Velan Inc. Reports its Second Quarter 2014/15 Financial Results

2014-10-10

MONTREAL, QUEBEC, Oct 9, 2014 (Marketwired via COMTEX) -- Velan Inc. (VLN) (the "Company"), a world-leading manufacturer of industrial valves, announced today its financial results for its second quarter ended August 31, 2014.

Highlights

 -- Sales of US$110.9 million for the quarter -- Net earnings(1) of US$5.1 million for the quarter -- Order backlog of US$490.7 million at the end of the quarter -- Order bookings of US$117.9 million for the quarter -- Net cash(2) of US$68.8 million at the end of the quarter -- Quarterly dividend of CA$0.10 per share declared, payable December 31, 2014 Three-month periods Six-month periods ended ended August 31 August 31 ---------------------------------------- (millions of U.S. dollars, excluding per share amounts) 2014 2013 2014 2013 ---------------------------------------- Sales $ 110.9 $ 120.7 $ 214.0 $ 252.9 Gross profit 29.2 30.1 55.7 60.8 Gross margin % 26.3% 24.9% 26.0% 24.0% Net income (loss) attributable to Subordinate and Multiple Voting Shares 5.1 4.9 9.1 10.7 Net income (loss) per share - Basic 0.23 0.23 0.41 0.49 - Diluted 0.23 0.23 0.41 0.49 

Second Quarter Fiscal 2015 (unless otherwise noted, all amounts are in U.S. dollars and all comparisons are to the second quarter of fiscal 2014):

 -- Net earnings(1) amounted to $5.1 million or $0.23 per share compared to $4.9 million or $0.23 per share last year. The $0.2 million increase in net earnings(1) is primarily attributable to an improved gross margin percentage and lower net borrowing costs. -- Sales amounted to $110.9 million, a decrease of $9.8 million or 8.1% for the quarter, while net new orders received ("bookings") amounted to $117.9 million, an increase of $25.2 million or 27.2% compared to last year. As a result, the Company ended the quarter with a backlog of $490.7 million, an increase of $19.0 million or 4.0% since the beginning of the current fiscal year. -- Gross margin increased by 1.4 percentage points from 24.9% to 26.3%. This increase is mainly attributable to a product mix with a greater proportion of higher margin product sales, particularly spare parts and valves without third party actuators. -- The Company generated net cash(2) from operations of $5.3 million in the quarter. The Company ended the quarter with net cash(2) of $68.8 million, an increase of $1.1 million or 1.6% since the beginning of the current fiscal year. 

First Half Year Fiscal 2015 (unless otherwise noted, all comparisons are to the first half year of fiscal 2014):

 -- Net earnings(1) amounted to $9.1 million or $0.41 per share compared to $10.7 million or $0.49 per share last year. The $1.6 million decrease in net earnings(1) is primarily attributable to lower sales volume which was partially offset by improved gross margins. -- Sales amounted to $214.0 million, a decrease of $38.9 million or 15.4%. The decrease in sales is primarily attributable to decreased shipments of certain large export project orders. -- Bookings amounted to $232.2 million, an increase of $32.8 million or 16.4% compared to last year, continuing the positive trend which started during the latter half of the prior year. -- Gross margin increased by 2.0 percentage points from 24.0% to 26.0%. This increase is mainly attributable to a product mix with a greater proportion of higher margin product sales, particularly spare parts and valves without third party actuators. -- The Company generated net cash(2) from operations of $16.7 million in the period. This source of net cash(2) was primarily attributable to positive cash net earnings(1). -- Foreign currency impacts: -- Based on average exchange rates, the Euro strengthened 4.1% against the U.S. dollar when compared to the same period last year. This strengthening resulted in the Company's net profits from its European subsidiaries being reported as higher U.S. dollar amounts in the current period. -- Based on average exchange rates, the Canadian dollar weakened 5.7% against the U.S. dollar when compared to the same period last year. This weakening resulted in the Company's Canadian dollar expenses being reported as lower U.S. dollar amounts in the current period. -- The impact of these currency swings was favourable to the Company's results for the period. 

"Although our sales this quarter were lower than the comparable quarter last year, due in part to certain contracts that couldn't ship during the quarter, we were pleased that the margin continued to be stronger than last year," said John Ball, CFO of Velan Inc. "The stronger margins, coupled with flat administration costs, resulted in a slightly better net income for the quarter. Furthermore, given our strong balance sheet, we intend, subject to Toronto Stock Exchange approval, to renew our normal course issuer bid when it expires on October 21, 2014. Although this year we had hoped to buy more than the 17,600 shares that we managed to acquire on the open market, we realize our shares are thinly traded and not always available in the quantities we would like. Under the bid, we may purchase up to 100,000 Subordinate Voting Shares (the "Shares"), representing approximately 1.57% of the issued Shares of such class as at October 9, 2014. All Shares purchased will be cancelled. As at October 9, 2014, we had 6,374,601 Shares outstanding. During the past 12 months, 17,600 Shares were purchased at a weighted average price of $16.99. We have concluded that purchases of up to 100,000 of the issued and outstanding Shares may be an appropriate and desirable use of available funds and, therefore, would be in the best interest of the Corporation. As a result of such purchases, the number of issued Shares will be decreased and, consequently, the proportionate share interest of all remaining shareholders will be increased on a pro rata basis."

Tom Velan, President and CEO of Velan Inc. said, "We just completed an international sales conference with our distributors and agents as well as our sales people from around the world. I am encouraged by the great opportunities for our products in the global energy market."

Dividend

The Board declared an eligible quarterly dividend of CDN$0.10 per share, payable on December 31, 2014, to all shareholders of record as at December 15, 2014.

Conference call

Financial analysts, shareholders, and other interested individuals are invited to attend the second quarter conference call to be held on October 9, 2014, at 4:30 PM (EDT). The toll free call-in number is 1-877-256-6025, access code 21735725. A recording of this conference call will be available for seven days at 1-416-626-4100 or 1-800-558-5253, access code 21735725.

About Velan

Velan Inc. (www.velan.com) is a world-leading manufacturer of industrial valves with sales of $489 million in its last reported fiscal year. The Company employs over 2,000 people and has manufacturing plants in 10 countries. Velan Inc. is a public company with its shares listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol VLN.

Safe harbour statement

Except for historical information provided herein, this press release may contain information and statements of a forward-looking nature concerning the future performance of the Company. These statements are based on suppositions and uncertainties as well as on management's best possible evaluation of future events. Such factors may include, without excluding other considerations, fluctuations in quarterly results, evolution in customer demand for the Company's products and services, the impact of price pressures exerted by competitors, and general market trends or economic changes. As a result, readers are advised that actual results may differ from expected results.

Non-IFRS measures

In this press release, the Company presented measures of performance and financial condition that are not defined under International Financial Reporting Standards ("non-IFRS measures") and are therefore unlikely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. These measures are used by management in assessing the operating results and financial condition of the Company. In addition, they provide readers of the Company's consolidated financial statements with enhanced understanding of its results and financial condition, and increase transparency and clarity into the operating results of its core business.

The term "net cash" is defined as cash and cash equivalents plus short-term investments less bank indebtedness, short-term bank loans, and current portion of long-term bank borrowings. Refer to the "Reconciliations of Non- IFRS Measures" section in the Company's MD&A for a detailed calculation of this measure.

(1) Net earnings or loss refer to net income or loss attributable to Subordinate and Multiple Voting Shares.

(2) Non-IFRS measures - see explanation above.