company has an essential service offering, a concentration of clients in more defensive sectors, a robust organic growth engine, as further demonstrated by our 2020 results, and a solid balance sheet. Furthermore, as we continue to focus on targeted integration initiatives begun during 2020, People Corporation is well positioned to leverage the power of its growing scale and national distribution to drive growth and value for shareholders.”
Highlights of Financial Results for the Quarter and Full Year Ended August 31, 2020
Fiscal 2020 Highlights
- Revenue increased by 29.8% to $210.8 million from $162.5 million in 2019, including organic growth of 9.2%;
- Adjusted EBITDA increased by 68.3% to $60.7 million from $36.1 million in 2019;
- Adjusted net earnings increased to $15.0 million, compared to $6.2 million in 2019 and adjusted net earnings per share increased to $0.22, compared to $0.10 in 2019:
- Net loss improved to $2.2 million, compared to $2.6 million in 2019 and net loss per share improved to $0.03, compared to $0.04 in 2019:
- We acquired four companies: Collage Technologies Inc., Apri Group of Companies, Robin Veilleux Assurances et Rentes Collectives Inc. and Integrated Benefit Consultants Ltd.
Financial Results from Operations
The Company’s financial results for the three and twelve months ended August 31, 2020, fully reflect the effect of last year’s acquisitions of Benefit Partners Inc. (“BPI”), Life Benefit Solutions Inc. (“Life”), and ACL Student Benefits Ltd. (“ACL”). In addition, the partial effect of the current fiscal year acquisitions of Collage Technologies Inc. (“Collage”), Apri Group of Companies (“Apri”), Robin Veilleux Assurances et Rentes Collectives Inc. (“RVARC”) and Integrated Benefit Consultants Ltd. (“IBC”) are reflected in the current period.
The Company realized revenue growth for the three months ended August 31, 2020, of $11.1 million (25.8%). Organic growth of $2.2 million (5.1%) primarily from launching new services, gaining new clients, and increasing product and service penetration with existing clients. During the last 6 months of fiscal 2020, as a result of COVID-19, inflation did not contribute to organic growth as it has historically.
Adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended August 31, 2020, was $16.1 million, representing an increase of $6.1 million (61.9%), as compared to the same period in fiscal year 2019. Adjusting for the favourable impact of $1.0 million from adopting IFRS 16, and $2.7 million of government assistance provided through the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”), Adjusted EBITDA for the three months was $12.4 million, representing an increase of $2.4 million (24.5%), as compared to the same period in fiscal year 2019. Growth in Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter was primarily driven by contributions from acquired operations, organic revenue growth and general and administrative expense savings in the fourth quarter. The incremental general and administrative expense savings resulted from reduced discretionary spending in light of the current economic environment, including travel and business development. The factors increasing Adjusted EBITDA were partially offset by higher variable compensation expenses tied directly to the higher revenue and an expanded staff complement to accommodate growth in operations and the launch of our new disability management service during the year. In addition, the Company incurred higher administration fees related to the new services launched earlier in the year.
The Company reported Net loss for the three months ended August 31, 2020, of $2.8 million, a decrease of $5.7 million as compared to the Net income of $2.9 million reported in the prior fiscal year due to increased fair value adjustments related to non-controlling interest and contingent consideration obligations, higher depreciation and amortization expense, increased equity-based REI, partially offset by increase in Adjusted EBITDA of $6.1 million, as described above.
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 following strategic acquisitions:
- RVARC, a leading provider of group benefits consulting services based in Quebec, significantly increasing the Company’s presence in one of Canada’s largest provinces;
- Collage, a leading cloud‑based digital human resource employee benefits administration and payroll solution provider based in Ontario. The acquisition provides an entry into adjacent markets, expands the Company’s administrative and technological capabilities and also expands the breadth and depth of the Company’s product and service offering and the plan member experience;
- IBC, a provider of group benefits consulting services for companies throughout Alberta, increasing the Company’s presence in Western Canada; and
- Apri, one of the largest independent group benefits MGA and group benefits consulting firms in Canada with an established presence in multiple provinces and a strong reputation for innovative, client focused solutions. Apri’s JungoHR platform offers a HRIS focused on mid‑sized and enterprise‑level businesses, expanding the Company’s existing human resource solutions. Paired with the Collage Benefits HQ platform, the Company is able to provide a comprehensive solution and value proposition to its third party broker network as one of the largest group benefits MGAs in Canada.
Continued to invest in talent to support a growing client base and enhance our strategic capabilities:
- Appointed Brevan Canning President of People Corporation, effective May 21, 2020. Brevan has been with People Corporation since its inception in 2007 and has held senior leadership roles in its Third Party Administration, Group Benefits Consulting and Corporate and Shared Services business units. Most recently, he was Executive Vice President and Group Head, Group Solutions;
- Hired a head of Client Experience responsible for leading all aspects of the Client Experience organization and reinforcing a client-first culture throughout the Company;
- Re-organized senior leadership responsibilities to drive go to market effectiveness;
- Hired talent with expertise in three distinct market segments: group retirement, disability, and enterprise clients; and
- Hired talent throughout the country to support and further grow our expanded network of third party consultants.
Continued to execute integration initiatives to leverage the benefits of the platform:
- Expanded and enhanced the Client Excellence team to better support consultants and our clients;
- Continued to refine the recently launched MGA solution providing back office support to our third party consultants; and
- Initiated the consolidation and enhancement of the current client and back office platforms.
Launched new solutions, including:
- A suite of virtual health solutions including: a 24/7 online healthcare on the go solution; an on‑demand virtual care application providing members and their families with direct access to medical consultants; an online prescription delivery offering; a healthcare navigation solution providing a single point of contact throughout diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation; and a second opinion medical program to assist members and their families with making informed decisions regarding their health;
- People Connect, a new online mental health solution for clients; and
- A disability management and administration system solution.
Summary Financial Position
The Company had cash balances of $43.1 million as at August 31, 2020. In addition to its cash resources, the Company maintains a credit facility with its senior lenders that totals $125.0 million of credit capacity, with an option, subject to the satisfaction of certain terms and conditions, to increase the credit facility by an additional $50.0 million, to a total of $175.0 million overall. As of August 31, 2020, the Company had drawn $78.0 million against its credit facility.
Subsequent to the end of fiscal year 2020, the Company, in conjunction with its acquisition of ASEQ, exercised the accordion option on its credit facility to increase the revolving commitment from $125.0 million to the maximum of $175.0 million. The Company drew $63.8 million on its increased credit facility to fund the acquisition of Encompass Benefits & HR Solutions Inc., Watermark Benefit Consulting Inc., and ASEQ.
The complete Financial Statements and Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the three and twelve months ended August 31, 2020, along with additional information about the Company and all of its public filings are available at www.sedar.com.
Closes the Acquisition of Alliance Pour La Santé Etudiante Au Quebec Inc
On November 30th, the Company announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of the issued and outstanding shares of ASEQ, a privately-owned benefits consulting and administration firm focused on post-secondary students (the “Transaction”). All remaining closing conditions have been met and the Transaction was completed on December 1, 2020. The total purchase price for ASEQ was $56.4 million, of which $50.0 million was paid in cash on closing, and the remaining $6.4 million will be paid by way of deferred payments following the second anniversary of the closing, subject to potential adjustment related to the financial performance of the business. ASEQ shareholders may be eligible to receive additional payments in the four years following closing of the Transaction should the business exceed certain financial performance thresholds.
Grant of Long-term Equity Incentive Awards
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 16,876 deferred stock units to its independent directors, vesting immediately and otherwise subject to the terms of the Plan; and
- The Company issued 125,269 restricted stock units to its executives and certain senior management, vesting after three years and otherwise subject to the terms of the plan and performance conditions.
People Corporation will host a conference call on Monday, December 7, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss its 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 7, 2020 | 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 – Expiring December 21, 2020)
Conference ID: 07330257
Playback #: 330257
Listen to webcast: event.on24.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 three and nine months ended May 31, 2020, which can be accessed via the SEDAR Web site (www.sedar.com).
Investor Relations Inquiries:
Jonathan Ross, CFA
Investor Relations – People Corporation
Dennis Stewner, CPA, CA
CFO and COO – People Corporation