Press Releases

Transcontinental Inc. announces its financial results for the first quarter of Fiscal 2016

Highlights

  • Revenues increased 1.9%.
  • Adjusted operating earnings before depreciation and amortization grew 3.8%.
  • Adjusted net earnings attributable to shareholders of the Corporation increased 8.4%.
  • Maintained a solid financial position, with a stable net indebtedness ratio of 0.9x.
  • Signed a five-year agreement with the Toronto Star to print their daily newspaper, which should take effect in July 2016.
  • Signed a five-year exclusive agreement with the Société de transport de Montréal to distribute the Métro newspaper in the Montreal metro system, which took effect on February 1, 2016.
  • Increased the dividend per participating share by 9%, to $0.74 per year.

Montreal, March 9, 2016 - Transcontinental Inc. (TSX: TCL.A TCL.B) announces its results for the first quarter of Fiscal 2016, which ended January 31, 2016.

"The growth in our revenues and profitability in the first quarter confirms the success of our strategy," said François Olivier, President and Chief Executive Officer of TC Transcontinental. "In our printing division, we continued to sign new agreements and adapt our printing platform to industry realities. In our packaging division, we successfully completed the integration of our most recent acquisition and we are satisfied with the results. As for the Media Sector, the acceleration of the transformation of the advertising market led to lower results for the newspapers in our Local Solutions Group. To better adapt to new market realities, we have taken important measures to give ourselves the agility needed to adjust our costs and our service offering."

"We will continue to optimize our operations in the printing division and grow our packaging division through acquisitions and sales development. We have a sound financial position and continue to generate significant cash flows that will enable us to pursue our transformation," concluded François Olivier.

Rapprochement Q1

2016 First Quarter Results
Revenues for the first quarter of 2016 went from $489.7 million to $498.9 million. The increase is mainly attributable to the contribution from the acquisition of Ultra Flex Packaging and the appreciation of the U.S. dollar against the Canadian dollar. In our Printing division, revenues remained relatively stable when excluding the effect of the loss of a U.S. customer and a Canadian retailer early in 2015. In addition, the timing of purchases from an important client had an impact on the Packaging division. In the Media Sector, the decline in advertising revenues continues to have a significant impact on the results of our publishing activities, mainly within newspapers in the Local Solutions Group.

Adjusted operating earnings went from $55.7 million to $57.1 million, an increase of 2.5%, in the first quarter of 2016. This performance is attributable to the net effect of an acquisition, disposals and closures and, to the favourable effect of the exchange rate as well as to the favourable effect of a decrease in the stock-based compensation expense. The increase is also attributable to the optimization of the cost structure. It was however mitigated by the aforementioned decrease in revenues in the Media Sector. The recent investments in the structure of the packaging division to promote and support the acquisition and sales development strategy also explain the slight decrease in organic growth.

Adjusted net earnings attributable to shareholders of the Corporation increased 8.4%, from $38.2 million, or $0.49 per share, to $41.4 million, or $0.53 per share. This performance is due to an increase in adjusted operating earnings as well as a decrease in adjusted income taxes and net financial expenses. Net earnings attributable to shareholders of the Corporation decreased from $37.9 million, or $0.49 per share, to $37.3 million, or $0.48 per share. This slight decrease is explained by the sale of a building in the first quarter of 2015 which offset the increase in adjusted net earnings attributable to shareholders of the Corporation.

Other Highlights

  • On November 25, 2015, TC Media launched the TC Media Nouvelles app in the Quebec market, signalling a major milestone in the development of its local digital media offering for businesses and communities.
  • On January 26, 2016, the Corporation announced the transfer of its marketing product printing activities from Transcontinental Québec to other plants in its network. This decision will result in the closure of the Transcontinental Québec plant by April 30, 2016.

For more detailed financial information, please see Management's Discussion and Analysis for the first quarter ended January 31st, 2016 as well as the financial statements in the "Investors" section of our website at www.tc.tc

Outlook 2016
Flyer printing volume is expected to remain stable throughout the remainder of fiscal 2016. In addition, the success of our in-store marketing product offering for retailers and the impact of the previously announced new contracts, including those to print the Toronto Star and the Census of Canada, should act as positive catalysts during the year. However, these items should be offset by the negative impact of the advertising market on our magazine, newspaper and marketing product printing activities. Lastly, we will continue to improve our operational efficiency in order to ensure that we maintain the long-term profitability of the printing division.

We successfully completed our 100-day integration plan with respect to the acquisition of Ultra Flex Packaging and the evolution of our national sales force enables us to continue developing new business opportunities. Furthermore, the recent investments in order to promote and support our acquisition and sales development strategy will have an unfavourable impact on results for the remainder of fiscal 2016.

Within the Media Sector, the significant impact of the transformation of the advertising market should continue to affect our newspaper publishing activities. In order to reduce costs and better adapt to these market dynamics, we have put in place a new operational structure that allows for the necessary agility with a particular focus on the profitability of our products which will ensure their viability and perenity.

Lastly, we expect to continue generating significant cash flows during the next quarters, and our excellent financial position should permit us to continue our transformation in the flexible packaging industry. We will maintain our disciplined acquisition approach in this promising market in order to invest in quality assets that meet our strategic criteria.

Reconciliation of Non-IFRS Financial Measures
Financial information has been prepared in conformity with IFRS. However, certain measures used in this press release do not have any standardized meaning under IFRS and could be calculated differently by other companies. We believe that many readers analyze our results based on certain non-IFRS financial measures because such measures are normalized for evaluating the Corporation's operating performance. Management uses such non-IFRS financial information to evaluate the performance of its operations and managers. These measures should be considered in addition to, not as a substitute for or superior to, measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with IFRS.

Tableau Q1

Dividend

The Corporation's Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.185 per share on Class A Subordinate Voting Shares and Class B Shares. This dividend is payable on April 21, 2016 to shareholders of record at the close of business on April 4, 2016. The Corporation thus increased the dividend per participating share by 9%, or $0.06, raising the annual dividend from $0.68 to $0.74 per share. This increase reflects TC Transcontinental's solid cash flow position.

Additional Information

Annual General Meeting of Shareholders
Transcontinental Inc. will hold its Annual General Meeting of Shareholders today at 2:00 p.m. at the Centre Mont-Royal, 2200 Mansfield Street, in Montreal. For those who are unable to attend in person, the Corporation will webcast (audio only) the meeting and post it on its website at www.tc.tc as of March 10.

Conference Call
Upon releasing its first quarter 2016 results, the Corporation will hold a conference call for the financial community today at 4:15 p.m. The dial-in numbers are 1 647 788-4922 or 1 877 223-4471. Media may hear the call in listen-in only mode or tune in to the simultaneous audio broadcast on the Corporation's website, which will then be archived for 30 days. For media requests or interviews, please contact Nathalie St-Jean, Senior Advisor, Communications of TC Transcontinental, at 514-954-3581.

Profile
Canada's largest printer, with operations in print, flexible packaging, publishing and digital media, TC Transcontinental's mission is to create products and services that allow businesses to attract, reach and retain their target customers.

Respect, teamwork, performance and innovation are strong values held by the Corporation and its employees. The Corporation's commitment to all stakeholders is to pursue its business and philanthropic activities in a responsible manner.

Transcontinental Inc. (TSX: TCL.A TCL.B), known as TC Transcontinental, has over 8,000 employees in Canada and the United States, and revenues of C$2.0 billion in 2015.  Website www.tc.tc

Forward-looking Statements
Our public communications often contain oral or written forward-looking statements which are based on the expectations of management and inherently subject to a certain number of risks and uncertainties, known and unknown. By their very nature, forward-looking statements are derived from both general and specific assumptions. The Corporation cautions against undue reliance on such statements since actual results or events may differ materially from the expectations expressed or implied in them. Forward-looking statements may include observations concerning the Corporation's objectives, strategy, anticipated financial results and business outlook. The Corporation's future performance may also be affected by a number of factors, many of which are beyond the Corporation's will or control. These factors include, but are not limited to, the economic situation in the world and particularly in Canada and the United States, structural changes in the industries in which the Corporation operates, the exchange rate, availability of capital, energy costs, competition, the Corporation's capacity to engage in strategic transactions and integrate acquisitions into its activities, the regulatory environment, the safety of its packaging products used in the food industry, innovation of its offering and concentration of its sales in certain segments. The main risks, uncertainties and factors that could influence actual results are described in Management's Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) for the fiscal year ended on October 31st, 2015, in the latest Annual Information Form and have been updated in the MD&A for the first quarter ended January 31st, 2016.

Unless otherwise indicated by the Corporation, forward-looking statements do not take into account the potential impact of nonrecurring or other unusual items, nor of divestitures, business combinations, mergers or acquisitions which may be announced after the date of March 9, 2016.

The forward-looking statements in this press release are made pursuant to the "safe harbour" provisions of applicable Canadian securities legislation.

The forward-looking statements in this release are based on current expectations and information available as at March 9, 2016. Such forward-looking information may also be found in other documents filed with Canadian securities regulators or in other communications. The Corporation's management disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise these statements unless otherwise required by the securities authorities.

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For information:

Media

Nathalie St-Jean

Senior Advisor, Communications

TC Transcontinental

Telephone : 514-954-3581

nathalie.st-jean@tc.tc

 

Financial Community

Jennifer F. McCaughey

Vice President, Communications

TC Transcontinental

Telephone : 514-954-2821

jennifer.mccaughey@tc.tc