QUEBEC CITY, CANADA, October 7, 2020 — EXFO Inc. (NASDAQ: EXFO) (TSX: EXF), the communications industry’s test, monitoring and analytics experts, announced today financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended August 31, 2020.
“In fiscal 2020, EXFO experienced the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the global economy which, in turn, adversely affected our revenues and profitability. However, I’m pleased to see EXFO close its fourth quarter on a positive note with strong revenues and cash flows from operations,” said Philippe Morin, EXFO’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our ongoing digital transformation allowed EXFO to quickly adapt to the virtualized selling environment and secure five new service assurance contract wins. In FY21, we will continue to strengthen our focus on high-growth drivers like fiber, 5G and cloud-native deployments, while reducing investments in lower-growth areas. These initiatives should continue to benefit EXFO’s competitive position and enable profitable growth.”
“Looking ahead, we are excited about the wealth of opportunities for our T&M and SASS product groups. Demand for field testing equipment should recover with major fiber deployment projects, barring the return of extensive lockdown restrictions with the second wave. We also expect continued growth from our lab and manufacturing test solutions, especially in the ultra-high-speed area with our pending acquisition of InOpticals. In addition, we expect our Nova Adaptive Service Assurance platform to benefit from the momentum of our recent contract wins, the ramp-up of cloud-native 5G architectures and heightened activity in the network core.”
Due to the uncertainty surrounding the breadth and duration of the coronavirus pandemic, and its undetermined impact on the macro-economic environment, EXFO has suspended quarterly and annual guidance indefinitely.
Sales in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 reached US$70.6 million compared to US$70.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2019. Annual sales decreased 7.4% to US$265.6 million in fiscal 2020 mainly due to the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Bookings totaled US$63.0 million for a book-to-bill ratio of 0.89 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 compared to US$70.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2019. For fiscal 2020, bookings decreased 11.1% to US$264.9 million for a book-to-bill ratio of 1.00 mainly due to the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Gross margin before depreciation and amortization* attained 53.8% of sales in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 compared 56.9% in the fourth quarter of 2019. In fiscal 2020, gross margin before depreciation and amortization reached 56.9% of sales compared to 58.6% in 2019.
Selling and administrative expenses totaled US$24.6 million, or 34.8% of sales, in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 compared to US$23.0 million, or 32.8% of sales, in the fourth quarter of 2019. In fiscal 2020, selling and administrative expenses amounted to US$92.3 million, or 34.8% of sales, compared to US$98.6 million, or 34.4% of sales, in 2019.
Net R&D expenses amounted to US$12.0 million, or 17.0% of sales, in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 compared to US$11.1 million, or 15.9% of sales, in the fourth quarter of 2019. In fiscal 2020, net R&D expenses totaled US$45.5 million, or 17.1% of sales, compared to US$50.6 million, or 17.6% of sales, in 2019.
In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020, IFRS net loss amounted to US$3.6 million, or US$0.07 per share, compared to US$0.2 million, or US$0.00 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2019. Net loss in the fourth quarter of 2020 included net expenses totaling US$4.0 million: US$1.2 million in after-tax amortization of intangible assets, US$0.6 million in stock-based compensation costs, US$2.4 million in after-tax restructuring charges, and a foreign exchange gain of US$0.2 million.
In fiscal 2020, IFRS net loss totaled US$9.5 million, or US$0.17 per share, compared to US$2.5 million, or US$0.04 per share, in 2019. Net loss in 2020 included expenses totaling US$10.3 million: US$5.5 million in after-tax amortization of intangible assets, US$2.0 million in stock-based compensation costs, US$2.4 million in after-tax restructuring charges, and a foreign exchange loss of US$0.4 million. Net loss in fiscal 2020 also included US$2.4 million for an after-tax wage subsidy granted by the Canadian government to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Adjusted EBITDA* amounted to US$4.9 million, or 6.9% of sales, in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 compared US$6.2 million, or 8.9% of sales, in the fourth quarter of 2019. In fiscal 2020, adjusted EBITDA totaled US$18.2 million, or 6.8% of sales, compared to US$25.6 million, or 8.9% of sales, in 2019.
After-tax restructuring charges totaled US$2.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2020 and in fiscal 2020 compared to zero charges in the fourth quarter of 2019 and US$3.2 million in 2019.
EXFO will host a conference call today at 5 p.m. (Eastern time) to review fourth quarter and year-end financial results for fiscal 2020. To listen to the conference call and participate in the question period via telephone, dial 1-929-477-0577. Please take note the following conference ID number will be required: 2685037. EXFO’s Executive Chairman Germain Lamonde, CEO Philippe Morin, and Pierre Plamondon, CPA, Vice-President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer, will participate in the call. An audio replay of the conference call will be available two hours after the event until 8:00 p.m. on October 14, 2020. The replay number is 1-719-457-0820 and the conference ID number is 2685037. 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.
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.
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, namely the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our employees, customers and global operations, including the ability of our suppliers to fulfil raw material requirements and services and our ability to manufacture and deliver our products and services to our customers; the effects of emergency measures related to isolation periods for individuals in affected areas, lockdown restrictions imposed by national governments on businesses in countries where we operate and have employees, and limitations on travel to attract new customers and serve existing ones; deteriorating financial and market conditions as well as a potential recession; trade wars, and 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.
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 income/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 historical and prospective financial performance, as well as performance relative to competitors. These non-IFRS measures are also used by financial analysts that evaluate and compare the company’s performance against that of competitors and industry players in the sector.
Finally, these measures help EXFO plan and forecast future periods as well as make operational and strategic decisions. EXFO believes that providing this information to investors, in addition to the 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:
(1) IFRS net loss for the three months and the year ended August 31, 2020 takes into account the impact of the adoption of IFRS 16 on September 1, 2019. The adoption of IFRS 16 on September 1, 2019 had a positive impact on adjusted EBITDA of US$0.8 million or 1.1% of sales and US$3.3 million or 1.3% of sales, respectively, for the three months and year ended August 31, 2020. Comparative figures were not adjusted.
Corporate Communications Manager