CVTech Group Inc. reports results for fourth quarter and fiscal 2009

DRUMMONDVILLE, QC, March 26 /CNW Telbec/ - CVTech Group Inc. ("CVTech" or "the Corporation") (TSX: CVT) today reported results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2009. All amounts are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise indicated.

FISCAL 2009 RESULTS

Consolidated revenues for the year ended December 31, 2009 were $159.7 million, up $11.4 million or 7.7% from $148.2 million in 2008. The contribution from Riggs Distler was approximately $27.3 million. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization ("EBITDA") were $12.2 million, or 7.6% of revenues, compared to $21.9 million, or 14.8% of revenues in 2008, when EBITDA included a non-recurring item of $2.0 million related to a life insurance claim. Net earnings were $3.1 million or $0.05 per diluted share, compared to $9.9 million or $0.17 per diluted share in 2008. On December 31, 2009, the Corporation's order backlog amounted to approximately $420 million.

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Financial highlights             Quarters ended            Years ended
    ($ thousands except                December 31             December 31
     per-share data)                2009        2008        2009        2008
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Revenues                      61,272      39,645     159,662     148,247
    EBITDA*                      2,746       7,731      12,177      21,877
    Net earnings (net loss) for
     the period                      (25)      4,617       3,075       9,878
      Per share - basic ($)            -        0.09        0.05        0.18
      Per share - diluted ($)          -        0.08        0.05        0.17
    Weighted average number of
     shares outstanding
     (diluted, thousands)         71,034      55,547      63,026      55,258
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization
    

SEGMENT RESULTS

Revenues in the Energy segment increased 14.8% to $141.3 million in 2009 from $123.1 million in 2008. Excluding the Riggs Distler contribution of $27.3 million, the internal decrease reflects a considerable decline in revenues resulting from natural disasters in the United States. These revenues were negligible in 2009 after amounting to about $30.0 million in 2008. Also, some projects are delayed by economic uncertainty. Reflecting the internal decrease in operating revenues, the Energy segment ended 2009 with EBITDA of $8.4 million, compared to $18.7 million in 2008 ($16.7 million excluding the non-recurring item of $2.0 million).

Revenues in the CVT systems and related products segment were $18.4 million in 2009, compared to $25.1 million in 2008. The decline reflects the effect of economic uncertainty on demand for recreational vehicles equipped with the Corporation's products. As a result of variations in the exchange rate and previous cost-reduction measures, this segment had EBITDA of $3.7 million, compared to $3.2 million a year earlier.

As at December 31, 2009, CVTech's balance sheet remained sound, with cash and cash equivalents of $5.1 million and long-term debt, including the current portion, of $33.3 million. The ratio of long-term debt to equity was 0.53 at December 31, 2009, compared to 0.55 three months earlier and 0.52 a year earlier.

"2009 was a pivotal year in CVTech's development. In addition to the Riggs Distler acquisition, the largest in its history, the Energy segment won numerous multiyear contracts," said André Laramée, President and Chief Executive Officer of CVTech. "Economic uncertainty is delaying the launch of some infrastructure projects and led to the temporary shutdown of two large refineries served by Riggs Distler. These conditions have for the moment limited the full realization of the strong cross-selling potential arising from the integration of Energy segments' operations in the United States. However, CVTech is well-positioned to benefit from the recovery of its target markets given its subsidiaries' excellent reputation."

FOURTH-QUARTER RESULTS

For the fourth quarter of 2009, consolidated revenues were $61.3 million, up 54.6% from $39.6 million in the same quarter of 2008. Energy segment revenues were $56.2 million compared to $33.8 million a year earlier. The contribution from Riggs Distler was $16.7 million. The internal revenue growth of $5.7 million reflects the numerous contracts obtained during the year and is all the more remarkable given the absence of revenues related to natural disasters during the quarter. Such revenues amounted to approximately $10.0 million in the same quarter of 2008. Revenues in the CVT systems and related products segment declined 12.4% to $5.1 million as a result of difficult economic conditions.

Consolidated EBITDA was $2.7 million, or 4.5% of revenues, compared to $7.7 million, or 19.5% of revenues, a year earlier ($5.7 million, or 14.5% of revenues, excluding the non-recurring gain). The decrease from a year earlier was due primarily to the absence of business resulting from natural disasters, where margins are generally higher than for regular contracts, and to costs incurred on a large contract in the Energy segment for which the Corporation was unable to recognize a portion of revenues during the period. The Corporation is presently in negotiation with the customer and considers that it will be able to record these revenues in fiscal 2010.

As a result, the Corporation's net earnings were at breakeven in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared to net income of $4.6 million or $0.08 per diluted share a year earlier.

OVERVIEW OF THE CORPORATION

CVTech is a management company operating in two major sectors. Through Thirau ltée and its subsidiary Thirau LLC, the Corporation provides services to the electric power industry for the construction and maintenance of transmission and distribution lines primarily in Quebec and the eastern United States. Thirau ltée's subsidiary J.J.L. Déboisement inc. specializes in control of vegetation surrounding power lines and in clearing rights of way. Thirau LLC's wholly owned subsidiary Riggs Distler & Company, Inc. is a leading provider of maintenance and construction services to the utility and heavy industrial markets. In the CVT systems and related products segment, the Corporation, through CVTech-IBC Inc., designs, manufactures and sells continuously variable power transmission systems, or CVTs. CVTech-AAB specializes in rebuilding crankshafts and cylinders and in distributing engine parts. CVTech currently has approximately 1,275 employees, consisting of 1,125 in the Energy sector and 150 in the CVT and Related Products sector.

NON-GAAP MEASURE

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization ("EBITDA") represent a measure that has no standardized meaning prescribed by Canadian generally accepted accounting principles and is thus considered to be a non-GAAP measure. Therefore, this measure may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers. This measure is described and presented in this release in order to provide additional information regarding the Corporation's liquidity and its ability to generate funds to finance its operations.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This document may contain forward-looking statements that reflect management's current beliefs regarding future events. Forward-looking statements are based on a number of factors and include risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ from forecast results. Management has no obligation beyond what is required under the law to update or revise forward-looking statements pursuant to new information or future events.

Further information regarding CVTech is available in the SEDAR database and on the Corporation's website at: www.cvtech.ca.

%SEDAR: 00021045EF

SOURCE NAPEC Inc.

For further information: For further information: André Laramée, MBA, President and Chief Executive Officer, (819) 479-7771, a.laramee@cvtech.ca; Mario Trahan, CMA, Chief Financial Officer, (819) 479-7771, m.trahan@cvtech.ca; MaisonBrison: Martin Goulet, CFA, (514) 731-0000, martin@maisonbrison.com; Source: CVTech Group Inc.

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