5N Plus Inc. Reports Results for Quarter and Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2014

MONTREAL, Feb. 24, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - 5N Plus Inc. (TSX: VNP),  the leading producer of specialty metal and chemical products, today reported financial results for the quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2014. All amounts are expressed in U.S. dollars.

  • EBITDA1 reached $39.4 million during the year compared to $63.9 million in 2013 (or $18.7 million excluding the $45.2 million gain realised following the MCP Group S.A. ("MCP") litigation settlement). Adjusted EBITDA1 increased to $35.0 million in 2014 compared to $30.4 million for 2013. EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA were respectively of $4.0 million and $5.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to $6.8 million and $7.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2013.
  • Revenues for 2014 reached $508.2 million up from $459.0 million in 2013. Revenues for the fourth quarter of 2014 reached $114.8 million, down from $119.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2013.
  • Net earnings for fiscal year 2014 were $10.7 million compared to $42.8 million in 2013 which included the positive impact of the MCP litigation settlement (or a loss of $2.4 million excluding the $45.2 million gain realised following the MCP litigation settlement). Net loss for the fourth quarter of 2014 reached $2.5 million, compared to net earnings of $1.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2013.
  • Net debt1 stood at $84.0 million, up from September 30, 2014 and up from $58.3 million as at December 31, 2013.
  • Bookings1 increased to $130.8 million in the quarter up from $101.3 million in the previous quarter. This compares with bookings of $156.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2013. Backlog1 as at December 31, 2014 stood at $153.2 million, up from $137.2 million in the previous quarter and down from $170.1 million one year ago.
  • On April 3, 2014, 5N Plus announced that it had acquired the remaining 33.33% ownership interest in its subsidiary Sylarus Technologies, LLC, located in St. George, Utah, and had changed its name to 5N Plus Semiconductors LLC.
  • On May 5, 2014, 5N Plus announced that it had completed the acquisition of all of the issued and outstanding shares in the capital of AM&M Advanced Machine and Materials Inc. ("AM&M").
  • On May 29, 2014, 5N Plus announced that it had entered into new supply agreements with First Solar, Inc., the world's leading thinfilm solar module manufacturer, covering First Solar's compound semiconductor needs until March 31, 2019.
  • On June 26, 2014, 5N Plus announced the closing of its offering of CA$60.0 million of convertible unsecured subordinated debentures and that the underwriters had purchased an additional CA$6.0 million.
  • On August 7, 2014, 5N Plus announced the closing of a senior secured multicurrency revolving credit facility of $125.0 million maturing in August 2018 (with an additional $25.0 million accordion feature) to replace its existing $100.0 million senior secured revolving facility.
  • On November 13, 2014, 5N Plus was named for a fifth consecutive year as one of Canada's fastest growing technology companies in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50TM based on the percentage of revenue growth over five years. 5N Plus' increase in revenues of 581% from 2009 to 2013 resulted in a number 23 ranking. 5N Plus was also ranked 179 on Deloitte's Technology Fast 500TM, a list of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies in North America.

 

Jacques L'Ecuyer, President and Chief Executive Officer, said "Fiscal year 2014 was close to our highest level in terms of profitability as we reached record EBITDA (excluding the impact of the MCP litigation settlement realized in 2013), despite a relatively soft fourth quarter. The year was mainly characterized by strong demand for most of our products with bismuth sales reaching a record level for a second consecutive year.  Demand for our solar products was also high as one of our main customers continues to make significant progress in terms of efficiency and costs demonstrating the overall competitiveness of the CdTe technology over other technologies and its ability to penetrate unsubsidized markets.  This was recently highlighted by Apple's decision to enter into a 25-year commercial power purchase agreement, the largest of its kind, for 130 MW of electricity produced using CdTe solar cells.  Sales of our other products were in line with expectations with important advances having been made during the year in our semiconductor substrate business where we are now fully qualified with both of the main US based suppliers of space solar cells."

Mr. L'Ecuyer continued, "We experienced however a relatively soft fourth quarter with demand being negatively impacted by significant underlying commodity price volatility. This is especially true for bismuth and gallium, the pricing of which has been under severe downward pressure following latest developments at the Fanya Metal Exchange which has forced us to record inventory impairment charges of $5.3 million in the quarter. We expect demand to recover in the first quarter although pricing volatility may continue. Our bookings and backlog increases recorded in the fourth quarter reflect this to a large extent with lower dollar figures being essentially associated with decreases in selling prices, following latest trends in underlying commodity prices, but not sales volumes. Similarly, should such pricing trends continue, we expect inventory dollar figures to come down together with our debt level as average unit pricing decreases."

Mr. L'Ecuyer further continued, "We improved financial flexibility in 2014, through the issuance of a convertible debenture and the renewal of our credit facility, enabling us to continue making progress in several strategic initiatives aimed at strengthening our position throughout the entire value chain.  This included, on one hand, additional investments in our Laos facility with the intent of expanding our primary refining capabilities and providing an efficient footprint for the treatment of the bismuth feedstock produced in Vietnam; and on the other, investments aimed at expanding our value-added product portfolio by fully leveraging our industrial and technological platform in the semiconductor substrate business and by acquiring the AM&M business and technology as we intend to rapidly position ourselves in the metal powder business. "

Mr. L'Ecuyer concluded, "Current underlying commodity pricing volatility is likely to continue to weigh on our financial performance but we remain cautiously optimistic about future demand and our ability to grow as we execute our strategic plan.  To our employees, I would like to thank you for your dedication and hard work in what has turned out to be a record year in many respects despite the competitive landscape we operate in.  To our stakeholders and shareholders, thank you as well for your continuing confidence and support."

Webcast Information
5N Plus will host a conference call on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 8:00 am ET with financial analysts to discuss results of the quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2014.  All interested parties are invited to participate in the live broadcast on the Company's Web site at www.5nplus.com.  A replay of the webcast and a recording of the Q&A will be available until March 4, 2015.

To participate in the conference call:

  • Montreal area: 514-807-9895
  • Toronto area: 647-427-7450
  • Toll-Free : 1-888-231-8191

 

Enter access code 89977726.

Non-IFRS Measures
EBITDA means net earnings (loss) before interest expenses (income), income taxes, depreciation and amortization. We use EBITDA because we believe it is a meaningful measure of the operating performance of our ongoing business without the effects of certain expenses. The definition of this non-IFRS measure used by the Company may differ from that used by other companies.

Adjusted EBITDA means EBITDA as defined above before impairment of inventories, litigation and restructuring costs, gain related to the settlement of the purchase price of MCP, gain on disposal of property, plant and equipment, change in fair value of debenture conversion option, foreign exchange and derivatives loss (gain). We use adjusted EBITDA because we believe it is a meaningful measure of the operating performance of our ongoing business without the effects of inventory write-downs. The definition of this non-IFRS measure used by the Company may differ from that used by other companies.

Net debt or net cash is a measure we use to monitor how much debt we have after taking into account cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash. We use it as an indicator of our overall financial position, and calculate it by taking our total debt, including the current portion, and subtracting cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash.

Backlog represents the expected value of orders we have received but have not yet executed and that are expected to translate into sales within the next twelve months. Bookings represents the value of orders received during the period considered and is calculated by adding revenues to the increase or decrease in backlog for the period considered. We use backlog to provide an indication of expected future revenues, and bookings to determine our ability to sustain and increase our revenues.

About 5N Plus Inc.
5N Plus is the leading producer of specialty metal and chemical products.  Fully integrated with closed-loop recycling facilities, the Company is headquartered in Montreal, Québec, Canada and operates manufacturing facilities and sales offices in several locations in Europe, the Americas and Asia.  5N Plus deploys a range of proprietary and proven technologies to produce products which are used in a number of advanced pharmaceutical, electronic and industrial applications.  Typical products include purified metals such as bismuth, gallium, germanium, indium, selenium and tellurium, inorganic chemicals based on such metals and compound semiconductor wafers.  Many of these are critical precursors and key enablers in markets such as solar, light-emitting diodes and eco-friendly materials.

Forward-Looking Statements and Disclaimer
This press release may contain forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws.  All information and statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this press release are forward-looking information.  Such statements and information may be identified by words such as "about", "approximately", "may", "believes", "expects", "will", "intends", "should", "plans", "predicts", "potential", "projects", "anticipates", "estimates", "continues" or similar words or the negative thereof or other comparable terminology.  Forward-looking statements are based on the best estimates available to 5N Plus at this time and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause 5N Plus' actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.  A description of the risks affecting 5N Plus' business and activities appears under the heading "Risk and Uncertainties" of 5N Plus' 2014 MD&A dated February 24, 2015 available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.  No assurance can be given that any events anticipated by the forward-looking information in this press release will transpire or occur, or if any of them do so, what benefits that 5N Plus will derive therefrom.  In particular, no assurance can be given as to the future financial performance of 5N Plus.  The forward-looking information contained in this press release is made as of the date hereof and 5N Plus undertakes no obligation to publicly update such forward-looking information to reflect new information, subsequent or otherwise, unless required by applicable securities laws.  The reader is warned against placing undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.

5N PLUS INC.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF FINANCIAL POSITION




(Figures in thousands of United States dollars)







As at
December 31,
2014

As at
December 31,
2013


$

$




ASSETS



Current



Cash and cash equivalents

12,777

22,427

Restricted cash

2,115

2,490

Accounts receivable

72,391

60,616

Inventories

204,454

174,374

Income tax receivable

2,705

8,455

Derivative financial assets

147

955

Other current assets

2,965

2,290

Total current assets

297,554

271,607

Property, plant and equipment

68,261

59,614

Intangible assets

15,728

13,143

Deferred tax asset

11,037

13,387

Investment accounted for using the equity method

316

444

Other assets

6,635

7,045

Total non-current assets

101,977

93,633

Total assets

399,531

365,240




LIABILITIES AND EQUITY



Current



Bank indebtedness

975

10,462

Trade and accrued liabilities

60,286

65,016

Income tax payable

6,064

3,660

Derivative financial liabilities

-

3,284

Long-term debt due within one year

667

4,439

Total current liabilities

67,992

86,861

Long-term debt

51,156

68,346

Convertible debentures

46,101

-

Deferred tax liability

3,111

1,600

Retirement benefit obligation

16,928

15,887

Derivative financial liabilities

2,093

953

Other liabilities

15,711

1,064

Total non-current liabilities

135,100

87,850

Total liabilities

203,092

174,711

Shareholders' equity

196,443

190,052

Non-controlling interest

(4)

477

Total equity

196,439

190,529

Total liabilities and equity

399,531

365,240




5N PLUS INC.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS
For the fiscal years ended December 31
(Figures in thousands of United States dollars, except per share information)





December 31, 2014

December 31, 2013


$

$




Revenues

508,195

459,012

Cost of sales

445,673

405,114

Selling, general and administrative expenses

36,922

36,066

Other expenses (income), net

8,778

(32,854)

Share of loss from joint ventures

128

59


491,501

408,385

Operating earnings

16,694

50,627




Gain on disposal of property, plant and equipment

1,312

-




Financial expenses (revenues)



Interest on long-term debt

5,465

5,935

Imputed interest and other interest expense

3,304

2,589

Changes in fair value of debenture conversion option

(7,179)

-

Foreign exchange and derivative gain

(3,111)

(2,590)


(1,521)

5,934

Earnings before income tax

19,527

44,693

Income tax expense




Current

4,875

4,338


Deferred

3,979

(2,425)


8,854

1,913

Net earnings for the year

10,673

42,780




Attributable to:



Equity holders of 5N Plus Inc.

10,812

42,661

Non-controlling interest

(139)

119


10,673

42,780

Earnings per share attributable to equity holders of 5N Plus Inc.

0.13

0.51

Basic earnings per share

0.13

0.51

Diluted earnings per share

0.05

0.51


5N PLUS INC.
(Figures in thousands of United States dollars)








Cash Flows








Q4 2014

Q4 2013

% Change

2014

2013

% Change


$

$


$

$


Funds from operations1

4,030

9,043

(55%)

17,592

20,033

(12%)

Net changes in non-cash working capital items

(8,019)

372

(2,256%)

(34,765)

27,930

(224%)

Operating activities

(3,989)

9,415

(142%)

(17,173)

47,963

(136%)

Investing activities

(4,529)

(3,755)

21%

(15,753)

(11,748)

34%

Financing activities

11,268

3,510

221%

24,121

(22,410)

(208%)

Effect of foreign exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents related to operations

(261)

(382)

(32%)

(845)

(913)

(7%)

Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents

2,489

8,788

(72%)

(9,650)

12,892

(175%)















Revenues by Segment








Q4 2014

Q4 2013

% Change

2014

2013

% Change


$

$


$

$


Electronic Materials Segment

41,898

46,264

(9%)

169,367

179,368

(6%)

Eco-Friendly Materials Segment

72,883

73,152

-

338,828

279,644

21%

Total revenues

114,781

119,416

(4%)

508,195

459,012

11%















Adjusted EBITDA








Q4 2014

Q4 2013

% Change

2014

2013

% Change








Electronic Materials

4,853

4,006

21%

23,642

22,466

5%

Eco-Friendly Materials

3,106

6,474

(52%)

22,167

16,285

36%

Corporate

(2,302)

(2,538)

(9%)

(10,764)

(8,376)

29%

Adjusted EBITDA1

5,657

7,942

(29%)

35,045

30,375

15%












Backlog and Bookings





BACKLOG1

BOOKINGS1


Q4 2014

Q3 2014

Q4 2013

Q4 2014

Q3 2014

Q4 2013


$

$

$

$

$

$

Electronic Materials

83,676

79,753

80,382

45,821

37,259

54,337

Eco-Friendly Materials

69,483

57,430

89,691

84,936

63,999

101,800

Total

153,159

137,183

170,073

130,757

101,258

156,137

________________________________
1 See Non-IFRS Measures

SOURCE 5N Plus Inc.

For further information: Jean Mayer, Vice President, Legal Affairs and Corporate Secretary, 5N Plus Inc., (514) 856-0644 x6178, invest@5nplus.com

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