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FOURTH QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS:
FULL YEAR HIGHLIGHTS:
New York, NY, February 22, 2018 (NASDAQ: MDCA) – MDC Partners Inc. (“MDC Partners” or the “Company”) today announced financial results for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017.
Scott Kauffman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MDC Partners, said, “2017 was a year of significant progress for MDC Partners. We achieved all of our key financial targets with industry-leading performance, including 7.0% organic revenue growth, 15.2% Adjusted EBITDA growth and 60 basis points expansion of Adjusted EBITDA margins. Our portfolio of world-class firms are helping clients navigate shifts in consumer behavior, going to market with a modern approach to creativity, strategic insights, communications, data analytics and technical expertise. This success validates our ongoing investments in talent and global infrastructure, and reinforces our commitment to solving the Chief Marketing Officer’s most important business challenges.”
David Doft, Chief Financial Officer of MDC Partners, said, “We are pleased with our strong revenue growth in 2017 and ability to convert a higher percentage of it to the bottom line. We ended the year as we expected, hitting our guidance targets across revenue, Adjusted EBITDA and margin. On top of our solid financial performance, we significantly strengthened our financial position this year by reducing our remaining acquisition-related obligations to a six-and-a-half-year low and by de-leveraging the balance sheet by 1.0x turn on a net debt/Adjusted EBITDA basis. We believe this should drive more significant cash generation beginning in 2018, and we remain firmly committed to strengthening our balance sheet as we execute on our strategic plan. Looking ahead, we are planning for another year of market share gains while prioritizing strategic growth investments. We believe that the combination of topline growth, margin expansion and improved cash generation makes for a highly attractive investment opportunity.”
Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2017 Financial Results
Revenue for the fourth quarter of 2017 was $402.7 million, an increase of 3.2%, compared to $390.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2016. The effect of foreign exchange was positive 1.4%, the impact of non-GAAP acquisitions (dispositions), net was negative 1.6%, and the resulting organic revenue growth was 3.3%. Organic revenue growth in the period was favorably impacted by 50 basis points from increased billable pass-through costs incurred on clients’ behalf from certain of our partner firms acting as principal.
Net income attributable to MDC Partners common shareholders for the fourth quarter of 2017 was $220.7 million compared to $9.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2016. Diluted income per share attributable to MDC Partners common shareholders for the fourth quarter of 2017 was $3.30 compared to $0.17 per share for the fourth quarter of 2016. Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter of 2017 was $66.8 million, an increase of 19.9% compared to $55.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2016, with margins expanding by 230 basis points versus last year.
Revenue for the full year 2017 was $1.51 billion, an increase of 9.2%, compared to $1.39 billion for the full year 2016. The effect of foreign exchange was 0.1%, the impact of non-GAAP acquisitions (dispositions), net was positive 2.2%, and the resulting organic revenue growth was 7.0%. Organic revenue growth in the period was favorably impacted by 160 basis points from increased billable pass-through costs incurred on clients’ behalf from certain of our partner firms acting as principal.
Net income attributable to MDC Partners common shareholders for the full year 2017 was $235.5 million compared to a loss of ($45.8) million for the full year 2016. Diluted income per share attributable to MDC Partners common shareholders for the full year 2017 was $3.71 compared to a loss of ($0.89) per share for the full year 2016. Adjusted EBITDA for the full year 2017 was $203.5 million, an increase of 15.2% compared to $176.7 million for the full year 2016, with margins expanding by 60 basis points versus last year.
Impact of Tax Items
Fourth quarter and full year 2017 net income attributable to MDC Partners common shareholders included a net benefit of $100.5 million as a result of the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which was comprised of a $34.1 million net benefit from the remeasurement of deferred tax assets and liabilities and a $66.4 million benefit from the reversal of a valuation allowance on our deferred tax assets. Fourth quarter and full year 2017 also included a benefit of $105.5 million from the reversal of a valuation allowance on our remaining deferred tax assets, primarily based on our current historical taxable income and our expectations of future taxable income. Excluding these items, our Diluted income per share attributable to MDC Partners common shareholders for the fourth quarter and full year 2017 would have been $0.22 and $0.46, respectively.
Management will host a conference call on Thursday, February 22, 2018, at 4:30 p.m. (ET) to discuss results. The conference call will be accessible by dialing 1-412-902-4266 or toll free 1-888-346-6216. An investor presentation has been posted on our website at www.mdc-partners.com and may be referred to during the conference call.
A recording of the conference call will be available one hour after the call until 12:00 a.m. (ET), March 1, 2018, by dialing 1-412-317-0088 or toll free 1-877-344-7529 (passcode 10117058), or by visiting our website at www.mdc-partners.com.
About MDC Partners Inc.
MDC Partners is one of the fastest-growing and most influential marketing and communications networks in the world. Its 50+ advertising, public relations, branding, digital, social and event marketing agencies are responsible for some of the most memorable and engaging campaigns for the world’s most respected brands. As “The Place Where Great Talent Lives,” MDC Partners is known for its unique partnership model, empowering the most entrepreneurial and innovative talent to drive competitive advantage and business growth for clients. By leveraging technology, data analytics, insights, and strategic consulting solutions, MDC Partners drives measurable results and optimizes return on marketing investment for over 1,700 clients worldwide. For more information about MDC Partners and its partner firms, visit our website at www.mdc-partners.com and follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/mdcpartners.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
In addition to its reported results, MDC Partners has included in this earnings release certain financial results that the Securities and Exchange Commission defines as “non-GAAP financial measures.” Management believes that such non-GAAP financial measures, when read in conjunction with the Company’s reported results, can provide useful supplemental information for investors analyzing period to period comparisons of the Company’s results. Such non-GAAP financial measures for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2017, include the following:
(1) Organic Revenue: “Organic revenue growth” and “organic revenue decline” refer to the positive or negative results, respectively, of subtracting both the foreign exchange and acquisition (disposition) components from total revenue growth. The acquisition (disposition) component is calculated by aggregating prior period revenue for any acquired businesses, less the prior period revenue of any businesses that were disposed of during the current period. The organic revenue growth (decline) component reflects the constant currency impact of (a) the change in revenue of the partner firms which the Company has held throughout each of the comparable periods presented, and (b) “non-GAAP acquisitions (dispositions), net”. Non-GAAP acquisitions (dispositions), net consists of (i) for acquisitions during the current year, the revenue effect from such acquisition as if the acquisition had been owned during the equivalent period in the prior year and (ii) for acquisitions during the previous year, the revenue effect from such acquisitions as if they had been owned during that entire year (or same period as the current reportable period), taking into account their respective pre-acquisition revenues for the applicable periods, and (iii) for dispositions, the revenue effect from such disposition as if they had been disposed of during the equivalent period in the prior year.
(2) Net New Business: Estimate of annualized revenue for new wins less annualized revenue for losses incurred in the period.
(3) Adjusted EBITDA: Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP measure that represents operating profit plus depreciation and amortization, stock-based compensation, deferred acquisition consideration adjustments, distributions from non-consolidated affiliates, and other items. Prior to 2017, Adjusted EBITDA included an additional adjustment for acquisition deal costs. Beginning with 2017, on a prospective basis we no longer include the acquisition deal cost adjustment but we continue to disclose this metric on Schedule 9 for your reference.
Included in this earnings release are tables reconciling MDC Partners’ reported results to arrive at certain of these non-GAAP financial measures. We are unable to reconcile our projected 2017 organic revenue growth to the corresponding GAAP measure because we are unable to predict the 2017 impact of foreign exchange due to the unpredictability of future changes in foreign exchange rates and because we are unable to predict the occurrence or impact of any acquisitions, dispositions, or other potential changes. We are unable to reconcile our projected 2017 increase in Adjusted EBITDA margin to the corresponding GAAP measure because the amount and timing of many future charges that impact these measures (such as amortization of future acquired intangible assets, foreign exchange transaction gains or losses, impairment charges, provision or benefit for income taxes, and certain assumptions used in the calculation of deferred acquisition consideration) are variable, uncertain, or out of our control and therefore cannot be reasonably predicted without unreasonable effort, if at all. As a result, we are unable to provide reconciliations of these measures. In addition, we believe such reconciliations could imply a degree of precision that might be confusing or misleading to investors.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. The Company’s representatives may also make forward-looking statements orally from time to time. Statements in this press release that are not historical facts, including statements about the Company’s beliefs and expectations, earnings guidance, recent business and economic trends, potential acquisitions, and estimates of amounts for redeemable noncontrolling interests and deferred acquisition consideration, constitute forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current plans, estimates and projections, and are subject to change based on a number of factors, including those outlined in this section. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly any of them in light of new information or future events, if any.
Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. Such risk factors include, but are not limited to, the following:
The Company’s business strategy includes ongoing efforts to engage in acquisitions of ownership interests in entities in the marketing communications services industry. The Company intends to finance these acquisitions by using available cash from operations, from borrowings under its credit facility and through incurrence of bridge or other debt financing, any of which may increase the Company’s leverage ratios, or by issuing equity, which may have a dilutive impact on existing shareholders proportionate ownership. At any given time, the Company may be engaged in a number of discussions that may result in one or more acquisitions. These opportunities require confidentiality and may involve negotiations that require quick responses by the Company. Although there is uncertainty that any of these discussions will result in definitive agreements or the completion of any transactions, the announcement of any such transaction may lead to increased volatility in the trading price of the Company’s securities.
Investors should carefully consider these risk factors and the additional risk factors outlined in more detail in the Annual Report on Form 10-K under the caption “Risk Factors” and in the Company’s other SEC filings.
Matt Chesler, CFA
VP, Investor Relations and Finance