HNZ Group reports 2013 first quarter results

  • Revenue of $54.2 million, versus $62.5 million last year, reflecting the end of the Ornge contract
  • EBITDA margin at 23.6% compared to 23.4% a year ago
  • Net income of $6.5 million or $0.50 per share
  • Strong financial position with working capital of $46.4 million and long-term debt-to-equity ratio of 0.21
  • Credit facility of $125 million extended to January 31, 2017 with option to be increased to $175 million

MONTREAL, May 14, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - HNZ Group Inc. (TSX: HNZ.A, HNZ.B) ("the Corporation"), an international provider of helicopter transportation and related support services, today announced its financial and operating results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013.

Financial Highlights Quarters ended March 31,
(in thousands of dollars, except per share data) 2013 2012
Revenue 54,209 62,504
EBITDA (1) 12,818 14,637
Net income (2) 6,514 8,179
  Per share - basic and diluted ($) 0.50 0.63
Cash flows related to operating activities (3) 11,355 12,195
Weighted-average shares outstanding (all classes) 13,068,700 13,068,700
(1) Net income before net financing charges, income taxes, depreciation and amortization and gain or loss on
disposal of property, plant and equipment
(2) Attributable to the shareholders of the Corporation
(3) Before net changes in non-cash working capital balances and deferred revenues

The Corporation generated revenue of $54.2 million, compared with revenue of $62.5 million in the first quarter of 2012. This net decrease is mainly due to the completion of the Ornge contract in the first quarter of 2012 and a decrease in revenues from the northern and southern hemisphere markets due to the current challenging economy. The contracts in Afghanistan, in aggregate, are experiencing a level of activity not significantly different from those anticipated and previously announced. For the quarter, the Corporation flew 9,272 hours compared to 12,544 hours in the first quarter of 2012.

Visual Flight Rules (VFR) revenue decreased by $3.4 million primarily due to a decrease in revenues from the Canadian and Australian markets. Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) revenue declined by $4.1 million mainly due to the completion of the EMS contract with Ornge in Ontario in March 2012 partially offset by the increase in mining revenues in Australia. Ancillary revenue, including the Contracted Flying Training and Support contract with the Canadian military, decreased by $0.8 million due to a reduction of aircraft lease revenue in its southern hemisphere operations.

EBITDA for the first quarter of 2013 reached $12.8 million, versus $14.6 million a year earlier. The EBITDA decline is primarily attributable to lower revenues experienced in 2013 while maintaining the same overall margin.

As a result, net income attributable to the shareholders of the Corporation amounted to $6.5 million, or $0.50 per share, compared with $8.2 million, or $0.63 per share in the first quarter of 2012. Reflecting the variation in net income, cash flows related to operating activities before net change in non-cash working capital balances and deferred revenues were $11.4 million in the first quarter of 2013, versus $12.2 million in the corresponding period a year earlier.

"We are pleased with HNZ's performance during the quarter, in view of the termination and non-renewal of some large contracts as well as challenging economic conditions," said Don Wall, President and CEO of the Corporation. "The seasonal weak first quarter in the northern hemisphere was partially compensated for in the southern hemisphere. For example, on a year-over-year basis we experienced less demand for our firefighting services."

As at March 31, 2013, the Corporation's financial position remains strong with working capital of $46.4 million and debt, net of cash and cash equivalents and bank indebtedness, of $45.5 million, with $53 million drawn under the Corporation revolving operating credit facility of $125 million. The credit facility maturity has been extended from January 31, 2014 to January 31, 2017.The Corporation also has an option to increase the credit facility to $175 million subject to certain conditions. For the first quarter, the long-term debt-to-equity ratio was 0.21, compared to 0.23 a year ago.

"The effort to align expenses with revenues, and maximize margins given the business we have, will always be a priority at HNZ. One of the principal strengths of our Company has been its ability to adapt to changing circumstances in the marketplace. In the year ahead, we will stay focused on network optimization and sharing of best practices," concluded Mr. Wall.

The Corporation will hold a conference call to discuss these results on May 15, 2013 at 2:30 PM (ET). Interested parties can join the call by dialing 514-807-9895 (Montreal) or 1-888-231-8191 (toll free). If you are unable to call at this time, you may access a tape recording of the conference call by dialing 416-849-0833 (Toronto), 514-807-9274 (Montreal), or 1-855-859-2056 (toll free) followed by access code: 65162419. This tape recording will be available until May 16, 2013.

The Corporation is an international provider of helicopter transportation and related support services with operations in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Afghanistan, Antarctica and Southeast Asia. The Corporation operates in excess of 130 helicopters in support of a range of multinational companies and government agencies, including onshore and offshore oil and gas, mineral exploration, military support, hydro and utilities, forest management, construction, air ambulance and search and rescue. In addition to charter services, the Corporation provides flight training and third-party repair and maintenance services. The Corporation is headquartered near Montreal, Canada and employs approximately 800 personnel from 35 locations around the world. The Corporation operates from fixed-base locations as well as from temporary locations, commonly referred to as "pool locations", and provides helicopters in a wide variety of climatic conditions and terrain across Canada, Australia, New Zealand Afghanistan, Antarctica and Southeast Asia.

Certain statements in this press release may constitute "forward-looking" statements which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Corporation, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Examples of such statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the HNZ Global acquisition, the integration of HNZ Global and the realization of expected synergies, the financial position, results of operations, objectives, dividend policy, participation in bidding processes, continuing business relationship with actual or potential key clients (in particular USTRANSCOM in Afghanistan, Rio Tinto and Shell), expected revenues from contracts with key clients, seasonal levels of activity, maintenance of contractual relationships, impact of any economic uncertainty, expected competition, use of available funds, maintenance of strategic relationships with aboriginal groups and regulations (in particular environmental and transportation regulations) and legislation (including tax legislation) applicable to the Corporation.

Although the forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based upon what management of the Corporation believes are reasonable assumptions, the Corporation cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. The assumptions on which the forward-looking statements are based include, but are not limited to, general economic trends, industry trends, current contractual and business relationships, capital markets and current competitive, governmental, regulatory and legal environment.

These statements are not based on historical facts but instead reflect current expectations of management regarding future events and operating performance and speak only as of the date of this press release. Forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties, should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of whether or not such results will be achieved. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the factors discussed in this press release or referred to under "Risk Factors". These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release, and the Corporation assumes no obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances, unless required by applicable laws.

References to "EBITDA" are to net income before net financing charges, income taxes, depreciation and amortization, gain or loss on disposal of property, plant and equipment and change in fair value of the obligation to purchase the shares of non-controlling interests. Since EBITDA is a metric used by many investors to compare issuers on the basis of the ability to generate cash from operations, management believes that in addition to net income or loss, EBITDA is a useful supplementary measure.

EBITDA is not an earnings measure recognized under IFRS and does not have a standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS. Therefore, EBITDA may not be comparable with similar measures presented by other entities. Investors are cautioned that EBITDA should not be construed as an alternative to net income determined in accordance with IFRS as an indicator of the Corporation's performance, or to cash flows from operating, investing and financing activities as measures of liquidity and cash flows.

Note to readers:  Complete consolidated financial statements and Management's Discussion & Analysis of Operating Results and Financial Position are available on the Corporation's website at and on SEDAR at




SOURCE: HNZ Group Inc.

For further information:

HNZ Group Inc.

Don Wall
President and Chief Executive Officer
Tel: 780-429-6919
Tel: 450-452-3007


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