CGI Group (GIB)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

February 01, 2012 9:00 am ET


Lorne Gorber - Senior Vice-President of Global Communications & Investor Relations

R. David Anderson - Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President and Member of Disclosure Policy Committee

Michael E. Roach - Chief Executive Officer, President, Director and Member of Disclosure Policy Committee


Richard Tse - Cormark Securities Inc., Research Division

Julio C. Quinteros - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Tom Liston - Versant Partners Inc., Research Division

Bryan Keane - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Maher Yaghi - Desjardins Securities Inc., Research Division

Thanos Moschopoulos - BMO Capital Markets Canada

Michael Urlocker - GMP Securities L.P., Research Division

Ralph Garcea - NCP Northland Capital Partners Inc., Research Division

Stephanie Price - CIBC World Markets Inc., Research Division




Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the CGI First Quarter 2012 Results Conference Call. I would now like to turn the meeting over to Mr. Lorne Gorber, Senior Vice President of Global Communications and Investor Relations.

Lorne Gorber

Thank you, Wayne, and good morning. With me to discuss CGI's first quarter and fiscal 2012 results are Michael Roach, our President and CEO; and David Anderson, Executive Vice President and CFO. This call is being broadcast on and recorded live at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. Supplemental slides, as well as the press release we issued earlier this morning, are available for download along with our Q1 MD&A financial statements and accompanying notes, all of which are being filed with both SEDAR and EDGAR.

Please note that some statements made on the call may be forward looking. Actual events or results may differ materially from those expressed or implied, and CGI disclaims any intent or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. The complete Safe Harbor statement is available in both our MD&A and the press release. We encourage our investors to read it in its entirety.

Beginning this quarter we are reporting our financial results in accordance with the International Financial Reporting Standards or IFRS. We have discussed this new GAAP in our MD&A. As before, we will discuss non-GAAP performance measures, which should be viewed as supplemental. The MD&A contains definitions of each one used in our reporting. All of the dollar figures expressed in this call are Canadian, unless otherwise noted.

I'll turn the call over to David first to review the financial results then he'll pass it over to Mike, who will discuss operations and segment highlights. We're going to limit the call to 45 minutes this morning in order to be ready for our AGM, which starts at 11 a.m.

With that, David?

R. David Anderson

Thank you, Lorne, and good morning. I'm pleased to share the financial details of another good quarter. Before I get into the details of the quarter, I would like to remind you that this is our first quarter where we are reporting under IFRS. We have provided our ongoing evolution and status in our MD&As last year. When we go through our results for this quarter, I want to reiterate that as part of the conversion to IFRS, we adopted the equity accounting for joint ventures. So the numbers presented today and provided in the MD&A issued this morning do not include any of the JV-related revenues.

The figures for the comparative period have also been adjusted accordingly. There were no other significant adjustments related to IFRS that I would like to highlight to you. However, I would point you to our note #13 in our Q1 financial statements for a comprehensive description of the adjustment and reconciliations related to the transition to this new set of accounting principles.

In the first quarter, revenue was $1.03 billion, a decrease of 5.6% or $61.6 million compared with the same period last year. However, on a sequential basis, the revenue increased by 2.6%. On a comparable basis, the revenue for the year-ago period contained 4 previously disclosed items, including a license sale in the U.S., the revenue from our interest in Québec-based CIA, and the revenue associated with 2 previously announced contracts, which were not renewed. Excluding these items, the year-over-year revenue growth was 1.9%. Adjusted EBIT in Q1 was $139.9 million, and our EBIT margin remains strong at 13.6%.

I would like to remind you that in our Q1 F2011 was unusually strong, as it included the benefit of the license sale noted above that did not have any associated cost, as well as a recovery of a significant bad debt. Both of these items were pointed out last year to ensure that you have the appropriate visibility. Excluding the $16.7 million impact of these items, adjusted EBIT would have been $138.1 million or 12.7% of revenue, that's providing for year-over-year improvement of 0.9%. Net earnings were $106.5 million, representing a net margin of 10.3%. Last year, in Q1, you may recall that we recognized $18.7 million of tax benefits from the expiration of statutory limitation periods, as well as the last tranche of the acquisition and integration costs related to Stanley. Excluding these items, our net earnings margin of 10.3% is an improvement from 10.0% in Q1 2011, and diluted earnings per share of $0.40 compares favorably to 39% -- $0.39 in the year-ago period.

Looking at the balance sheet, our DSO was 51 days in Q1, down 2 days from the 53 days we posted for the previous quarter. Our DSO was running above our 45-day target due mainly to the impact and timing of milestone-based payments on some government projects. We generated $148.7 million in cash from our operating activities, compared with $97.8 million in the same period last year. The primary difference, along with the improvement in DSO, is a net improvement in other working capital items such as the timing of tax installments and payroll-related disbursement.

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