Aecon reports second quarter results

    
    - - Revenues up and, as expected, earnings down versus a year ago - -

    Second Quarter Highlights
    -------------------------

    -   Revenues of $682 million (up 11% from the same period last year)

    -   EBITDA of $25.1 million (down $6.4 million from the same period last
        year)

    -   EPS of $0.14 per share (down $0.04 per share from the same period
        last year)

    -   Backlog reaches a record $2.7 billion (up $1.1 billion)

    -   Outlook remains positive
    

TORONTO, Aug. 3 /CNW/ - Aecon Group Inc. (TSX: ARE) today reported its financial results for the second quarter of 2010.

    
    Revenue, Operating Results and Net Income
    -----------------------------------------

                                    Three Months Ended      Six Months Ended
                                           June 30               June 30
    $ millions, except            -------------------------------------------
    per share amounts                  2010       2009       2010       2009
                                       ----       ----       ----       ----

    Revenues                       $    682   $    613   $  1,108   $    954
    Gross profit                       55.1       63.4       82.5       96.0
    EBITDA                             25.1       31.5       29.1       38.4
    Depreciation and amortization      (9.5)     (15.0)     (17.5)     (23.0)
    Operating profit                   15.6       16.5       11.5       15.3
    Interest expense, net              (4.9)      (1.3)      (9.9)         -
    Earnings before taxes              10.7       15.2        1.6       15.3
    Income tax recovery (expense)      (2.2)      (4.6)       1.5       (4.3)
    Net income                          7.8        9.9        1.2        9.3
                                  --------------------- ---------------------
    Earnings per share - diluted   $   0.14   $   0.18   $   0.02   $   0.17
                                  --------------------- ---------------------
    Backlog - June 30              $  2,722   $  1,660  ---------------------
                                  ---------------------
                                  ---------------------
    

Second quarter revenues reached a record $682 million, an increase of $68 million over the same period last year. The increase reflects growth in the Industrial and Buildings segments, partially offset by small decreases in the Infrastructure and Concessions segments.

EBITDA (representing income from operations before net interest expense, income taxes, depreciation, and amortization and non-controlling interests) of $25.1 million in the quarter represents a decrease of $6.4 million from the second quarter of 2009, primarily as a result of project losses reported in the Buildings segment.

Depreciation and amortization expense of $9.5 million in the quarter was $5.5 million lower than in the same quarter last year, due to lower amortization charges this year on intangible assets resulting from the South Rock and Lockerbie acquisitions, and from lower amortization expense on concession rights relating to the Quito airport project.

Operating profit (representing income from operations before interest expense, income taxes and non-controlling interests) declined by $0.9 million to $15.6 million, as increased operating profits in the Infrastructure, Industrial and Concessions segments were offset by project losses incurred in the Buildings segment.

Increased interest expense related to the convertible debentures issued in the third quarter of 2009 and an increase in non-recourse project debt brought earnings before taxes (representing income from operations before income taxes and non-controlling interests) to $10.7 million in the quarter, compared to $15.2 million in the same quarter of 2009.

Net income of $7.8 million ($0.14 per diluted share) in the quarter compares to $9.9 million ($0.18 per diluted share) in the same period last year.

    
    Outlook
    -------
    

The growing strength and duration of Aecon's backlog provides management with increased visibility and confidence in its outlook, an important attribute in an economic environment that is still recovering from the recent recession.

In addition, Aecon's diverse operations and broad national presence, both of which are unmatched by any publicly traded company in the industry, allows it to mitigate the impact of downturns in any one sector or region. And its strong balance sheet, financial liquidity and substantial surety capacity, each of which are among the strongest in the Canadian industry, position Aecon well to exploit the many growth opportunities that exist in today's market.

"Aecon's outlook remains positive," said John M. Beck, Aecon's Chairman and CEO. "Record backlog, the durability of the public infrastructure markets, and the now evident return to strength of the oilsands and industrial markets, combine to signal continued strong financial performance throughout 2010 and even more so into 2011 and 2012."

"We have taken a number of positive steps to address the continued underperformance in the Buildings segment, and we are confident that the right measures are in place," said Aecon President Scott Balfour. "The overall results reported this quarter demonstrate the strength of Aecon's business model, showing that we can still deliver strong overall performance even in the face of challenging markets and contracts within certain segments."

    
    Backlog and New Business Awards
    -------------------------------
    

Backlog at June 30, 2010 reached a record $2.7 billion, with all three construction segments reporting increases over the same time last year. The largest increase occurred in the Infrastructure segment, where backlog more than doubled to $1.2 billion.

Notably, the number of large multi-year contracts secured over the past several months has boosted the value of Aecon's long duration backlog (that with a duration of more than 12 months) to more than $1 billion, from $378 million a year ago.

New contract awards in the quarter also reached record levels, with $1.29 billion in new awards received this year compared with $478 million in the same quarter last year.

Not included in backlog, but important to Aecon's prospects due to the significant volumes involved, are the expected revenues from Aecon's growing alliances and supplier-of-choice arrangements where the amount of work to be carried out is not specified.

A substantial portion of Aecon's bidding pipeline and backlog includes large projects such as major highway extensions, hydroelectric plants, hospitals and public transit projects. As such, it is expected that Aecon's new business and backlog profile will be somewhat 'lumpy' over the next several quarters, with large increases in some quarters, when one or more of these large projects are awarded, and little change or small declines in quarters where no large projects are awarded.

    
    Second Quarter Business Highlights
    ----------------------------------

    -   In April of 2010, Aecon announced that its Infrastructure Division
        had partnered with Acciona Infrastructures Canada Inc., Dragados
        Canada Inc., and Verreault Inc. in Nouvelle Autoroute 30 CJV, the
        construction joint venture carrying out the expansion of Autoroute 30
        near Montreal, one of the largest projects Aecon has ever undertaken.

    -   In June of 2010, Aecon announced that its Infrastructure Division had
        partnered with Peter Kiewit Sons Co. for a $1.7 billion design build
        contract awarded by Ontario Power Generation for the construction of
        the Lower Mattagami Hydroelectric Complex, about 70 km northeast of
        Kapuskasing, Ontario. Aecon's 20% participation in this project makes
        it the largest single contract in Aecon's history.

    -   In June of 2010, Aecon invested $59 million in 3.5 million shares of
        Churchill Corporation. The purchase is for investment purposes, and
        may also present opportunities to explore areas of mutual interest
        between the two companies.

    -   Average week day traffic on the Cross Israel Highway in June 2010
        reached 134,000 vehicles, a 23% increase over June 2009.

    -   Nearly 1.2 million passengers passed through the existing Quito
        airport in the first six months of 2010, a 9% increase over the same
        period in 2009.

    Subsequent Events
    -----------------
    

On July 15, 2010, Aecon announced that it had signed an agreement to sell its 25% interest in the Cross Israel Highway concessionaire, Derech Eretz Highways (1997) Ltd. for $77.8 million, subject to certain adjustments on closing. The transaction agreement anticipates closing in the fourth quarter of 2010, although the sale remains subject to a number of third party approvals. The $77.8 million sale price represents approximately two times the book value of Aecon's investment, and is expected to generate an after tax gain of approximately $30 million upon completion of the sale.

    
    Segmented Results
    -----------------
    

Aecon reports its results in four segments: Infrastructure, Buildings, Industrial and Concessions.

- Infrastructure

The Infrastructure segment includes all aspects of civil construction from highways, bridges and tunnels to airports, marine facilities, transit and power projects as well as utilities construction.

    

    Financial Highlights(1)(2)(3)        Three Months          Six Months
    ($ millions)                        Ended June 30         Ended June 30
                                  ---------------------- --------------------
                                       2010       2009       2010       2009
                                       ----       ----       ----       ----

    Revenues                       $    224   $    234   $    322   $    345

    EBITDA                              8.3        7.4        0.9       (2.9)

    Segment operating profit (loss)     4.5        2.4       (5.7)     (10.8)
                                  ----------------------
    Segment operating margin           2.0%       1.0%      (1.8)%     (3.1)%

    Backlog - June 30                                    $  1,200   $   588
                                                        ---------------------
                                                        ---------------------

    (1) Segment operating profit (loss) represents the profit (loss) from
        operations, before net interest expense, income taxes and non
        controlling interests.

    (2) Segment operating margin is calculated as segment operating profit
        (loss) as a percentage of revenues.

    (3) Included in backlog at June 30, 2010 is $35 million (2009 - $71
        million) related to the Quito airport project. Although Aecon's 50%
        share of the remaining construction revenues from this project is
        estimated at $61 million (2009 - $123 million), the amount reported
        as backlog has been reduced by $26 million (2009 - $52 million) or
        42.3%. This reduction is to reflect the fact that since Aecon has a
        42.3% interest in the concession joint venture for which the Quito
        airport is being constructed, it cannot report revenue, and therefore
        does not report backlog, that effectively arises from transacting
        with itself.
    

In the Infrastructure segment, second quarter revenues of $224 million were $10 million lower than last year, as revenue increases in civil operations were offset by declines in materials, utilities and international operations.

Segment operating profit of $4.5 million in the quarter represents a $2.1 million increase over the second quarter of 2009 due to operating profit increases in civil and international operations, which offset decreases in materials and utilities operations.

Driven primarily by the addition of the A30 highway project near Montreal, and the Lower Mattagami hydroelectric project in Ontario, backlog at June 30th reached a record $1.2 billion, more than double the $588 million recorded at the same time last year. New contract awards totalling $871 million were recorded in the quarter, which compares with awards of $162 million in the same period last year.

- Buildings

The Buildings segment includes all aspects of Aecon's commercial, institutional and multi-unit residential building construction and renovation activities.

    

    Financial Highlights                 Three Months           Six Months
    ($ millions)                        Ended June 30         Ended June 30
                                  ---------------------- --------------------
                                       2010       2009       2010       2009
                                       ----       ----       ----       ----

    Revenues                       $    141   $    115   $    280   $    223

    EBITDA                            (10.1)       1.1       (9.0)       0.3

    Segment operating profit (loss)   (10.3)       0.9       (9.4)         -
                                  ---------------------- --------------------
    Segment operating margin           (7.3)%     0.8%       (3.4)%     0.0%
                                                         --------------------
                                                         --------------------
    Backlog - June 30                                    $    650   $   521
                                                         --------------------
                                                         --------------------
    

Second quarter revenues from the Buildings segment increased 22% to $141 million, due primarily to an increase in Ontario operations reflecting the impact of several large projects, including three Infrastructure Ontario projects, underway during the period.

The Buildings segment incurred an operating loss of $10.3 million in the quarter, compared to a profit of $0.9 million in 2009. Most of the $11.2 million decline occurred in Ontario operations where the impact of higher revenues was offset by further losses on two large projects in Ontario that had also contributed losses in 2009. Significant staff and management focus continues to be brought to bear to contain the issues on these two difficult projects.

Backlog of $650 million at June 30, 2010 represents a $129 million increase compared to the same time last year, due largely to increases in the segment's Ontario and Quebec operations. New contract awards totalling $104 million were recorded in the quarter, which compares with awards of $115 million in the same period last year.

- Industrial

Industrial operations include all of Aecon's industrial manufacturing and construction activities from in-plant construction to the fabrication of specialty pipe and the design and manufacture of Once-Through Steam Generators, as well as Aecon's commercial mechanical operations. The segment includes all of the Lockerbie & Hole operations acquired last year.

    
    Financial Highlights                 Three Months          Six Months
    ($ millions)                        Ended June 30         Ended June 30
                                  ---------------------- --------------------
                                       2010       2009       2010       2009
                                       ----       ----       ----       ----

    Revenues                       $    298   $    245   $    468   $    341

    EBITDA                             27.0       22.7       36.2       36.5

    Segment operating profit           23.9       17.0       30.3       30.1
                                  ----------------------
    Segment operating margin           8.0%       6.9%       6.5%       8.8%
                                                         --------------------
                                                         --------------------
    Backlog - June 30                                    $    872   $    551
                                  ---------------------- --------------------
                                  ---------------------- --------------------
    

In the Industrial segment, second quarter revenues of $298 million were $53 million higher than in 2009, due primarily to revenue increases in both the heavy industrial and mechanical construction operations in Western Canada.

Industrial segment operating profit of $23.9 million represents an increase of $6.9 million over the same period last year, as significant operating profit increases in heavy industrial operations in Western Canada and in Lockerbie's Ontario-based operations offset lower profits from the segment's construction and fabrication units in Ontario.

Segment backlog of $872 million compares with $551 million at the same time last year, with the increase due to higher backlog in Western Canada. New contract awards of $290 million in the second quarter of 2010 were $110 million higher than in the same period in 2009.

- Concessions

The Concessions segment includes the development, operation and financing of infrastructure projects by way of public-private partnership, build-own-operate-transfer or other alternative financing contract structures.

This segment focuses primarily on the operations, management, maintenance and enhancement of investments in transportation infrastructure concessions, including the Cross Israel Toll Highway and Quito International Airport concession companies.

    
    Financial Highlights                 Three Months          Six Months
    ($ millions)                        Ended June 30         Ended June 30
                                  ---------------------- --------------------
                                       2010       2009       2010       2009
                                       ----       ----       ----       ----

    Revenues                       $     21   $     22   $     42   $     47

    EBITDA                              6.6        7.1       13.2       15.6

    Segment operating profit            5.0        3.3       10.2        7.7
                                  ---------------------- --------------------
    Segment operating margin          24.0%      14.8%      24.4%      16.3%

    

Concessions segment revenues of $21 million in the second quarter were $1 million lower than last year, due primarily to a decrease from the operator of the Cross Israel Highway, a company in which Aecon holds a 30.6% interest.

Segment operating profit of $5.0 million in the second quarter represents an increase of $1.7 million from the same period in 2009, primarily from higher operating profits from the Quito airport concessionaire, which includes the results from operating the existing Quito airport while the new airport is being constructed.

Progress continues to be made toward resolving issues surrounding Aecon's concession interest in the Quito International Airport project. Execution of the new commercial arrangement and legal structure negotiated in recent months remains subject to various conditions and approvals by the senior lenders and Ecuadorian authorities. Assuming prompt and favourable approvals by these institutions and delivery of the remaining closing conditions, the effective date of the new agreement should occur in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Aecon does not include in its reported backlog potential revenues from operations management contracts and concession agreements. As such, while Aecon expects future revenues from its concession assets, no concession backlog is reported at June 30.

Consolidated Results

The Consolidated Results for the three months and six months ended June 30, 2010 and 2009 are available at the end of this News Release.

    
    Balance Sheet Highlights

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (thousands of dollars)                   June 30, 2010     Dec. 31, 2009
                                             -------------     -------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cash and cash equivalents, restricted
     cash, marketable securities and
     term deposits                           $     244,108     $     414,447
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Other current assets                           850,049           714,164
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Property, plant and equipment                  209,915           200,883
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Other long-term assets                         435,039           359,844
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Assets                             $   1,739,111     $   1,689,338
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Current liabilities                      $     954,332     $     843,826
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Non-recourse project debt                       18,409            70,000
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Other long-term debt                            57,531            63,037
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Convertible debentures                         160,071           158,614
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Other long-term liabilities                     98,886            96,469
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Shareholders' equity                           449,882           457,392
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Liabilities and Shareholders'
     Equity                                  $   1,739,111     $   1,689,338
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

Conference Call

A conference call has been scheduled for Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. ET to discuss Aecon's 2010 second quarter financial results. Participants should dial 416-981-9035 or 1-800-734-8507 at least 10 minutes prior to the conference time. The reservation number is 21477747.

A replay will be available after 12:30 p.m. at 1-800-558-5253 or 416-626-4100 until midnight on August 11, 2010. The reservation number is 21477747.

About Aecon

Aecon Group Inc. is Canada's largest publicly traded construction and infrastructure development company. Aecon and its subsidiaries provide services to private and public sector clients throughout Canada and on a selected basis internationally. Aecon is pleased to be recognized as one of the 50 Best Employers in Canada as published by Report on Business Magazine.

The information in this news release includes certain forward-looking statements. These "forward-looking" statements are based on currently available competitive, financial and economic data and operating plans but are subject to risks and uncertainties. In addition to general global events outside the Company's control, factors could cause Aecon's actual results, performance or achievements to vary from those expressed or inferred herein, including without limitation, the successful integration of recent acquisitions, Aecon's conversion to International Financial Reporting Standards, the failure to achieve the targets associated with the construction of the new Quito airport or operation of the existing Quito airport, as well as the associated political risk in Ecuador. Risk factors are discussed in greater detail in the Section entitled "Risk Factors and Uncertainties" in Management's Discussion and Analysis of operating results and Financial condition for the year ended December 31, 2009 filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Forward-looking statements include information concerning possible or assumed future results of operations or financial position of Aecon, as well as statements preceded by, followed by, or that include the words "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "estimates," "projects," "intends," "should" or similar expressions. Important factors, in addition to those discussed in this document, could affect the future results of Aecon and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements.

    
    Consolidated Statements of Income for the three months ended June 30,
    2010 and 2009
    (in thousands of dollars, except share and per share amounts) (unaudited)


                                                      2010              2009
                                            ---------------------------------
    Revenues                                 $     681,543     $     613,237

    Direct costs and expenses                     (626,403)         (549,816)
                                            ---------------------------------

                                                    55,140            63,421

    Marketing, general and administrative
     expenses                                      (30,489)          (31,846)

    Foreign exchange gains (losses)                    374              (142)

    Income from construction projects
     accounted for using the equity method             411                 -

    (Loss) gain on sale of assets                     (326)               33

    Depreciation and amortization                   (9,478)          (14,985)

    Interest expense                                (7,938)           (3,046)

    Interest income                                  3,025             1,759
                                            ---------------------------------

                                                   (44,421)          (48,227)
                                            ---------------------------------

    Income before income taxes and
     non-controlling interests                      10,719            15,194
                                            ---------------------------------

    Income tax (expense) recovery
    Current                                          1,148            (1,337)
    Future                                          (3,299)           (3,217)
                                            ---------------------------------

                                                    (2,151)           (4,554)
                                            ---------------------------------

    Income before non-controlling interests          8,568            10,640

    Non-controlling interests                         (765)             (711)
                                            ---------------------------------

    Net income for the period                $       7,803     $       9,929
                                            ---------------------------------
                                            ---------------------------------

    Earnings per share
    Basic                                    $        0.14     $        0.18
    Diluted                                  $        0.14     $        0.18

    Weighted average number of shares
     outstanding
    Basic                                       54,546,828        55,017,708
    Diluted                                     71,853,148        56,416,294



    Consolidated Statements of Income for the six months ended June 30, 2010
    and 2009
    (in thousands of dollars, except share and per share amounts) (unaudited)


                                                      2010              2009
                                            ---------------------------------
    Revenues                                 $   1,107,724     $     954,122

    Direct costs and expenses                   (1,025,237)         (858,073)
                                            ---------------------------------

                                                    82,487            96,049

    Marketing, general and administrative
     expenses                                      (58,046)          (56,008)

    Foreign exchange losses                           (414)           (1,718)

    Loss from construction projects
     accounted for using the equity method          (1,712)                -

    Gain on sale of assets                           6,754                56

    Depreciation and amortization                  (17,541)          (23,032)

    Interest expense                               (15,773)           (4,682)

    Interest income                                  5,837             4,665
                                            ---------------------------------

                                                   (80,895)          (80,719)
                                            ---------------------------------

    Income before income taxes and
     non-controlling interests                       1,592            15,330
                                            ---------------------------------

    Income tax recovery (expense)
    Current                                          5,754            (2,540)
    Future                                          (4,254)           (1,762)
                                            ---------------------------------

                                                     1,500            (4,302)
                                            ---------------------------------

    Income before non-controlling interests          3,092            11,028

    Non-controlling interests                       (1,907)           (1,725)
                                            ---------------------------------

    Net income for the period                $       1,185     $       9,303
                                            ---------------------------------
                                            ---------------------------------

    Earnings per share
    Basic                                    $        0.02     $        0.18
    Diluted                                  $        0.02     $        0.17

    Weighted average number of shares
     outstanding
    Basic                                       54,810,560        52,626,103
    Diluted                                     71,001,774        53,968,485
    

%SEDAR: 00004778EF

SOURCE Aecon Group Inc.

For further information: For further information: Mitch Patten, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Aecon Group Inc., 416-297-2615, aecon@aecon.com, www.aecon.com


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