1 1 EVENT: DATA GROUP INC. FOURTH QUARTER RESULTS REFERENCE: CNW GROUP TIME: 11H00 E.T. LENGTH: APPROXIMATELY 21 MINUTES DATE: MARCH 7, 2012
2 2 OPERATOR: Good morning. My name is Melissa (phon) and I will be your conference Operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Data Group 2011 Fourth Quarter Results Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers' remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. If you would like to ask a question at this time simply press *, then the number 1 on your telephone keypad. If you would like to withdraw your question, press the # key. Thank you. Mr. Michael Suksi, President and CEO, you may begin your conference. MICHAEL SUKSI (President and Chief Executive Officer, Data Group Inc.): Thanks, Melissa. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us to review Data Group's financial results for the year-end and for the fourth quarter of As always, Paul O'Shea, our CFO, is with me and we will be discussing the Data Group's performance by division for the fourth quarter and for 2011 as a whole. Before we begin, I'll remind you that our remarks and our answers to your questions today may contain forward-looking information. This information by its nature is subject to risk and uncertainties that may cause
3 3 actual events or results to differ materially from any conclusion, forecast, or projection contained in our remarks or answers. Certain material factors or assumptions were applied in drawing the conclusions, forecasts, or projections included in our remarks and answers, and additional information about the applicable risk factors and assumptions are contained in the Data Group's annual and quarterly continuous disclosure filings available on SEDAR. Also in today's conference call, all references to the Data Group will mean its various business divisions and affiliated entities. Okay. Let's get started. Data presented a new strategic growth plan in March of 2011, a year ago. We are pleased to report that the implementation of our plan, with its focus on stabilizing and revitalizing our business, has been successful in year one and we are fully focused on capitalizing on our new momentum of growth in We have implemented numerous initiatives to establish new revenue streams, incremental cost savings, and improve our profitability. In particular, we began to show positive results in the fourth quarter of 2011 when we had growth in revenue, gross profit, adjusted EBITDA, and net income, as well as our first new revenue from our new product launches and from our recent acquisition.
4 4 We will go over the specifics of our financial results with you in a couple of minutes, but first let me provide a summary of the Data Group's strategic growth plan accomplishments in 2011 and our goals for There are five of them, so I'll go through them. First of all, develop new high-growth digital products and services. In September of 2011, the Data Group launched two exciting new products: a set of integrated Web-based direct marketing capabilities and an innovative Web-based digital photo book service. Customer response has been positive. During the fourth quarter, we began to see revenue, albeit quite small at this stage, from these new services as we won our first new clients and began the implementation process with them. Also in the first two months of 2012, we have won additional new clients. We're actually quite pleased with the rate of new client wins, and expect to see material contribution to our results as we progress through Through the second half of 2011 and into 2012, the Data Group continued to make progress researching additional new products and services in both the digital direct marketing and the digital document management categories for potential future launch. Our progress on this research is encouraging and we will keep you informed as we make decisions about which of these services we will be launching.
5 5 I also want to, before I move on to the second point, make three points about the fundamental criteria that we look at when we do new product development. First of all, we plan to do a series of new product launches, and that's intended to minimize risk. In other words, we're not putting all our eggs in one basket with one product launch. We plan to do a series of them. Each one individually will not be huge relative to our overall business, but as they incrementally add up and launch we expect them to make a significant contribution to our business in the long term. And the final point is that one of our key guidelines, as you've heard me say before, is that we're looking at new products and services that have low capital expenditures. The second point in terms of our strategic growth plan was we said we wanted to complete acquisitions that are aligned with the Data Group's growth plan and that are accretive immediately. Result: in November 2011, the Data Group completed the acquisition of the Fulfillment Solutions Advantage Inc. as well as a 70 percent interest in FSA Datalytics Canada Inc. For the purposes of these discussions, we will refer to these generally as FSA. The Data Group believes that this acquisition provides opportunities to enhance our financial performance. FSA is a well-run,
6 6 profitable direct marketing company with advanced digital technology in direct marketing consulting services, including growing areas such as consumer predictive spending analysis, social media marketing program measurement, call centre services, fulfillment, and colour digital printing. FSA fits extremely well with the Data Group's recently launched Webbased direct marketing services as well as our gift card, direct mail, and other marketing services. We are now busy integrating FSA's operations and value proposition into our offering. Cross selling of our combined services has already begun. It's also noteworthy that this acquisition was immediately accretive. Going forward, we will continue to pursue additional acquisitions in the direct marketing and digital document management space. These will likely be aligned with the work we're doing in terms of new product development. Point number three. We want to continue the Data Group's aggressive sales effort to expand our market share in our core markets of document management and marketing services in order to generate new business. Results: during 2011, the Data Group expanded its capability in the growing areas of short run, on demand marketing print, as well as retail
7 7 gift card and loyalty card production, and we also expanded our already sophisticated Web-based ordering systems for digital web to print solutions. Apart from this expanded capability, we also began a number of initiatives to gain market share. Those are changes in our sales compensation program more directed towards new business development, added sales talent, and increased sales training and direct marketing campaigns to promote our products and services in the marketplace. We will continue with these initiatives and other initiatives in 2012 because they are proving to be successful. In 2011, the Data Group won $18 million in new business in terms of market share gains. This is a similar number to the record-setting numbers we achieved in the previous two years. However, it's noteworthy that in 2011 these wins were more profitable than they have been in the past, thanks to a more targeted approach on solutions that offer the most value to our customers and that drive our profitability. I'm talking about document management, colour digital printing, direct mail, gift cards, and labels. Initiative number four. Find innovative new ways to generate incremental cost savings. In 2011, the Data Group created a strategic sourcing department to initiate additional savings programs. This new
8 8 initiative, along with the incremental cost savings from equipment and real estate leases and process improvement programs, contributed to over $4 million in cost savings during the year and, therefore, to our improved gross profit. The Data Group expects continued material cost savings from these initiatives in Regarding the last two points that I just covered, cost savings and market share gains, I also want to note that we recently added a key new executive to our team, Alan Roberts, who will be an asset to us in both of these categories. This is the latest in a series of management changes we have made in the past 18 months. There was a news release about Alan, so if you're interested in more information, you'll see that on our Web page in the News Release section. Point number five. Stabilize our financial results in 2011 and position the company for modest growth in As mentioned, in the fourth quarter the Data Group experienced growth in revenue, gross profit, adjusted EBITDA, and net income compared to the fourth quarter of It's also important to note that while we experienced some of this growth as a result of our acquisition of FSA, we actually achieved growth in all of these categories even before counting FSA's numbers.
9 9 For the full-year, our revenue stabilized, gross profit increased, and adjusted EBITDA was only slightly below Also, this was accomplished while we absorbed the cost of increased investment in our future revenue growth initiatives, which really had no material benefit in 2011, but we believe will begin to show results in The Data Group completed our previously announced conversion from an income trust to a dividend paying public corporation as of January 1, This change will have no impact on our strategic growth plan or how our business is run on a day-to-day basis. We are pleased with our progress on our strategic growth plan and on our financial results in 2011, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us. Going forward, we remain highly focused on the successful ongoing execution of our plan, doing so in a prudent, well-managed fashion, balancing our investment in the plan with the other needs of our business, such as our dividend policy and capital structure. Expect to see us take further steps to win new market share, launch new products, reduce our costs, and seek out acquisition opportunities. Of course, not all the benefits of these new initiatives will simply be additive to the results we've already achieved. We face declines in some parts of our traditional business due to technology, and as a result
10 10 we must implement our strategic growth plan effectively in order to offset these declines and grow our business. I'll now turn it over to Paul O'Shea to talk about the specifics of our financial results. PAUL O'SHEA (Chief Financial Officer, Data Group Inc.): Thanks, Michael. I'll start with the Data Group's overall results and then comment on our results by segment. For the quarter ended December 31, 2011, revenues of 89.8 million were recorded, an increase of 4.8 million or 5.7 percent compared with the same period in The increase was due to new business wins and the inclusion of two months of results from FSA. Gross profit for the quarter ended December 31, 2011, was 22.5 million compared to a gross profit of 21.2 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2010, an increase of 6 percent. The increase was due to increased revenue, improved product mix, ongoing cost reductions, and two months of results from FSA. For the quarter ended December 31, 2011, adjusted EBITDA was 8.61 million or 9.6 percent of revenues, an increase of $600,000 or 6.9 percent from the same period in the prior year. Adjusted EBITDA margin for the quarter as a percentage of revenues increased from 9.5 percent in
11 to 9.6 percent in The increase was due to increased revenue and gross profit, which was partially offset by increased selling, general, and administrative costs associated with our investment in our growth plan. Net income for the quarter ended December 31, 2011, was 1.2 million compared to a net income of $400,000 for the quarter ended December 31, 2010, an increase of 236 percent. For the quarter ended December 31, 2011, we generated 4.9 million or $0.21 per share of cash available for distribution compared to 6.3 million or $0.269 per share in the same period in The decrease was due to us becoming taxable in Our total distribution to shareholders during the quarter were 3.8 million or $0.21 per share. Our payout ratio in the quarter was 77.3 percent. Turning to calendar year-to-date, revenues were 332 million versus million in 2010, a decrease of 0.1 percent. Gross profit was 83.4 million in 2011 compared to 80.8 million in 2010, for an increase of 3.2 percent. Adjusted EBITDA was 30.4 million or 9.2 percent of revenues compared to 30.7 million or 9.2 percent of revenues in The decrease was due to the increase in selling, general, and administrative
12 12 expenses associated with the investment in our strategic growth plan, but we partially offset that by an increase in our gross profit margins. Net income for the year ended December 31, 2011, was 5.4 million or $0.23 per basic share compared to a net income of 7.6 million or $0.32 per basic share for the same period in The decline in net income was due to an increase in taxes payable in 2011, partially offset by a decline in interest expenses. Cash available for distribution for the year ended December 31, 2011, was 18.5 million or $0.787 per share. Cash distributions were 15.3 million, $0.65 per share. Our payout ratio was 82.6 percent for the year compared to a payout ratio of percent in I'll now provide some highlights by segment, starting with the DATA East and West segments. Revenues in the DATA East and West segments for the year ended December 31, 2011, increased $500,000 or 0.2 percent to million from million for the same period in the prior year. Note that these results now include FSA. Revenues for the year ended December 31, 2011, increased from the same period due to revenue gains from new business, which included document management, colour digital printing, direct mail, labels, and gift cards. As I said previously, it also included two months of operations from
13 13 FSA and Datalytics, which were included in the revenue. The increase in revenues was partially offset by declines in revenues from existing customers. Revenues in Western Canada were strong during the second half of 2011 due to sales of event tickets and labels. In addition, revenue from the sale of lottery rolls during 2011 were higher than in the same period of 2010, and also in the first quarter of 2011 revenues from commercial printing in Alberta were higher due to the completion of several large projects for major customers. For the year ended December 31, 2011, gross profit increased 2.3 billion or 2.9 percent to 80.7 million from 78.4 million in the same period in Gross profit as a percentage of revenues for the year ended December 31, 2011, increased to 25 percent from 24 percent for the same period in This increase in gross profit was due to cost savings realized from ongoing productivity improvements and cost reduction initiatives, including better capacity utilization as a result of those measures. Revenues from new business also increased gross profit as most of the new business was in relatively high margin categories. In addition, the segment continued development of its new products and services
14 14 initiatives, which is expected to positively impact revenues and gross margins in During the year ended December 31, 2011, the segment continued its ongoing productivity improvement initiatives, which gave rise to some additional severance and restructuring costs, which are included under SG&A expenses. Turning now to Multiple Pakfold. Revenues at the Multiple Pakfold segment for the year ended December 31, 2011, decreased $400,000 or 2.8 percent to 14.4 million from 14.8 million for the same period in the prior year. The decrease in revenues for the year was attributable to aggressive pricing by competitors and a change in reorder cycles, and was partially offset by higher quoting activity. For the year ended December 31, 2011, gross profit increased $300,000 or 11.2 percent to 2.7 million from 2.4 million in the same period in Gross profit as a percentage of revenues for the year ended December 31, 2011, increased to 19.1 percent from 16.7 percent for the same period in The improvement in the gross profit as a percentage of revenues for the year ended December 31, 2011, was due to improved product mix, selling more value added, as well as savings realized from cost reduction initiatives.
15 15 I'll now turn it back to Michael for some closing remarks. MICHAEL SUKSI: Thanks very much, Paul. Well, these are exciting times at the Data Group as we position the company for a successful growth-oriented future. In 2011, we're proud to say that we did what we said we would do: winning new market share, launching new products, completing an acquisition, reducing our costs, carefully balancing the amount of investment we are making in our future with our more immediate financial goals, and we maintained our dividend of $0.65 per year. We're off to a good start with our growth plan, but we have much more to do as we move into In 2012, we will continue with this plan, executing on it, as I said earlier, in a prudent, well-managed fashion, continuing to balance our investment in the plan with our other needs of our business, such as our distribution policy and our capital structure. The Board of Trustees Board of Directors, I should say now, will continue to closely monitor our progress on an ongoing basis in this regard, and take what actions are necessary for the long-term health of the business. Let me conclude by saying I'd like to thank our shareholders for their ongoing support over the past year. Our customers, who are
16 16 continuing to work with us to maximize the value we can provide to them, and of course, our dedicated employees who are working really effectively to embrace and manage the critical transformational change we're making in our business. Thanks for listening today. And I'll now turn it back to Melissa to open it up for any questions. OPERATOR: At this time, I would like to remind everyone in order to ask a question press *, then the number 1 on your telephone keypad. We'll pause for a moment to compile the Q&A roster. And again that is *, then the number 1 on your telephone keypad. There are no questions at this time. MICHAEL SUKSI: Thanks, Melissa. Well, then thanks again for listening to us, and we'll look forward to updating you as we move forward in Take care. OPERATOR: And, ladies and gentlemen, this concludes today's conference call. You may now disconnect. *****