WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Jan. 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- People Corporation (the "Company") (TSX Venture: PEO) today announced financial results for the quarter ended November 30, 2019.

Laurie Goldberg, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer commented, “People Corporation has made solid strategic and financial progress in the first three months of 2020. During the first quarter, a combination of execution on our acquisition strategy, integration initiatives and efforts to drive organic growth resulted in revenue growth of 21.9%, of which organic revenue growth was 8.3%. Adjusted EBITDA, excluding the impact of IFRS 16, continued to grow faster than revenue compared to Q1 of 2019, up 34.9%. During 2020, we will maintain our focus on four key areas: sales and service; products; strategic acquisitions; and integration. We see substantial opportunity to continue to integrate our national platform in 2020 and beyond, to truly leverage our growing scale and national distribution footprint. These efforts will enable us to maintain a best-in-class product and service offering for our customers and their plan members, while driving returns for shareholders.”

Highlights of Financial Results for the quarter ended November 30, 2019

Financial Results from Operations

The Company's financial results for the three months ended November 30, 2019, fully reflect the effect of last year's acquisitions of Benefit Partners Inc. (“BPI), Life Benefit Solutions Inc. (“Life”), and ACL Student Benefits Ltd. (“ACL”). In addition, the partial effect of the current year acquisitions of Collage Technologies Inc. ("Collage") and the Apri Group of Companies ("Apri") are reflected in the current period.

 Three months ended
November 30
(In 000’s)20192018
Revenue$44,307$36,342
Adjusted EBITDA$10,804$7,426
Adjusted net earnings$1,226$1,120
Net income (loss)
Net income (loss) per share (basic)
Adjusted net earnings per share (basic)
($2,750)
($0.04)
$0.02
($1,522)
($0.03)
$0.02

The Company realized revenue growth for the three months ended November 30, 2019, of $8.0 million (21.9%). Organic growth of $3.0 million (8.3%) was recognized primarily from launching new services, gaining new clients, increasing product and service penetration with existing clients and natural inflationary factors. The Company recognized acquired growth of $5.0 million (13.6%) resulting from the acquired operations of Life, BPI, ACL, Collage and Apri.

Adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended November 30, 2019, was $10.8 million, representing an increase of $3.4 million (45.5%), as compared to the same period in fiscal 2019. Excluding the favourable impact of $0.8 million from adopting IFRS 16, Adjusted EBITDA for the three months was $10.0 million representing an increase of $2.6 million (34.9%), as compared to the same period in fiscal 2019. Growth in Adjusted EBITDA for the three month period was primarily driven by contribution from acquired operations, organic revenue growth in the first quarter, partially offset by higher variable compensation expenses tied directly to the higher revenue and an expanded staff complement to accommodate current growth in operations and the launch of our new disability service. The Company continued its investment in sales and support staff, along with marginal growth within the Corporate support functions which included the Company’s new HR department.

The Company reported Net loss for the three months ended November 30, 2019 of ($2.8) million. Net loss increased by $1.2 million as compared to the prior fiscal year due to increased acquisition, integration and reorganization costs and higher depreciation and amortization expense, partially offset by an increase in Adjusted EBITDA of $3.4 million, as described above, and a reduction in fair value adjustments relating to the non-controlling interest put options.

Strategic and Operational Highlights

The Company continues to make significant progress on executing its strategic plan, while at the same time making investments to position the Company for ongoing future growth.  Some notable milestones include:

  • Completed the acquisition of Collage, a leading cloud-based digital human resource employee benefits administration and payroll solution provider based in Ontario. This acquisition has provided entry into adjacent markets, expanding the Company’s administrative and technological capabilities and providing new supplier relationships, which will enhance the breadth and depth of the Company’s product and service offering and the plan member experience;
  • Completed the acquisition of Apri, one of the largest independent group benefits Managing General Agents ("MGA") and group benefits consulting firms in Canada. Apri has established a presence in multiple provinces, has built a strong reputation for innovative, client-focused solutions, and forged solid long-term relationships with clients, third-party brokers, and suppliers. In addition, Apri's JungoHR platform offers a HRIS focused on mid-sized and enterprise-level businesses, expanding the Company's existing human resource solutions. Paired with the Collage Benefits HQ platform, the Company is able to provide a comprehensive solution and value proposition to its third-party broker network as one of the largest group benefits MGAs in Canada;
  • Completed a private placement equity offering of 6,983,500 shares for total net proceeds of $61.0 million;
  • Executed on the buy-back of selected retained economic interests in Coughlin and BPA;
  • Continued to invest in top talent with additional senior leadership in the Company’s Group Retirement Solutions operation and additional consultants focusing on group retirement, disability, and enterprise clients;
  • Launched a MGA solution to provide back office support to our third party consultants;
  • Initiated the operational integration of ACL and Gallivan to strengthen the Company’s position as a leader in the student benefits market;
  • Launched a new disability management and administration system solution;
  • Completed and launched the pilot for People Care, a new online Mental Health solution for clients; and
  • Initiated the first phase of integration related to shared service functions for recently acquired firms, including ACL Student Benefits Ltd. And Collage Technologies Inc.

Summary Financial Position

The Company is well-funded to execute on its growth strategy, with a strong financial position and access to capital.  The Company had cash balances of $22.7 million as at November 30, 2019.  In addition to its cash resources, the Company maintains a credit facility with its senior lenders that totals $125.0 million of credit capacity, with an option, subject to the satisfaction of certain terms and conditions, to increase the credit facility by an additional $50.0 million, to a total of $175.0 million overall.  As of November 30, 2019, the Company has drawn $65.7 million on the various components of it credit facility, leaving $59.3 million of unused credit capacity.

The complete Financial Statements and Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the three months ended November 30, 2019, along with additional information about the Company and all of its public filings are available at www.sedar.com.

Grant of Deferred Stock Units

The Company has granted long-term equity incentive awards to its independent directors. These incentive awards were granted under the Company's Security Based Compensation Plan (the "Plan"), established to compensate directors and reward senior officers and employees, based on individual and corporate performance, to align their interests with that of the Company and to provide long-term incentives.

In particular:

  • The Company granted 18,473 deferred stock units to its independent directors, vesting immediately and otherwise subject to the terms of the Plan; and
     
  • The Company permits its directors to elect to take their director’s fees in the form of deferred stock units issued under the Company’s Security Based Compensation Plan, in lieu of cash payments.  This quarter, the Company has granted 3,108 deferred stock units to directors in this regard. 

Conference Call

People Corporation will host a conference call on Monday, January 20, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss its first quarter financial results and provide investors with key business highlights.  The call will be chaired by Laurie Goldberg, Executive Chairman & CEO and Dennis Stewner, CFO & COO.

Date: January 20, 2020 | Time: 8:30am ET
Participant Dial-in: 416-764-8688 or 1-888-390-0546
Replay Dial-in: 416-764-8677 or 1-888-390-0541
(Available for 3 weeks – Expiring February 10th, 2020)
Conference ID: 50953054
Playback #: 953054
Listen to webcast: event.on24.com

About People Corporation

People Corporation (https://www.peoplecorporation.com) is a national provider of group benefits, group retirement and human resource services.  The Company has offices across Canada, each led by a team of experts and backed by the resources of a national company that is traded on the TSX-V.  The Company’s industry experts provide uniquely valuable insight while customizing an innovative suite of services to the specific needs of its clients.  Whatever your sector, whatever your scale, putting People Corporation’s expertise and proven track record to work will make a difference to your people and your bottom line.  Further information is available at www.peoplecorporation.com.

Forward-Looking Information

This news release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable securities laws, such as statements concerning anticipated future events, results, circumstances, performance or expectations that are not historical facts.  Use of words such as “may”, “will”, “expect”, “believe”, "intends", "likely", or other words of similar effect may indicate a “forward-looking” statement.  These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including those described in the Company's publicly filed documents (available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com).  Those risks and uncertainties include the ability to maintain profitability and manage organic or acquisition growth, reliance on information systems and technology, reputation risk, dependence on key clients, reliance on key professionals and general economic conditions.  Many of these risks and uncertainties can affect the Company's actual results and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement made by the Company or on its behalf.  Given these risks and uncertainties, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results.  All forward-looking statements in this news release are qualified by these cautionary statements.  These statements are made as of the date of this news release and, except as required by applicable law, the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.  Additionally, the Company undertakes no obligation to comment on analyses, expectations or statements made by third parties in respect of the Company, its financial or operating results or its securities.

Non-IFRS Financial Measures

The Company reports non-IFRS financial measures, including Standardized EBITDA, REI, Adjusted EBITDA before REI, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted Net Earnings as key measures used by management to evaluate performance of the business, to compensate employees and to facilitate a comparison of quarterly and annual results of ongoing operations.  Adjusted EBITDA is also a concept utilized in measuring compliance with debt covenants.  The Adjusted EBITDA measure is commonly reported and widely used by investors and lending institutions as an indicator of a company’s operating performance and ability to incur and service debt, and as a valuation metric.  While used to assist in evaluating the operating performance and debt servicing ability of the Company, readers are cautioned that Adjusted EBITDA as reported by the Company may not be comparable in all instances to Adjusted EBITDA as reported by other companies.  For a detailed explanation of how the Company’s non-IFRS measures are calculated, please refer to the Company’s MD&A filing for the three months ended November 30, 2019, which can be accessed via the SEDAR Web site (www.sedar.com).

Investor Relations Inquiries:

Jonathan Ross, CFA
Investor Relations - People Corporation
(416) 283-0178
jon.ross@loderockadvisors.com

Dennis Stewner, CPA, CA
CFO and COO - People Corporation
(204) 940-3988
dennis.stewner@peoplecorporation.com
www.peoplecorporation.com

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.