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EXFO reports first quarter results for fiscal 2020

Published on January 7, 2020

  • Sales increased 6.3% to US$73.6 million, above midpoint of guidance range
  • IFRS net loss amounted to US$0.1 million, US$0.00 per share
  • Adjusted EBITDA totaled US$7.5 million, 10.3% of sales

QUEBEC CITY, CANADA, January 7, 2020 — EXFO Inc. (NASDAQ: EXFO; TSX: EXF), the communications industry's test, monitoring and analytics experts, reported today financial results for the first quarter ended November 30, 2019.

“EXFO delivered a strong first-quarter performance to begin fiscal 2020, highlighted by sales above the midpoint of guidance for a fifth consecutive reporting period and adjusted EBITDA margin in double-digits,” said EXFO’s CEO Philippe Morin. “These results demonstrate the heightened leverage in our business model through a combination of increased revenue and lower cost structure. Although we are operating within a highly dynamic and transforming industry, we are confident about achieving our profitable growth strategy for the full fiscal year.”

First-Quarter Highlights

  • Sales. Sales increased 6.3% in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 mainly due to a more linear influx of Test and Measurement (T&M) orders compared to the same period in 2019, and stronger demand for the company’s solutions in the Asia-Pacific region. T&M sales accounted for 76% of revenue in the first quarter of 2020, while Service Assurance, Systems and Services (SASS) sales totaled 24%. Revenue distribution among the three main selling regions amounted to 54% in the Americas, 29% in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and 17% in Asia-Pacific. EXFO’s top customer accounted for 11.9% of sales, while the top three represented 19.7%.
  • Profitability. IFRS net loss amounted to US$0.1 million, or US$0.00 per share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2020, while adjusted EBITDA totaled US$7.5 million, or 10.3% of sales. EXFO adopted IFRS 16, “Leases,” on Sept. 1, 2019, using the modified retrospective method which had a positive impact on adjusted EBITDA of US$0.9 million, or 1.2% of sales, in the first quarter of 2020. Prior period amounts were not adjusted.
  • Innovation. EXFO introduced the Optical Wave Expert, the first test solution to integrate DWDM (dense wavelength division multiplexing) channel power validation and OTDR (optical time domain reflectometry) fault-locating capabilities on a single port. Designed to reduce mean-time-to-repair, this instrument enables field technicians to automatically troubleshoot optical fiber links.

Business Outlook

EXFO forecasts sales between US$66.0 million and US$71.0 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2020, while IFRS net loss is expected to range between -US$0.09 and -US$0.05 per share. IFRS net loss includes US$0.05 per share in after-tax amortization of intangible assets, stock-based compensation costs and anticipated foreign exchange loss.

This guidance, which is a forward-looking statement, was established by management based on existing backlog as of the date of this news release, seasonality, expected bookings for the remaining of the quarter as well as exchange rates as of the date of this news release.

Selected Financial Information
(In thousands of US dollars)

Selected Financial Information (In thousands of US dollars) Q1-2020

Quarterly Overview

Sales reached US$73.6 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 compared to US$69.2 million in the first quarter of 2019.

Bookings attained US$69.9 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 compared to US$81.2 million for the same period in 2019. The company's book-to-bill ratio was 0.95 in the first quarter of 2020.

Gross margin before depreciation and amortization* improved to 58.9% of sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 from 58.2% in the first quarter of 2019.

Selling and administrative expenses totaled US$24.5 million, or 33.3% of sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 compared to US$26.4 million, or 38.1% of sales, in the first quarter of 2019.

Net R&D expenses amounted to US$11.7 million, or 16.0% of sales, in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 compared to US$15.2 million, or 22.0% of sales, in the same period last year. Net R&D expenses included US$2.1 million in restructuring charges in the first quarter of 2019.

IFRS net loss totaled US$0.1 million, or US$0.00 per share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 compared to US$7.5 million, or US$0.14 per share, in the first quarter of 2019. IFRS net loss in the first quarter of 2020 included US$1.4 million in after-tax amortization of intangible assets, US$0.5 million in stock-based compensation costs and US$0.1 million in foreign exchange loss. In the first quarter of 2019, IFRS net loss was impacted by restructuring charges of US$2.7 million.

Adjusted EBITDA* amounted to US$7.5 million, or 10.3% of sales, in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 compared to US$2.7 million, or 3.9% of sales, in the first quarter of 2019.

Conference Call and Webcast

EXFO will host a conference call today at 5 p.m. (Eastern time) to review first-quarter results for fiscal 2020. To listen to the conference call and participate in the question period via telephone, dial 1-323-794-2093. Please take note the following participant passcode will be required: 7351891. Executive Chairman Germain Lamonde, CEO Philippe Morin and Pierre Plamondon, CPA, Chief Financial Officer and Vice-President of Finance, will participate in the call. An audio replay of the conference call will be available two hours after the event until 8 p.m. on January 14, 2020. The replay number is 1-719-457-0820 and the participant passcode is 7351891. The audio Webcast and replay of the conference call will also be available on EXFO’s Website at www.EXFO.com, under the Investors section.

About EXFO

EXFO (NASDAQ: EXFO) (TSX: EXF) develops smarter test, monitoring and analytics solutions for fixed and mobile network operators, webscale companies and equipment manufacturers in the global communications industry. Our customers count on us to deliver superior network performance, service reliability and subscriber insights. They count on our unique blend of equipment, software and services to accelerate digital transformations related to fiber, 4G/LTE and 5G deployments. They count on our expertise with automation, real-time troubleshooting and big data analytics, which are critical to their business performance. We’ve spent over 30 years earning this trust, and today 1,900 EXFO employees in over 25 countries work side by side with our customers in the lab, field, data center and beyond.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and we intend that such forward-looking statements be subject to the safe harbors created thereby. Forward-looking statements are statements other than historical information or statements of current condition. Words such as may, expect, believe, plan, anticipate, intend, could, estimate, continue, or similar expressions or the negative of such expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. In addition, any statements that refer to expectations, projections or other characterizations of future events and circumstances are considered forward-looking statements. They are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those in forward-looking statements due to various factors including, but not limited to, macroeconomic uncertainty, including trade wars and recessions; our ability to successfully integrate businesses that we acquire; capital spending and network deployment levels in the communications industry (including our ability to quickly adapt cost structures to anticipated levels of business and our ability to manage inventory levels with market demand); future economic, competitive, financial and market conditions; consolidation in the global communications test, monitoring and analytics solutions markets and increased competition among vendors; capacity to adapt our future product offering to future technological changes; limited visibility with regard to the timing and nature of customer orders; delay in revenue recognition due to longer sales cycles for complex systems involving customers’ acceptance; fluctuating exchange rates; concentration of sales; timely release and market acceptance of our new products and other upcoming products; our ability to successfully expand international operations and to conduct business internationally; and the retention of key technical and management personnel. Assumptions relating to the foregoing involve judgments and risks, all of which are difficult or impossible to predict and many of which are beyond our control. Other risk factors that may affect our future performance and operations are detailed in our Annual Report, on Form 20-F, and our other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Canadian securities commissions. We believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable based on information currently available to us, but we cannot assure you that the expectations will prove to have been correct. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. These statements speak only as of the date of this document. Unless required by law or applicable regulations, we undertake no obligation to revise or update any of them to reflect events or circumstances that occur after the date of this document.

*Non-IFRS Measures

EXFO provides non-IFRS measures (gross margin before depreciation and amortization and adjusted EBITDA) as supplemental information regarding its operational performance. Gross margin before depreciation and amortization represents sales, less cost of sales, excluding depreciation and amortization. Adjusted EBITDA represents net loss before interest and other expense, income taxes, depreciation and amortization, stock-based compensation costs, restructuring charges, acquisition-related deferred revenue fair value adjustment, and foreign exchange gain or loss.

These non-IFRS measures eliminate the effect on IFRS results of non-cash statement of earnings elements, restructuring charges as well as elements subject to significant volatility such as foreign exchange gain or loss. EXFO uses these measures for evaluating its historical and prospective financial performance, as well as its performance relative to competitors. These non-IFRS measures are also used by financial analysts who evaluate and compare EXFO’s performance against that of competitors and industry players in the sector.

Finally, these measures help EXFO to plan and forecast future periods as well as make operational and strategic decisions. EXFO believes that providing this information to investors, in addition to IFRS measures, allows them to see the company’s results through the eyes of management, and to better understand historical and future financial performance. More importantly, it enables the comparison of EXFO’s performance on a relatively similar basis against that of other public and private companies in the industry worldwide.

The presentation of this additional information is not prepared in accordance with IFRS. Therefore, the information may not necessarily be comparable to that of other companies and should be considered as a supplement to, not a substitute for, the corresponding measures calculated in accordance with IFRS.

The following table summarizes the reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA to IFRS net loss in thousands of US dollars:

Adjusted EBITDA

Adjusted EBITDA Q1-2020

(1) IFRS net loss for the three months ended November 30, 2019 takes into account the impact of the adoption of IFRS 16 on September 1, 2019. The adoption of IFRS 16 had a positive impact on adjusted EBITDA of $851,000, or 1.2% of sales, for the three months ended November 30, 2019. Comparative figures were not adjusted.

For more information

Vance Oliver
Director, Investor Relations
(418) 683-0913, Ext. 23733
[email protected]

Click here to download the Condensed Unaudited Interim Consolidated Balance Sheets (PDF)

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