TORONTO, Ontario (April 23, 2003) -MDC Corporation Inc. of Toronto (TSX: MDZ.A; NASDAQ: MDCA) and Custom Direct Income Fund (the “Fund”) today announced the financial results of Custom Direct, Inc. (the “Company”) for the first quarter ended March 31, 2003.
During the quarter, the Company generated sales of $29.0 million, an increase of 9.8% over sales of $26.4 million for the same period last year. The growth resulted from an increase in both the number of orders and average order revenue, as the Company continued to migrate customers to higher value ordering channels including the telephone and Internet. This growth was achieved without increasing advertising expenditures above the levels of the prior year.
EBITDA for the quarter was $6.0 million, an increase of 23.9% from the $4.8 million in EBITDA generated for the same period last year. EBITDA margins for the quarter improved to 20.6% of sales from 18.2% a year earlier. Net income for the quarter was $3.2 million, an increase of 22.3% from the $2.6 million in Net income generated for the same period last year. These increases resulted from higher gross profits and gross profit margins as the Company realized operational efficiencies and increased the mix of product lines produced internally at lower costs than those produced through outsourcing arrangements.
“EBITDA” means earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization and non-recurring costs. Management believes that in addition to net income or loss, EBITDA is a useful supplemental measure of cash available for distribution prior to debt service, capital expenditures and income taxes. However, EBITDA is not a recognized measure under Canadian generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”). EBITDA should not be construed as an alternative to net income or loss determined in accordance with GAAP as an indicator of the Company’s performance or to cash flows from operating, investing and financing activities as a measure of liquidity and cash flows. The Company’s method of calculating EBITDA may differ from the methods used by other companies and, accordingly, the Company’s EBITDA calculations may not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by other companies.
On March 28, 2003, Custom Direct Income Fund refiled its preliminary prospectus with the securities regulatory authorities in each of the provinces and territories of Canada in connection with the previously announced proposed initial public offering of units of the Fund. The net proceeds of this offering will be used to acquire an indirect interest in the Company from MDC.
The units of the Fund have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933 and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from such registration requirements.
About Custom Direct
Based in Maryland and Arkansas, Custom Direct has been selling cheques and cheque related accessories across the United States since 1992 and offers the industry’s widest selection of product designs. Custom Direct is the second largest participant in the direct-to-consumer segment of the U.S. cheque industry with sales and EBITDA for the year ended December 31, 2002 of approximately $103 million and $20 million respectively.
About MDC Corporation Inc. (“MDC”)
MDC is a publicly traded international business services organization with operating units in Canada, the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. MDC provides marketing communication services, through Maxxcom, and offers security sensitive transaction products and services in four primary areas: personalized transaction products such as personal and business cheques; electronic transaction products such as credit, debit, telephone & smart cards; secure ticketing products, such as airline, transit and event tickets; and stamps, both postal and excise. MDC shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol MDZ.A and on NASDAQ National Market under the symbol MDCA.