Vertex Resource Group Ltd. Reports First Quarter 2022 Results

Posted On May 11, 2022

Record Q1 revenue of $45.4 million, and adjusted EBITDA of $5.7 million for the first quarter of 2022.

Sherwood Park, Alberta, May 11, 2022 (TSXV: VTX) – Vertex Resource Group Ltd. (“Vertex” or the “Company”) reports its financial and operational results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2022. The following should be read in conjunction with the Management Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”) and the audited consolidated financials statements of Vertex for the year ended December 31, 2021, which are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

The first quarter of 2022 was a robust quarter which produced historically high first-quarter revenue. Vertex’s diversification efforts with continued expansion in the utilities, telecommunications, and government sectors have helped to grow revenue. The Company is continuing to maintain its focus on cost containment, operating efficiencies, geographic diversification, and sector diversification.

Key financial results for the three months and years ended March 31, 2022 and 2021 are as follows:

HIGHLIGHTS

(in thousands of Canadian Dollars)

 Three months ended March 31,

2022

2021

% Change

Revenue 45,429  32,948 38%
Gross profit 10,457  8,034 30%
Adjusted EBITDA (1) 5,660  4,655 22%
Free Cash Flow (1) 4,113  3,964 4%
Adjusted EBITDA per share, basic and diluted 0.06  0.05 22%

(1) See “Non-IFRS Financial Measures”

HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE THREE MONTHS ENDED MARCH 31, 2022

  • The Company generated record Q1 revenue of $45.4 million compared to $32.9 million in Q1 2021, while gross margin increased to $10.5 million compared to $8.0 million in Q1 2021.
  • Adjusted EBITDA during the first quarter amounted to $5.7 million compared to $4.7 million in Q1 2021.
  • During the quarter, Vertex issued a $15.0M convertible debenture, with a term of 5 years, 8.0% annual interest paid monthly, at a conversion price of $0.65.
  • On April 25, 2022, the Company acquired Cordy Oilfield Services Inc.
  • Free cash flow amounted to $4.1 million compared to $4.0 million in Q1 2021 (See Non-IFRS Financial Measures – Section 7.0)

OUTLOOK

Vertex started 2022 with a first-quarter that exceeded our expectations. The Corporation’s strong first-quarter results were driven by cost control, realized synergies from our acquisition in the first quarter of 2021, and increasing commodity prices as well as a gradual return to pre-COVID activity levels across other industries. Our cross-border activity was negatively impacted in the quarter by the Canadian/United States border vaccination requirements that were put into place in late January for our cross-border drivers.

Our outlook for 2022 is that North American economies will continue to benefit from favourable commodity prices in energy, utilities, agriculture, and forestry. In addition, we have major capital projects from multiple midstream, utilities/telecommunications, municipal infrastructure, and energy transition projects in 2022 and 2023. With secured backlog reaching record levels, Vertex is well-positioned for strong earnings growth for 2022.

The current trend towards less carbon-intensive energy sources is presenting new opportunities for Vertex. Vertex is working closely with several of our Indigenous Partners and customers to advance projects that reduce atmospheric carbon emissions, enhance biodiversity, carbon sequestering, utilize or convert to wind or solar, renewable natural gas (RNG), biofuels, helium, and emerging hydrogen opportunities.

Economists believe Alberta and Saskatchewan will lead the country in growth this year and next, largely because prices for energy products and other key commodities have recovered strongly. Over the past 12 months, Alberta’s exports of crude oil are up by +86% and exports of natural gas have risen by +165%.

The Ontario Ministry of Finance projects that Ontario’s real GDP is projected to rise by 4.5% in 2022. Ontario’s economy had been held back by some of Canada’s toughest COVID-19 control measures. Backlog from halted projects, combined with new capital projects, is poised to give a strong boost to the service sector in 2022.

The rapid rebound in demand for raw materials, intermediate goods, and various logistics services has been hampered by limited global supply. Vertex will need to focus on our supply chains and rising costs and to continue to develop agile and creative strategies to address labour challenges which appear likely to persist for many years.

On April 25, 2022, Vertex completed the acquisition of Cordy Oilfield Services Inc. (TSXV: CKK) (“Cordy”). Cordy is a specialized value-additive business with quality people and equipment, providing environmental services to the drilling, midstream, commercial, utilities, and municipal sectors in Western Canada. This acquisition strengthens our environmental services business while providing additional free cashflow generation through savings from integration, elimination of duplicate corporate office costs and by increasing the utilization of the equipment fleet and personnel.

Vertex’s vision of being a world-leading environmental services company has not changed. As an environmental service business, we believe we are uniquely positioned for ESG performance. We understand that we have a responsibility to maximize our internal ESG performance and have made a corporate commitment to do so. More substantially, we understand that our opportunity to support the ESG initiatives of our customers has a significantly broader global impact. As such our ESG system design includes both an internal and a customer focus. As our ESG journey evolves so too will our measurement and reporting, holding ourselves accountable to internal and customer metrics. Ultimately, our intent is to create business resiliency by becoming a primary source of executable ESG supply chain solutions for our customers.

ABOUT VERTEX

Since 1962, Vertex has been a leading North American provider of environmental services. Headquartered in Sherwood Park, Alberta, Vertex employs a staff of approximately 950 employees and lease operators that provide services to help clients achieve their developmental and operational goals. From initial site selection, consultation, and regulatory approval, through construction, operation, and maintenance, to conclusion and environmental cleanup, Vertex provides a wide array of services to customers operating in industries such as energy, mining, utilities, private development, public infrastructure, construction, telecommunications, forestry, agriculture, and government.

Vertex principally operates in Canada with select locations in the United States.

For further information please contact:

Terry Stephenson, CEO, or Sherry Bielopotocky, CFO at 780-464-3295

NON-IFRS FINANCIAL MEASURES

This news release includes certain terms or performance measures that are not defined under International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”), including “Adjusted EBITDA”. The data presented is intended to provide additional information that should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute measure of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS. The non-IFRS measures should be read in conjunction with the Company’s financial statements and accompanying notes.

“Adjusted EBITDA” is a non-financial measure which is calculated by adjusting net (loss) income for the sum of income taxes, finance costs including interest accretion on lease liabilities, depreciation of property and equipment and right of use assets, amortization of intangible assets, share-based compensation, restructuring costs and impairment. The Company uses Adjusted EBITDA as an indicator of its principal business activities operational performance prior to consideration of how its activities are financed and the impact of taxation, non-cash depreciation and amortization, restructuring costs and other non-cash expenses such as impairments required under IFRS. Adjusted EBITDA does not have a standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS and is not necessarily comparable to similar measures provided by other companies. Adjusted EBITDA is used by many analysts as an important analytical tool and management of Vertex believes it is useful for providing readers with additional clarity on Vertex’s operational performance. This measure is also considered important by the Company’s lenders in determining compliance by the Company with the financial covenants under its lending arrangements.

“Free cash flow” is a non-financial measure which is calculated by reducing adjusted EBITDA by maintenance capital expenditures net of disposal proceeds.
Reconciliations of Adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow are provided in the MD&A under the heading “7.0 Non-IFRS Financial Measures”

FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

Any “financial outlook” or “future oriented financial information” in this press release, as defined by applicable securities laws, has been approved by management of Vertex. Such financial outlook or future oriented financial information is provided for the purpose of providing information about management’s current expectations and plans relating to the future. Readers are cautioned that reliance on such information may not be appropriate for other circumstances.

Certain statements contained in this news release constitute “forward-looking information”. When used in this document or by any of the Company’s management, the words “may”, “would”, “will”, “intend”, “plan”, “propose”, “anticipate” and “believe” are intended to identify forward-looking information. In particular, but without limiting the foregoing, this document contains forward-looking information and statements pertaining to the following: the Company’s key strategies, objectives and competitive strengths; anticipated expenses; growth opportunities in the Company’s reportable and operating segments in 2020; supply and demand for the Company’s services; activity levels in the energy industry and other industries in which the Company operates; future development activities; and the Company’s ability to retain existing clients and attract new business, particularly business outside of the energy industry. Such statements reflect the Company’s forecasts, estimates, and expectations, as they relate to the Company’s current views based on its experience and expertise with respect to future events, and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties, and assumptions.

The forward-looking information and statements contained in this document reflect several material factors and expectations and assumptions of the Company, including, without limitation: that the Company will continue to conduct its operations in a manner consistent with past operations; positive future trends in revenue, gross profit margin, Adjusted EBITDA, Bank EBITDA and net income; the general continuance of current or, where applicable, assumed industry conditions; the mix of revenue from non-energy customers in 2021; pricing of the Company’s services; the Company’s ability to market successfully to current and new clients; the Company’s ability to obtain qualified personnel and equipment in a timely and cost-effective manner; the Company’s future debt levels; the impact of competition on the Company; the Company’s ability to obtain financing on acceptable terms; the general continuance of current or, where applicable, assumed industry conditions; the continuance of existing tax, royalty and regulatory regimes; the impact of seasonal weather conditions; client activity levels; anticipated market recovery; the Company’s anticipated business strategies and expected success; the Company’s ability to utilize its equipment; levels of deployable equipment; and future sources of funding for the Company’s capital program.

Factors that could cause the forward-looking information in this news release to change or to be inaccurate include, but are not limited to: volatility of the energy industry and other industries; dependence on customer contracts and market acceptance; the Company’s growth strategy may not achieve anticipated results; potential litigation claims; difficulty in attracting and retaining skilled personnel; adverse litigation judgments, settlements and exposure to liability resulting from legal proceedings could reduce profits or limit Vertex’s ability to operate; the market for Vertex’s products and services is subject to extensive government and regulatory approvals; health, safety and environment laws and regulations may require the Company to make substantial expenditures or cause it to incur substantial liabilities; the Company may fail to realize anticipated benefits of future acquisitions; Vertex’s indebtedness may adversely affects its financial flexibility and competitive position; competition in the industries in which Vertex operates; downturns in general economic and market conditions; operational hazards and unforeseen interruptions for which Vertex may not be adequately insured; positive covenants in Vertex’s material contracts could limit its ability to operate; third party credit risk; conservation measures and technological advances may reduce demand for hydrocarbons; loss of the Company’s information and computer systems or cyber-attacks; director and officer conflicts of interest; a reassessment by tax authorities of Vertex’s income calculations; volatility in the price of the Company’s common shares; and the risk factors set forth under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Information Form filed under the Company’s SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com. The Company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements, other than as required by applicable law.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.

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