WesternOne Inc. Reports Strong 2017 Q4 Results

March 9, 2018
VANCOUVER, BC (March 9, 2018) WesternOne Inc. (“WesternOne”) (Toronto Stock Exchange: WEQ and WEQ.DB) today announced the release of its financial results for the three-month period and year ended December 31, 2017.
The results, consisting of WesternOne’s audited financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2017 and Management’s Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”) dated March 9, 2018, are available on SEDAR (www.sedar.com).
2017 Q4 financial summary:
  • Consolidated revenue from continuing operations increased 28.7% to $26.7 million from $20.7 million in the prior year period. The growth was primarily due to increased activity in the construction sector and a comparatively colder winter in Alberta. OEC on rent(1) increased 15.0% and dollar utilization(2) increased to 62.1% from 53.2% in the prior year period, reflecting a general increase in rental activity levels and revenue on fleet capital in major heat-related markets including Calgary, Edmonton and Major Projects locations in Northern Alberta. 
  • Rental and related services revenue increased 19.8% to $17.9 million from $15.0 million in the prior year period primarily due to increased rental demand for heat-related equipment. Fuel and other product sales increased 52.2% to $8.7 million from $5.7 million in the prior year period primarily due to a 25.9% growth in fuel sales volume and generally higher commodity price levels. 
  • Gross profit increased 32.6% to $8.9 million from $6.7 million in the prior year period primarily due to an increased revenue base driven by higher rental volumes. Gross margin was 33.4% and increased from 32.4% in the prior year period. Improvements in the gross margin due to higher rental volumes and cost containment measures were partially offset by compressed fuel margins as a result of higher commodity input costs and competition, and lower profit contribution from a reduced level of fleet disposals to preserve fleet available on hand.
  • Adjusted EBITDA (as defined below) increased 67.2% to $5.2 million from $3.1 million in the prior year period and adjusted EBITDA margin increased to 19.3% from 14.9% due to the factors described above. 
  • Net cash from operating activities of continuing operations was negative $3.1 million, compared to negative $3.4 million in the prior year period. The cash outflow from operating activities was due to seasonal working capital deployment in relation to the construction heat operations. Net change in cash position from continuing operations was negative $1.2 million, compared to negative $7.2 million in the prior year period. Other major factors leading to the net change in cash position included ordinary fleet capital expenditures, debt repayments and related interest. 
  • Net loss from continuing operations attributable to shareholders was $1.2 million ($0.07 per share), compared to $31.9 million ($1.87 per share) in the prior year period. Included in net loss were non-cash finance expenses relating to changes in the fair value of convertible debentures at period-end. In Q4 of 2016, WesternOne also recorded non-cash impairment charges on goodwill and intangible assets of $18.5 million. Excluding the related non-cash effects of these items on an after-tax basis, net loss would have been $0.3 million ($0.02 per share), compared to net loss of $13.6 million ($0.80 per share) in the prior year period.

(1) Represents the average original equipment costs (“OEC”) of fleet that were on rent for the period.
(2) Calculated as annualized rental and related service revenue divided by the average total OEC fleet value for the period.

(1) Adjusted EBITDA” is not a recognized measure under IFRS and does not have a standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS. “Adjusted EBITDA” refers to net income or loss from continuing operations before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, and other specified items that would impact comparability including, where applicable, non-operational income and expenses, securities-based compensation and other gains or losses. The use of the term “non-operational income and expenses” is defined by WesternOne as those that do not impact operating decisions taken by WesternOne’s management as well as items of an unusual nature that do not reflect WesternOne’s ongoing operations. For a full description of adjusted EBITDA, refer to “Non-IFRS Measures” in the MD&A dated March 9, 2018.
(2) Represents amount attributable to shareholders.
(3) Loss per share for prior periods have been adjusted on a retroactive basis to reflect the consolidation of WesternOne’s issued and outstanding common shares on the basis of one post-consolidation common share for every 35 pre-consolidation common shares (the “Consolidation”). The Consolidation was completed on October 31, 2016.
“We are very pleased to report strong year-over-year growth in Q4 as it reflects the ongoing favourable trend in rental activity levels in Western Canada, supported by the region’s gradual economic recovery. While the improving business environment and cold weather in Alberta played a factor, the growth in the Q4 operating results was also attributable to our team’s continuing focus on executing our business strategy including optimizing rental rates where opportunities exist, managing costs, and leveraging our WEDGE environmental monitoring technology to grow the Major Projects business within the heat division,” said Peter Blake, CEO of WesternOne. “We strive to maintain this positive momentum in the evolving business environment through managing our invested capital, including investments in new and replacement fleet and further potential acquisitions, as opportunities arise.” 
Conference Call 
Peter Blake, CEO, and the management team will host a conference call at 11:00am (Eastern time) or 8:00am (Pacific time), on Monday, March 12, 2018 to review the financial results and corporate developments for the three-month period and year ended December 31, 2017. 
To participate in this conference call, please dial one of the following numbers approximately 10 minutes prior to the commencement of the call and ask to join the WesternOne conference call.
Dial in numbers: Toll Free 1-888-390-0546
  International or Local Toronto 1-416-764-8688

Conference Call Replay 

If you cannot participate on March 12, 2018, a replay of the conference call will be available on WesternOne’s website at www.weq.ca or by dialing one of the following replay numbers. Please enter the Replay ID number 093277 followed by the # key.
Replay Dial-In: Toll Free 1-888-390-0541
  International or Local Toronto 1-416-764-8677

Forward-looking Information 

Certain statements in this news release may constitute “forward-looking” information that involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, and it may cause actual results, performance or achievements or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements or industry results expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Forward-looking information is identified by the use of terms and phrases such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “could”, “estimate”, “expect”, “intend”, “may”, “plan”, “predict”, “project”, “will”, “would”, and similar terms and phrases, including references to assumptions. Such information includes, without limitation, statements with respect to: WesternOne’s intention to maintain the positive momentum in the evolving business environment through managing invested capital, including investments in new and replacement fleet and further potential acquisitions, as opportunities arise. Actual events or results may differ materially. 
Forward-looking information contained in this news release is based on certain key expectations and assumptions made by WesternOne, including, without limitation: net receivables are collectible and payments to suppliers will continue under current terms, the stability of the economy in Western Canada; the impact of the current economic climate in Western Canada on WesternOne’s operations will remain consistent with WesternOne’s current expectations; the increased competitive environment in which WesternOne and its business units operate; a protracted period of lower crude oil prices; rental rates will be subject to supply-related and competitive pressure in 2018; the supply and demand for WesternOne’s products and services and the related impact on the pricing on such products and services will remain consistent with WesternOne’s current expectations; management’s assessment of future plans and operations; WesternOne will be able to purchase and cancel common shares pursuant to WesternOne’s normal course issuer bid (the “NCIB”); WesternOne will have adequate cash to conduct the NCIB as contemplated; purchases made under the NCIB will be advantageous to shareholders; WesternOne will be able to grow through acquisitions and organic expansion; WesternOne will be able to: (i) fund debt maturities and to meet current and future obligations; (ii) collect net receivables; (iii) integrate newly acquired businesses; (iv) maintain payments to suppliers under current terms; and (v) expand its product offering and customer base; critical accounting estimates; WesternOne will be able to discharge its liabilities; the impact from the wind-down of WesternOne’s Australian operations will remain consistent with WesternOne’s current expectations; no principal repayments will be required under WesternOne’s $35.0 million secured asset-based revolving credit facility (the “ABL Facility”) prior to maturity; the impact on rental rates from supply-related and competitive pressure will remain consistent with the WesternOne’s current expectations; rental activity levels are expected to continue its moderate growth trend; and the contractual requirements of WesternOne under the ABL facility are met. Although the forward-looking information contained in this news release is based upon what WesternOne’s management believes to be reasonable assumptions, WesternOne cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with such information. Forward-looking information reflects current expectations of management regarding future events and operating performance as of the date of this news release. Such information involves 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 information, and a description of these factors can be found under “Risk Factors” in WesternOne’s Annual Information Form dated March 30, 2017 and MD&A dated March 9, 2018, which are both available on SEDAR (www.sedar.com). 
The forward-looking information contained herein is expressly qualified in its entirety by this cautionary statement. Forward-looking information reflects management’s current beliefs and is based on information currently available to WesternOne. The forward-looking information is made as of the date of this news release and WesternOne assumes no obligation to update or revise such information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as may be required by applicable law.

About WesternOne 

WesternOne seeks to acquire and grow businesses in the construction and infrastructure services sectors in order to generate value for its shareholders.
Additional Information
Additional information relating to WesternOne and other public filings, is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com or on WesternOne’s website at www.weq.ca.
For investor relations information, please contact:
Andrew Greig, Manager of Investor Relations
WesternOne Inc.
Suite 910, 925 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 3L2
Phone:  (604) 678-4042
E-mail:  agreig@weq.ca
Trading Symbols
Toronto Stock Exchange: WEQ and WEQ.DB