GMP Announces Q4/17 and 2017 Results

GMP CAPITAL INC. REPORTS FOURTH QUARTER AND YEAR-END 2017 RESULTS

•  Earned net income of $6.4 million and diluted earnings per share of $0.07 in fourth quarter 2017, including meaningful contribution from the blockchain and cryptocurrencies and cannabis franchises
•  On an adjusted basis, fourth quarter 2017 net income was $9.7 million and diluted earnings per share1 of $0.11
•  Board of directors declared a special cash dividend of $0.10 per common share, payable on April 2, 2018, to common shareholders of record on March 15, 2018.

Toronto, March 2, 2018 - GMP Capital Inc. (GMP) (TSX: GMP) today reported revenue of $59.3 million in fourth quarter 2017 representing a 9% decrease relative to the same period a year ago. GMP recorded net income of $6.4 million and EPS of $0.07 in fourth quarter 2017 compared with net income of $3.2 million and diluted EPS of $0.03 in fourth quarter 2016. Adjusted EPS1 was $0.11 in fourth quarter 2017 compared with $0.07 in the prior year quarter.

“The progress we made toward diversifying our business over the past year is best evidenced by a strong fourth quarter 2017.  Impressive growth in our underwriting franchise was driven by robust client activity in the burgeoning blockchain and cannabis sectors," said Harris Fricker, President and Chief Executive Officer, GMP. “Additionally, the declaration of a special dividend by our Board is indicative of the improvement in GMP's operational performance in 2017 and our outlook for the first half of 2018.  We also remain encouraged by the ongoing financial strength of our industry-leading Wealth Management business."

Full year revenue was $186.8 million in 2017, down 5% compared with 2016.  GMP recorded a net loss of $47.1 million and a diluted loss per share of $0.74 in 2017, primarily due to the $52.0 million non-cash goodwill impairment charge recorded in second quarter 2017.  This compared with a net loss of $11.6 million and a diluted loss per share of $0.24 in 2016.  On an adjusted basis1 net income was $18.8 million in 2017, generating EPS of $0.18 compared with net income1 of  $5.5 million and EPS of $0.01 in 2016. 

Commenting further, Mr. Fricker said, “While not without challenges, our improved adjusted net income performance in 2017 demonstrates the powerful operating leverage of an operationally leaner, more focused and better diversified franchise.  As promised, we made considerable strides toward diversifying our business, with our non-commodities businesses accounting for half of total investment banking revenue in 2017.  GMP established itself as a leader in the emerging blockchain and cannabis growth sectors, as investor interest in these sectors surged in 2017.  The real opportunity for our firm is continuing to do what we do best, namely helping small- to mid-cap companies efficiently access the requisite capital needed to grow their business."

 

For further information about GMP Capital Inc., our results for fourth quarter and year-end 2017 and the meaning of certain references, this earnings release should be read in conjunction with our annual financial statements as at and for the year ended December 31, 2017 (2017 Annual Financial Statements), our management's discussion and analysis for the year ended December 31, 2017 (2017 Annual MD&A) and our annual information form, which can be accessed on our website at gmpcapital.com and on SEDAR at sedar.com. Unless otherwise indicated, all dollar amounts are expressed in Canadian dollars and have been taken from our 2017 Annual Financial Statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).


FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

Fourth Quarter 2017 versus Fourth Quarter 2016

•         Revenue of $59.3 million decreased from $65.2 million.

•         Net income of $6.4 million increased from $3.2 million.

•         On an adjusted basis1, net income of $9.7 million increased from $6.9 million.

•         Diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.07 compared with $0.03.

•         Adjusted EPS of $0.11 increased from $0.07.

•         Annualized return on equity(ROE)1 of 12.2% increased from 4.0%.

•         Adjusted ROE1 of 14.8% compared with 10.2%.

2017 versus 2016

•         Revenue of $186.8 million decreased from $196.1 million.

•         Net loss of $47.1 million compared with a net loss of $11.6 million.

•         On an adjusted basis1, net income of $18.8 million increased from $5.5 million.

•         Diluted loss per share of $0.74 compared with a diluted loss per share of $0.24.

•         Adjusted EPS of $0.18 increased from $0.01.

•         ROE of negative 26.2% decreased from negative 7.4%.

•         Adjusted ROE of 6.4% increased from 0.4%.

 

 FOURTH QUARTER 2017 BUSINESS SEGMENT FINANCIAL RESULTS

CAPITAL MARKETS


 

 

Fourth Quarter 2017 vs Fourth Quarter 2016

Revenue

Revenue of $55.1 million decreased 12% compared with fourth quarter 2016 largely due to lower investment banking fees and lower commissions. 

•            Investment banking revenue of $32.6 million decreased 14% primarily driven by lower advisory revenue, which declined 54% compared with fourth quarter 2016.  Fourth quarter 2016 included two notable advisory mandates in the energy and mining sectors.  Underwriting revenue in fourth quarter 2017 increased 30% compared with fourth quarter 2016 led by robust client activity in the blockchain and cryptocurrencies and cannabis sectors.

•            Commission revenue of $9.5 million decreased 33% reflecting muted client trading activity.

•            Principal transactions generated net gains of $10.4 million in fourth quarter 2017 compared with net gains of $6.0 million in fourth quarter 2016.  This increase was led largely by higher returns on principal inventories and lower losses in connection with client trade facilitation.  Partly offsetting this increase was lower client fixed income trading activity in our U.S. operations. 

Expenses

Expenses of $41.6 million decreased 16% compared with fourth quarter 2016 largely due to employee compensation and benefits expenses and lower trade related costs on weaker trading activity. 

•            Employee compensation and benefits of $29.6 million in fourth quarter 2017 decreased 16% compared with fourth quarter 2016 led by an 18% decrease in variable compensation commensurate with lower revenue generation and lower share-based compensation expense in connection with the expiration of certain employee incentive arrangements 

Income before income taxes

•            Income before income taxes of $13.6 million increased from $12.6 million.


WEALTH MANAGEMENT


 

Fourth Quarter 2017 vs Fourth Quarter 2016

•         Wealth Management reported income before income taxes of $2.1 million compared with a loss before income taxes of $0.9 million.  The improved performance was largely due to our share of Richardson GMP's net income and dividends received on our preferred share investments in Richardson GMP in connection with Richardson GMP's fourth quarter 2017 redemption of its Class A preference shares and a substantial portion of its Class B preference shares.  

Richardson GMP Highlights:

The following information sets forth an overview of the consolidated financial results of Richardson GMP, on a 100% basis; noting, however, that GMP owns an approximate 32% non-controlling interest of Richardson GMP as at December 31, 2017.

Fourth Quarter 2017 vs Fourth Quarter 2016

•         Revenue increased 3% to $75.4 million primarily driven by higher management fees and client trading commissions.

•         Adjusted EBITDA2 increased 51% to $12.6 million.

•         AUA of $30.5 billion increased 4%, administered by 182 advisor teams, average AUA per team of nearly $168 million.

Capital Transaction

During fourth quarter 2017, Richardson GMP entered into a four-year $80 million credit facility agreement with a syndicate of chartered banks allowing the firm to access more cost effective and tax efficient external funding.  Richardson GMP used the initial proceeds from this facility to refinance its existing long-term indebtedness.  The remainder of the proceeds were used by Richardson GMP to redeem all of its Class A preference shares and a substantial portion of its Class B preference shares, at par, including all declared and unpaid dividends.  Pursuant to these redemption, GMP received approximately $25.1 million in cash in connection with its preferred shares investments in Richardson GMP, representing the partial return of capital invested in Richardson GMP. Additionally, Richardson GMP repaid fully its $5.0 million subordinated loan facility made available by GMP.

2.  Considered to be a non-GAAP financial measure. This data should be read in conjunction with the “Supplemental Information” section at the end of this press release and in the 2017 Annual MD&A.2017 

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

Selected Financial Information


 

2017 vs. 2016

GMP reported a net loss of $47.1 million in 2017 compared with a net loss of $11.6 million in 2016.  The decrease primarily reflects a $52.0 million non-cash goodwill impairment charge recorded in second quarter 2017 in our Capital Markets segment and lower revenue generation amid muted client activity.  Partly offsetting the decline were $14.4 million in dividends received during 2017 on our preferred share investments in Richardson GMP and stronger performance in our Wealth Management segment.  On an adjusted basis, 2017 net income was $18.8 million compared with a net income of $5.5 million in 2016.

Total revenues decreased 5% in 2017 compared with 2016 primarily due to lower investment banking fees, which declined 14% on lower mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity, and lower principal transactions net gains. Investment banking fees related to advisory mandates decreased 30% compared with the prior year.  M&A revenue in 2016 included several large mandates in the mining and energy sectors.  Underwriting revenue decreased 3% compared with 2016 as lower client activity in our commodities business was largely offset by a notable 39% increase in fees in our non-commodities franchises, led largely by strong activity in our blockchain and cryptocurrencies and cannabis franchises. Principal transactions generated net gains of $24.9 million in 2017 compared with net gains of $32.0 million in 2016.  This decrease was led largely by lower client fixed income trading activity in our U.S. operations partly offset by lower losses in connection with client trade facilitation. Commissions declined on lower client trading activity. Partly offsetting these decreases were dividends received in 2017 in connection with our preferred share investments in Richardson GMP. 

Total expenses increased 13% in 2017 compared with 2016 primarily due to the $52.0 million non-cash goodwill impairment charge recorded in second quarter 2017 and incremental operating expenses following the acquisition of GMP FirstEnergy.  Partly offsetting the increase were efficiency gains realized from previous restructuring initiatives and lower variable compensation commensurate with lower revenue generation.  Expenses in 2017 include $13.3 million related to the Transaction Shares3. Expenses in 2016 included $15.1 million in restructuring and related charges and $3.5 million related to the Transaction Shares3.

Share of net income (loss) of associate reflects our share of Richardson GMP's net income (loss) attributable to common shareholders. For more information on Richardson GMP's financial performance, refer to the "Supplemental Information" section within this press release.

DIVIDENDS

On March 1, 2018, the board of directors of GMP approved a quarterly cash dividend of $0.2257 per Cumulative 5-Year Rate Reset Preferred Share, Series B, and  $0.2319 per Cumulative Floating Rate Preferred Shares, Series C, each payable on

April 2, 2018, to preferred shareholders of record on March 15, 2018.

On March 1, 2018, the board of directors also declared a special cash dividend of $0.10 per common share, payable on  April 2, 2018, to common shareholders of record on March 15, 2018.  This special cash dividend represents excess capital arising from GMP's improved financial performance.

CONFERENCE CALL

A conference call and live audio webcast to discuss GMP’s fourth quarter and fiscal 2017 results will be held this morning at 10:00 a.m. (ET).  Interested parties are invited to access the quarterly conference call on a listen-only basis by dialing 416-340-2216 or 1-800-273-9672 (toll free) or via live audio webcast at http://www.gmpcapital.com/investor. A recording of the conference call will be available until Friday, March 9, 2018, by dialing 905-694-9451 or 1-800-408-3053 (toll free). The passcode is 5686885#. The webcast will be archived at http://www.gmpcapital.com/investor.

 

NON-GAAP MEASURES

We use certain measures to assess our financial performance that are not GAAP measures under IFRS. These measures do not have any standardized meaning prescribed by GAAP and are therefore unlikely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers. Non-GAAP measures should not be considered as alternatives to net income or comparable metrics determined in accordance with IFRS as indicators of GMP's performance, liquidity, cash flows and profitability. For further information, refer to  the “Presentation of Financial Information and Non-GAAP Measures” section in the 2017 Annual MD&A.

3. On September 30, 2016, GMP completed the acquisition of FirstEnergy Capital Holdings Corp. (FirstEnergy).  GMP acquired all of the outstanding equity securities of FirstEnergy and issued 11.2 million Common Shares to former FirstEnergy shareholders, with the balance of the consideration to be paid in the form of a promissory note (Buyer Note). Approximately two-thirds of the Common Shares issued are subject to an escrow agreement to be released over a four-year period pursuant to the terms of a purchase agreement (Transaction Shares).

The following table provides a reconciliation of GMP’s reported results to its adjusted measures including the composition of the adjusted measures for the periods presented:

 

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION - RICHARDSON GMP 

The following supplemental information reflects how management of Richardson GMP assesses the financial performance of Richardson GMP.

Richardson GMP's management assesses performance on both a reported and an adjusted basis and considers both bases to be useful in assessing underlying, ongoing business performance. Presenting results on both bases also permits readers to assess the impact of specified items on financial results. Richardson GMP's management uses certain measures to assess the financial performance of Richardson GMP that are not GAAP measures under IFRS. EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA do not have any standardized meaning prescribed by GAAP and are therefore unlikely to be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers. These Non-GAAP measures should not be considered as alternatives to net income or comparable metrics determined in accordance with IFRS as indicators of Richardson GMP's performance, liquidity, cash flows and profitability. Richardson GMP's management believes adjusting results by excluding the impact of the specified items is more reflective of ongoing financial performance and cash generating capabilities and provides readers with an enhanced understanding of how management views Richardson GMP's core performance. For further information, refer to the "Supplemental Information" section in the  2017 Annual MD&A.

The following table sets forth an overview of the consolidated financial results of Richardson GMP for the periods indicated, on a 100% basis; noting, however, that GMP owns an approximate 32% non-controlling interest of Richardson GMP as at December 31, 2017:

FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

This press release contains “forward-looking information” as defined under applicable Canadian securities laws.   This information includes, but is not limited to, statements concerning our objectives, our strategies to achieve those objectives, as well as statements made with respect to management's beliefs, plans, estimates, projections and intentions, and similar statements concerning anticipated future events, results, circumstances, performance or expectations that are not historical facts. Specifically, this press release contains forward-looking information concerning GMP's response to industry conditions, expectations regarding operating leverage, actions ensuring feasibility and enhanced competitive positioning. Forward-looking information generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “outlook”, “objective”, “may”, “will”, “expect”, “intend”, “estimate”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “should”, “plans” or “continue”, or similar expressions suggesting future outcomes or events. Such forward-looking information reflects management's current beliefs and is based on information currently available to management.

Forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including those described in this press release. GMP's primary business activities are both competitive and subject to various risks. These risks include market, credit, liquidity, operational, legal and regulatory risks and other risk factors including, without limitation: variation in the market value of securities, volatility and liquidity of equity and debt trading markets, volume of new financings and mergers and acquisitions (M&A), dependence on key personnel, and sustainability of fees. Other factors, such as general economic conditions, including interest rate and exchange rate fluctuations and resource commodity prices, may also have an effect on GMP's results of operations. Many of these risks and uncertainties can affect GMP's actual results and could cause its actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking information disclosed by management or on its behalf. For a description of additional risks that could cause our actual results to materially differ from our current expectations, see “Risk Management” and "Risk Factors" in the 2017 MD&A and “Risk Factors” in GMP's annual information form. These risks and uncertainties are not the only ones facing GMP.  Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or that we currently consider immaterial, may also impair the operations of GMP. Although forward-looking information contained in this press release is based upon what management believes are reasonable assumptions, there can be no assurance that actual results will be consistent with this forward-looking information. Certain statements included in this press release may be considered a “financial outlook” for purposes of applicable Canadian securities laws and, as such, the financial outlook may not be appropriate for purposes other than this press release. The forward-looking information contained in this press release is made as of the date of this press release, and should not be relied upon as representing GMP's views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.

Except as required by applicable law, management and the Board of Directors undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.   

ABOUT GMP CAPITAL INC.

GMP is a leading independent diversified financial services firm headquartered in Toronto, Canada, providing a wide range of financial products and services to a global client base that includes corporate clients, institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals in two integrated reporting segments. The Capital Markets segment provides investment banking, including advisory and underwriting services, institutional sales and trading and research through offices in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Bahamas and Asia. Wealth Management consists of GMP’s non-controlling ownership interest in Richardson GMP Limited. Richardson GMP Limited, Canada’s largest independent wealth management firm, is focused on providing exclusive and comprehensive wealth management and investment services delivered by an experienced team of investment professionals. GMP is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “GMP”. For further information, please visit our corporate website at gmpcapital.com.

For further information please contact:

GMP Capital Inc.
Rocco Colella, Director, Investor Relations
145 King Street West, Suite 300, Toronto, Ontario M5H 1J8
Tel: (416) 941-0894; Fax: (416) 943-6175
rcolella@gmpcapital.com or investorrelations@gmpcapital.com

 


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