Toronto Stock Exchange: ARF; ARF.DB
GUELPH, ON, March 11, 2013 /CNW/ - Armtec Infrastructure Inc. ("Armtec" or the "Company") (TSX: ARF.UN) (ARF.DB) today reported financial results for the year and the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2012.
- Full year revenue was $457.4 million, an increase of 0.8% over 2011. Stronger Engineered Solutions ("ES") revenue was driven by the Kitimat smelter modernization project in the Pacific region and rail infrastructure projects in the Central region, offset by lower Construction and Infrastructure Applications ("CIA") volumes due to softness in the Pacific and Prairie regions. For the fourth quarter, revenue was $111.6 million, a decrease of 0.3% compared to the prior year.
- Full year gross margin was $85.7 million, an increase of $31.0 million over levels achieved in 2011. As a percentage of revenue, gross margin was 18.7%, a significant increase over the 12.1% earned in 2011. In the fourth quarter, gross margin was $19.5 million, an increase of $3.8 million from $15.7 million achieved in the same period in 2011. As a percentage of revenue, gross margin increased to 17.5% from 14.0% in the same period in the prior year and was more in line with historical levels.
- EBITDA1 was $41.1 million or a $24.4 million improvement over the $16.7 million in 2011. Fourth quarter results of $4.8 million were consistent with the same period in the prior year.
- The Turnaround Plan announced in 2011, generated $22.0 million or $2.0 million more than our original target, in cost reductions, gains in operating efficiencies and pricing improvements in 2012. Over half the savings were attributed to improved labour management, particularly in ES projects across the country.
- Refinancing of the senior secured loan facility with a Brookfield Asset Management Company was completed in December 2012. The new financing arrangement comprises a $60.0 million revolving asset-based loan with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and a $110.0 million term loan facility with Brookfield Capital Partners Fund III LP. This new financing extended the maturity profile of our senior debt to December 2016.
- Subsequent to year-end, a new business structure was implemented, realigning the business away from four geographical regions to two product-focused business units - Drainage Solutions and Precast Concrete Solutions - to better enable Armtec to maintain industry-leading positions in its markets.
"In 2012, Armtec delivered a significant improvement in operating margins through the execution of the Turnaround Plan, which generated approximately $22.0 million in savings through cost reductions, gains in operating efficiencies and improved pricing across the organization. In addition, we successfully completed the refinancing of our senior secured loan facility at a lower cost, with greater flexibility and a longer maturity profile," said Mark Anderson, President and Chief Executive Officer. "With the Turnaround Plan and refinancing initiatives now behind us, and our business realigned into two product-based business units, our management team is firmly focused on the next step forward. Elevate 2015 is our new mission to drive operational excellence. With highly engaged employees, stronger operating processes and an increased focus on the customer, management believes that Armtec will be a more competitive company that is better positioned to achieve improved financial results."
|Summary of Results|
|For the periods ended December 31||Fourth Quarter||Year Ended|
|(in thousands of Canadian dollars except per share amounts)||(unaudited)||(unaudited)|
|As a % of revenue||17.5%||14.0%||18.7%||12.1%|
|Selling, general and administrative||$||17,646||$||21,618||$||59,259||$||72,191|
|As a % of revenue||15.8%||19.3%||13.0%||15.9%|
|Impairment of assets||$||-||$||78,352||$||-||$||268,571|
|As a % of revenue||-%||70.0%||-%||59.2%|
|Earnings (loss) from operations||$||1,102||$||(83,834)||$||26,900||$||(287,049)|
|As a % of revenue||1.0%||(74.9)%||5.9%||(63.3)%|
|As a % of revenue||32.7%||10.1%||16.3%||7.4%|
|Net loss attributable to owners of the Company||$||(27,320)||$||(68,519)||$||(36,108)||$||(269,793)|
|As a % of revenue||(24.5)%||(61.2)%||(7.9)%||(59.5)%|
|Basic and diluted loss per share||$||(1.14)||$||(2.85)||$||(1.50)||$||(11.74)|
|As a % of revenue||4.3%||4.4%||9.0%||3.7%|
|Breakdown of revenue by product lines2:|
|Breakdown of depreciation and amortization by financial statement line item:|
|Cost of sales||$||1,525||$||3,022||$||7,266||$||13,856|
|Selling, general and administrative||1,445||3,107||6,438||13,468|
|Total depreciation and amortization||$||2,970||$||6,129||$||13,704||$||27,324|
|1)||Please refer to the section entitled "Non-GAAP Measure" of the separately issued management, discussion and analysis for the period ended December 31, 2012 for the reconciliation of EBITDA.|
|2)||Beginning with the first quarter of 2012, the Company realigned its products within the CIA and ES categories.|
Revenue for the year ended December 31, 2012 was $457.4 million, a $3.8 million improvement over 2011 levels of $453.6 million. Softer demand in the Prairie region was offset by improved volumes in the Pacific region where the Kitimat smelter modernization project has reached full production levels. The Central and Eastern regions revenue levels have remained consistent on a year over year basis.
CIA product revenue in 2012 was $251.6 million, representing a decline of $12.3 million or 4.6% as compared to $263.9 million in 2011. The benefit realized from better pricing strategies was offset by softness in demand experienced primarily in municipal and road construction projects and residential markets during the second half of 2012. ES project revenue in 2012 was $205.8 million or 8.5% over the $189.7 million achieved in 2011. Improvements in gross margin performance over 2011 were realized in ES projects throughout 2012 as a result of improved management of labour, enhanced operating practices, higher project volumes and an improved mix of projects. The ES backlog at December 31, 2012 was approximately $132.0 million, consistent with December 31, 2011.
The Turnaround Plan, announced in the fall of 2011, delivered stronger operating margins in 2012. The plan, originally estimated to provide $20.0 million in benefits, generated approximately $22.0 million through cost reductions, improved operating efficiencies and pricing decisions during 2012. Over half of the savings were attributed to improved labour management, particularly in the ES projects executed across the country.
In addition to the financial performance successes achieved, a new organization structure was designed for implementation on January 1, 2013. This new structure realigns the business away from the four geographic regions to two product-focused business units ("BU" or "BUs"): Drainage Solutions and Precast Concrete Solutions. The revised model reflects the underlying industry structure and we believe better positions Armtec to maintain industry leading positions in each of these business categories. With the BU structure, the Company introduced General Manager roles to manage nine distinct market areas. The objective of the General Managers is to improve the level of performance and accountability by having business ownership closer to both the customer and operations. In addition, the BU structure allows management to focus more closely on the distinctly different operating models for Precast Concrete Solutions and Drainage Solutions. The respective BU Presidents and their General Managers will be tasked with developing and executing best practices in their respective BUs. Although there is a moderate incremental cost to this structure, management firmly believes this focus will provide the necessary foundation for improved revenue and execution leading to improved levels of future productivity and performance.
Armtec closed 2012 with another significant step forward. On December 21, 2012, Armtec completed a refinancing of its senior secured loan facility held by a Brookfield Asset Management company. The new refinancing arrangement comprised a revolving asset based loan with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce which provides a facility up to $60.0 million and a $110.0 million term loan facility with Brookfield Capital Partners Fund III LP. Management estimates the new facilities will have an average cash interest rate of 8.6% as compared to the previous 12.2%. In addition, the new facilities provide for greater flexibility related to advances, repayments and increases in credit provided and are for a four year term.
FULL YEAR RESULTS
Armtec recorded revenue of $457.4 million in 2012, $3.8 million or 0.8% ahead of revenue of $453.6 million in 2011. Revenue from CIA products was $251.6 million, a decrease of 4.6% or $12.3 million over the same period in 2011. Softness in infrastructure applications in the Pacific and Prairie regions were partially offset by the natural resource end use market which showed year over year growth in the energy sector, particularly in the Prairie region. The Company's agricultural markets, primarily in the Central and Eastern regions, experienced significant volume increases over 2011 levels. The favourable weather conditions at the beginning of the year provided a longer spring installation season as compared to 2011.
ES revenue was $205.8 million in 2012 or 8.5% higher than the $189.7 million achieved in 2011. The stronger revenues were driven largely by the Kitimat smelter modernization project in the Pacific region and rail infrastructure projects in the Central region. The Prairie region experienced lower transportation infrastructure project volumes in 2012 as compared to activity levels in 2011.
Earnings from Operations
Earnings from operations for the year ended December 31, 2012 were $26.9 million as compared to a $287.0 million loss in 2011. The Company recorded a non-cash impairment charge in 2011 of $268.6 million. As a result of the decline of the Company's enterprise value during 2011, Armtec reviewed the carrying value of its assets as required under IFRS and as a result recorded a non-cash impairment charge. Depreciation and amortization levels in 2012 were lower than 2011 levels at approximately $13.7 million as compared to $27.3 million due to the asset impairments recorded during 2011. Earnings from operations, before the impact of the impairment, depreciation and amortization, in 2012 would have reflected earnings of $40.6 million compared to earnings of $8.8 million in 2011.
The gross margin for 2012, after providing $2.5 million for annual incentive costs, was $85.7 million, an increase of $31.0 million from the $54.7 million achieved in 2011. As a percentage of revenue, the gross margin of 18.7% for the year was a significant improvement over the 12.1% achieved in 2011. Before depreciation and amortization, the gross margin was 20.3% in 2012 compared with 15.1% in 2011.
The gross margin performance in the CIA products business improved during the first nine months of 2012 but was offset by the impact of softer volumes experienced in the fourth quarter of 2012 The improvements over 2011 were the result of improved plant operating efficiencies supported by the Turnaround Plan initiatives. In addition to lower raw material costs, improved pricing and product mix favorably impacted performance across most regions in 2012. Softness in government spending, supporting municipalities and highway projects, and residential volumes, particularly in Central Canada, were offset by gains made in both the natural resource and agricultural market areas.
The ES gross margin continued to show marked improvement during 2012 as compared to 2011 on improved revenue levels and a better mix of projects. The Turnaround Plan initiatives supported the significant operational performance improvement in the ES projects. The key contributors to the year over year improvement have been labour management and overhead spend control, particularly in the largest regions of Central and Prairies. During 2011, many of the larger projects achieved lower margins through a combination of lower initial bid margins and operational execution issues. Examples of this include the significant losses incurred on the Toronto Transit Commission tunnel liner project and the Calgary West Light Rail Transit project.
Selling, general and administrative expenses for 2012 were $59.3 million, or $12.9 million lower than 2011 levels. Armtec recognized a restructuring charge of $6.9 million during 2011. Before depreciation, amortization and restructuring, selling, general and administration costs were $52.8 million or $1.0 million higher than prior year levels. The change in total spend reflects reduced staffing year over year and other cost reduction measures that were part of the identified initiatives under the Turnaround Plan offset by approximately $4.0 million in annual incentive costs.
Armtec offers an annual incentive plan to all non-union and certain union employees. The plan is generally based on a combination of targets related to regional and overall Company performance as well as the achievement of individual objectives. The plan also contains a 'circuit breaker' where base conditions must be in place for the plan to be effective, the most significant being the achievement of financial covenants as related to the senior debt of the Company. As a result of the circuit breaker provision and the refinancing in 2011, no incentives were incurred with respect to the 2011 year.
FOURTH QUARTER RESULTS
Armtec recorded revenue of $111.6 million for the three months ended December 31, 2012, $0.4 million or 0.3% below revenue of $112.0 million for the three months ended December 31, 2011. Revenue from CIA products was $57.8 million for the three month period, a decrease of 12.6% over the same period in 2011. The demand for products used in infrastructure applications softened in the Prairie, Central and Eastern regions where primarily municipal, highways and transportation activities were lower than the same period of 2011. Softness, though to a lesser extent, was also experienced in the natural resource markets across all regions relative to 2011. Agricultural application volumes remained consistent with 2011 levels despite the stronger volumes realized earlier in the year.
ES revenue was $53.8 million in the final quarter of 2012, or 17.3% ahead of the $45.9 million in the same quarter of 2011. The growth in revenue was driven largely by natural resource activities in the Pacific region with the Kitimat smelter modernization project, awarded late in 2011, contributing to increased production levels. Volumes for infrastructure applications improved across the Pacific and Eastern regions, offsetting softness in the Prairie region.
Earnings from Operations
Earnings from operations for the three months ended December 31, 2012 were $1.1 million. In the fourth quarter of 2011, Armtec recognized a $0.8 million loss, before the $78.4 million impairment charge and restructuring charge of $4.7 million. During the fourth quarter of 2011, the Company applied the non-cash impairment charge against certain property, plant and equipment and other intangible assets. Depreciation and amortization levels in the fourth quarter of 2012 were lower than 2011 levels at approximately $3.0 million as compared to $6.1 million due to the impairments recorded during 2011. Earnings from operations before the impact of the impairment, depreciation and amortization would have reflected earnings of $4.1 million in 2012 compared to $0.6 million for the same quarter of 2011.
The gross margin for the three months ended December 31, 2012, after providing $1.7 million for annual incentive costs, was $19.5 million, an increase of $3.8 million from $15.7 million in the same period of 2011. As a percentage of revenue, the gross margin of 17.5% in the fourth quarter was an improvement of 3.5 percentage points over the 14.0% achieved in the same period of 2011. Before depreciation and amortization, the quarterly gross margin was 18.8% in 2012 compared with 16.7% in 2011 and was more in line with historical levels.
Gross margin performance in the CIA products business declined in the quarter compared to the same three months of 2011. The impact of the volume decline in the quarter offset the gains made, primarily in the steel and plastic products, related to improved production performance, product mix, raw material costs and pricing levels.
The ES gross margin showed improvement in the three months ended December 31, 2012 as compared to the same period in 2011. While growth in volume contributed in the quarter, the ES margin improvement continues to be driven by the Turnaround Plan initiatives combined with a better mix of projects. Improvement in ES project performance during the quarter continued to be achieved through production process improvements which translated into reduced costs and better utilization of resources, particularly in the Central region where multiple parking structure projects were in process. The Kitimat smelter modernization project in the Pacific region continued to achieve expected volumes and contributed to the gross margin performance in the quarter.
Selling, general and administrative expenses for the three months ended December 31, 2012 were $17.6 million, or $4.0 million lower than 2011 levels. Armtec recognized a restructuring charge of $4.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 related to the Turnaround Plan. Before restructuring, depreciation and amortization, selling, general and administration costs were $16.2 million, $2.4 million over prior year levels at $13.8 million, mainly as a result of $2.0 million in annual incentive costs. During 2011, the Company's annual incentive plan was not in effect as a result of the circuit breaker.
Management believes that the overall outlook for Armtec's markets in the short term can be characterized as flat to slightly favourable. The demand for drainage products is expected to remain slightly down due to the ongoing lower demand from the public sector. Although steady demand is anticipated for drainage products from the private construction market, natural resource and agriculture segments, this demand is not expected to overcome the softness in government spending. Drainage product volumes are highly influenced by weather conditions. Historical seasonal patterns indicate the first and fourth quarters would be lower than the second and third quarter volumes in the fiscal year. In addition, weather conditions during the first quarter of 2012 were favourable potentially putting some added pressure on the first half results in 2013.
The Charbonneau Commission Inquiry has had a negative effect on market activities in Eastern Canada and may result in a suppression of construction activity for the province of Quebec throughout 2013. Armtec's drainage and precast concrete products may be impacted by the resulting slow-down.
Demand for the engineered precast products is expected to be slightly favourable due to activity in light rail transit, primarily in the Pacific region, the Pan American games and Highway 407 both in the Central region, and an anticipated increase in commercial building construction. Off-setting the positive impacts of these favourable activities is the anticipated decline in new condominium high-rise construction in Central Canada and the resulting lower demand for precast concrete products. In addition, the relatively favourable construction forecast for the Prairies may be tempered if the province of Alberta reduces its commitment to infrastructure spending in the year.
The backlog of Engineered Solutions/Precast entering 2013 at approximately $132.0 million is solid and in line with the backlog the Company had entering 2012. The most significant individual project remains the smelter modernization project in Kitimat, British Columbia. A significant number of parking garage structures, currently in various stages of completion, remain in backlog and will support revenue levels into 2013. With the combination of underperforming projects reaching completion in 2012 and more representative projects in backlog, management expects to deliver an improved performance in the first half of 2013.
Management views 2013 as a transition year whereby it will establish a strong foundation based on two new BUs and a market area General Manager structure. Overall, revenue is expected to be slightly favourable in 2013 over 2012 levels. As the business is realigned, a slight increase over 2012 selling, general and administrative cost levels will be realized. Management expects that ongoing improvements in performance will more than offset the higher organizational costs, delivering improved EBITDA results in 2013.
With the Turnaround Plan and refinancing of the senior debt completed, management will be focused on further improvements to the business. In the fourth quarter of 2012, management prepared the next mission for Armtec: Elevate 2015: elevating performance through a focus on operational excellence. This new mission is a balanced scorecard containing four priorities, each with its own ambition and goals to be achieved by the end of 2015:
|People||To create a Great Place to Work||An employee engagement score of 66% or better.|
|Health & Safety|| To be amongst the safest places to work
in our industry
| Total incident rate* < 15
Lost time incident rate* < 3
* Based on 1 million hours
|Customers||To be a supplier of choice|| Rated in the top 2 in our relevant Business Units
by at least 75% of our customers.
|Financial Success||Improve earnings and reduce debt||A Total Debt to EBITDA ratio of < 5|
Management believes that a highly engaged workforce of talented individuals will be the foundation of Armtec's future success. The focus on Health & Safety not only makes Armtec a safer place to work, it requires a critical focus on underlying processes and behaviours that will affect performance in all areas of the business. Establishing Customers as a priority will enable the Company to get back to its core strengths of delivering products and services that meet or exceed customer's expectations. Armtec will aim to capitalize on its market leadership positions in Drainage Solutions and Precast Concrete Solutions. It is management's opinion that the strongest levers to future results is improving operating efficiencies and a focus on customers, resulting in increased revenue. With engaged and talented employees, stronger underlying processes and improved customer focus, Armtec believes it will be better equipped to develop and execute plans to improve financial results and properly align the Company's leverage to its earnings for sustained future success.
CONFERENCE CALL & WEBCAST
Management will host a conference call at 10:00 a.m. (ET) on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 to discuss the results. Investors who wish to participate can access the call using the following numbers: 416-644-3414 or 1-800-814-4859. The call will be webcast live and archived on Armtec's website at www.armtec.com.
A taped rebroadcast will be available to listeners following the call until 12:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. To access the rebroadcast, please dial 416-640-1917 or 1-877-289-8525 and quote the passcode 4589621#.
ABOUT ARMTEC INFRASTRUCTURE INC.
Armtec is a leading manufacturer and marketer of a comprehensive range of infrastructure products and engineered construction solutions for customers in a diverse cross-section of industries that are located in every region of Canada, as well as in selected markets globally. These markets include Canada's national and regional public infrastructure markets and private sector markets in agricultural drainage, commercial building, residential construction and natural resources. Operating through its network of regional offices and production facilities across the country, Armtec's broad range of engineered solutions include products for drainage, bridge applications, soil retention, rehabilitation and water management systems including corrugated high-density polyethylene, corrugated steel and concrete pipe; an array of architectural and structural precast and pre-stressed concrete products from steps, paving stones, slabs and wall panels to highly engineered structural components designed and installed for projects such as bridges, sports venues and parking garages; and a full suite of noise barriers, acoustic enclosure and wall systems along with associated retaining wall and traffic barrier systems.
Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization ("EBITDA")
References to EBITDA are to earnings before finance cost, taxes (other than capital taxes), depreciation and amortization, certain non-recurring expenses and certain other non-cash amounts. Management believes that in addition to net earnings, EBITDA is a useful supplemental measure of cash available for dividends prior to debt service, changes in working capital, capital expenditures and income taxes. However, EBITDA is not a recognized measure under GAAP. Investors are cautioned that EBITDA should not be construed as an alternative to net and comprehensive earnings determined in accordance with GAAP as an indicator of Armtec's performance or as an alternative to cash flows from operating, investing and financing activities as a measure of Armtec's liquidity and cash flows. Armtec's method of calculating EBITDA may differ from the methods used by other issuers and, accordingly, Armtec's EBITDA may not be comparable to similarly named measures used by other issuers.
RISKS AND UNCERTAINTIES
Armtec is subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could have a material adverse effect on Armtec's results of operations, business prospects, financial condition, dividends to shareholders and the trading price of Armtec's shares. These uncertainties and risks include, but are not limited to: capital and liquidity risk; access to bonding and letters of credit; credit risk; fluctuations in operating results; seasonality and adverse weather; existing legal proceedings; industry cyclicality; competition; acquisition and expansion risk; current global economic conditions; reduction in demand for products; information management; change management; risk of future legal proceedings; relationships with suppliers; lack of long-term agreements; expiration of rights under license and distribution arrangements; availability and price volatility of raw materials; product liability; intellectual property; reliance on key personnel; labour markets; environmental; collective bargaining; pension plans; currency fluctuations; interest rates; uninsured and underinsured losses; insurance coverage; operating hazards; securities laws compliance and corporate governance standards; income tax and other taxes; geographical risk; and geopolitical. Dividends are not guaranteed. Further information about these and other risks and uncertainties can be found in the disclosure documents filed by Armtec Infrastructure Inc. with the securities regulatory authorities, available at www.sedar.com.
This news release contains "forward-looking" statements (including those set out under the heading "Overview", "Full Year Results" and "Outlook" and those relating to the positioning of Armtec within its industry related to its new business unit structure; the ability for the new structure to provide a foundation for future improved revenue, productivity and performance; the expectation of an estimated average cash interest rate of 8.6% related to the new facilities; the flexibility related to advances, repayments and increases in credit provided by the new facilities; the estimation of $3.4 million of costs associated with the new facilities will be accreted to finance expense over the next three years; the overall outlook for Armtec's markets; the demand for drainage products from the public and private sectors; the effects on Armtec's products via the suppression of construction activity in Eastern Canada; the demand for engineered precast concrete products; the effect of a change in the province of Alberta's commitment to infrastructure spending on a favourable construction forecast; the level of support the current backlog will have on revenue levels and performance in 2013; the relative level of revenues and selling, general and administrative costs in 2013 versus 2012; the improvement in EBITDA results; and the Elevate 2015 mission of elevating performance supported by four priorities each with an ambition and goal that will lead to improved financial results) within the meaning of applicable securities legislation which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, events, performance or achievements of Armtec or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, events, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements typically contain such words or phrases as "may", "outlook", "objective", "intend", "estimate", "anticipate", "should", "could", "would", "will", "expect", "believe", "plan" and other similar terminology suggesting future outcomes or events. Forward-looking statements reflect current expectations regarding future results, events, performance and achievements and are based on information currently available to Armtec's management, anticipated operating and financial results of Armtec, and current and anticipated market conditions.
Forward-looking statements involve numerous assumptions and should not be read as guarantees of future results, events, performance or achievements. Such statements will not necessarily be accurate indications of whether or not such future results, events, performance or achievements will be achieved. You should not unduly rely on forward-looking statements as a number of factors, many of which are beyond the control of Armtec, could cause actual results, events, performance or achievements to differ materially from the results, events, performance or achievements discussed in the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to the factors discussed in Armtec's materials filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities from time to time. Although the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are based upon what management of Armtec believes are reasonable assumptions, Armtec cannot assure investors that actual results, events, performance or achievements will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements in this news release are qualified by these cautionary statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release and, except as required by applicable law, Armtec assumes no obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances.
Capitalized terms that are not otherwise defined in this news release shall have the meanings given to them in Armtec's management's discussion and analysis for the year ended December 31, 2012.
SOURCE: Armtec Infrastructure Inc.
For further information:
Vice President &Corporate Secretary
Tel: (519) 822-0210
Fax: (519) 822-8894