WSP Reports Q3 2021 Results in Line With Improved Guidance

MONTREAL, Nov. 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- WSP Global Inc. (TSX: WSP) (“WSP” or the “Corporation”) today announced financial and operating results for the third quarter ended on September 25, 2021.

Performance in line with management's expectations with organic revenue growth in all segments and favorable results from recent acquisitions.


  • Revenues and net revenues* for the quarter reached $2.7 billion and $2.0 billion, up 24.0% and up 20.1%, respectively, compared to Q3 2020. The increase was driven by acquisition growth of 20.1%, as well as overall organic growth of 4.3%, with all segments showing positive organic growth.
  • Continued positive momentum at Golder in the third quarter of 2021 with integration activities progressing according to plan.
  • Backlog* as at September 25, 2021 stood at $10.0 billion, representing 11.6 months of revenues, up 19.1% in the nine-month period, due to acquisition growth and steady organic growth. On a constant currency basis, backlog grew organically by 5.5% compared to backlog as at December 31, 2020. Overall proposal activity continues to be robust across the business.
  • Adjusted EBITDA* in the quarter of $377.7 million, up $80.6 million or 27.1%, compared to $297.1 million in Q3 2020, largely due to the contribution of recent acquisitions. No significant government subsidies were recognized during the third quarter of 2021.
  • Adjusted EBITDA margin* for the quarter reached 18.6%, compared to 17.6% in Q3 2020. The improvement in adjusted EBITDA margin is mainly attributable to the higher margin profile of recent acquisitions and improved market conditions in multiple regions.
  • Earnings before net financing expense and income taxes in the quarter of $221.2 million, up $77.0 million, or 53.4%, compared to Q3 2020, mainly due to increased adjusted EBITDA and lower acquisition, integration and restructuring costs.
  • Adjusted net earnings* for the quarter of $179.7 million, or $1.53 per share, up $48.0 million and $0.37, respectively, compared to Q3 2020. The increase in these metrics is mainly attributable to higher adjusted EBITDA.
  • Net earnings attributable to shareholders for the quarter of $139.0 million, or $1.18 per share, up 33.3% and 28.3%, respectively, when compared to Q3 2020. The increase is mainly attributable to higher adjusted EBITDA and lower acquisition, integration and restructuring costs, partially offset by higher net financing expense and amortization and depreciation expense.
  • DSO* as at September 25, 2021 stood at 73 days, compared to 72 days as at September 26, 2020.
  • Free cash flow* of $276.2 million for the nine-month period. Trailing twelve-months of free cash flow amounted to $540.7 million, representing 1.3 times net earnings attributable to shareholders.
  • Cash inflows from operating activities of $546.9 million in the nine-month period ended September 25, 2021, compared to $743.3 million in the comparable period in 2020. The variance is mainly due to the fact that the comparable period in 2020 benefitted from a deferral of income tax and other remittances in some jurisdictions. In addition, organic growth in revenues in 2021 resulted in an increased investment in working capital.
  • The net debt to adjusted EBITDA ratio* stood at 0.9x, compared to 0.1x as at December 31, 2020, mainly due to the acquisition of Golder Associates.
  • Quarterly dividend declared of $0.375 per share, with a 54.2% Dividend Reinvestment Plan (“DRIP”) participation.
  • Financial outlook for 2021 issued and updated in the Q2 2021 press release is reaffirmed with an adjusted EBITDA range narrowed and now expected to be between $1.30 billion to $1.32 billion (previously expected to fall in the range of $1.275 billion to $1.325 billion).(1)

“I am pleased with the continued momentum we have experienced in the third quarter. Our results are in line with our improved financial guidance disclosed this past August and reflects strong performance from our platform and our 2021 acquisitions. We are confident that we will achieve our 2019-2021 ambitions,” said Alexandre L’Heureux, President and CEO of WSP. “Our 2021 performance to date, combined with a healthy backlog and favorable fundamentals, set the stage for our next strategic cycle. Despite the current context and related uncertainties, which we will continue to navigate with discipline, we see significant opportunities for WSP to continue to succeed,” he added.

The Board of WSP declared a dividend of $0.375 per share. This dividend will be payable on or about January 15, 2022, to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 31, 2021.

This release includes, by reference, the financial reports for the third quarter of 2021, including the unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements and the Management’s Discussion & Analysis (“MD&A”) of the Corporation.

For a copy of our financial reports for the third quarter of 2021, including the MD&A and the unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements, please visit our website at

WSP will hold a conference call and webcast at 8 a.m. (Eastern Time) on November 10, 2021 to discuss these results.
To participate in the conference call, dial 1-438-801-4068 or 1-888-500-2848 (toll free).
A live webcast of the conference call will also be available at

A presentation of the third quarter of 2021 highlights and results will be accessible on November 9, 2021 after market close under the “Investors” section of the WSP website. For those unable to attend, a replay will be available within 24 hours following the call.

*Non-IFRS measures. These measures are defined in section 19, “Glossary of non-IFRS measures and segment reporting measures” of the Corporation's Management's Discussion & Analysis for the third quarter and nine-month period ended September 25, 2021. Please refer to the "Non-IFRS measures" disclaimer below.

(1) This information constitutes forward-looking information, based on multiple estimates and assumptions about future events. The reader is cautioned that using this information for other purposes may be inappropriate. Actual results may differ and such differences may be material. Please refer to the "Forward-looking statements" disclaimer below.


 Third quarters endedNine-month periods ended
(in millions of dollars, except number of shares and per share data)September 25,
September 26,
September 25,
September 26,
Less: Subconsultants and direct costs$623.6$450.2$1,665.9$1,384.8
Net revenues*$2,026.6$1,687.6$5,722.2$5,170.8
Earnings before net financing expense and income taxes$221.2$144.2$539.4$354.1
Net financing expense$33.3$2.1$65.2$71.6
Earnings before income taxes$187.9$142.1$474.2$282.5
Income tax expense$48.7$37.3$126.9$75.1
Net earnings$139.2$104.8$347.3$207.4
Net earnings attributable to:    
Shareholders of WSP Global Inc.$139.0$104.3$346.9$207.1
Non-controlling interests$0.2$0.5$0.4$0.3
Basic net earnings per share attributable to shareholders$1.18$0.92$2.99$1.90
Diluted net earnings per share attributable to shareholders$1.18$0.92$2.98$1.90
Basic weighted average number of shares117,450,897113,197,718116,051,818108,793,496
Diluted weighted average number of shares117,852,564113,402,269116,423,651109,007,522

*Non-IFRS measure. This measure is defined in section 19, “Glossary of non-IFRS measures and segment reporting measures” of the Corporation's Management's Discussion & Analysis for the quarter and nine-month period ended September 25, 2021.

References to notes refer to notes in the financial statements

As atSeptember 25, 2021December 31, 2020
Current assets  
Cash and cash equivalents (note 15)638.2 437.1 
Trade receivables and other receivables1,888.0 1,598.8 
Cost and anticipated profits in excess of billings1,311.6 950.5 
Other financial assets135.6 118.1 
Prepaid expenses131.8 168.7 
Income taxes receivable24.1 27.5 
 4,129.3 3,300.7 
Non-current assets  
Right-of-use assets (note 10)935.7 894.3 
Property and equipment344.3 314.9 
Intangible assets463.3 275.5 
Goodwill (note 11)4,816.8 3,731.9 
Deferred income tax assets176.5 169.2 
Other assets197.7 150.9 
 6,934.3 5,536.7 
Total assets11,063.6 8,837.4 
Current liabilities  
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities2,034.6 1,718.2 
Billings in excess of costs and anticipated profits752.3 708.5 
Income taxes payable162.8 119.1 
Provisions57.1 71.4 
Dividends payable to shareholders (note 14)44.1 42.5 
Current portion of lease liabilities (note 10)259.8 233.1 
Current portion of long-term debt (note 12)51.4 296.9 
 3,362.1 3,189.7 
Non-current liabilities  
Long-term debt (note 12)1,734.9 277.3 
Lease liabilities (note 10)844.4 785.3 
Provisions189.0 180.9 
Retirement benefit obligations213.8 232.4 
Deferred income tax liabilities114.6 90.4 
 3,096.7 1,566.3 
Total liabilities6,458.8 4,756.0 
Equity attributable to shareholders of WSP Global Inc.4,604.2 4,080.4 
Non-controlling interests0.6 1.0 
Total equity4,604.8 4,081.4 
Total liabilities and equity11,063.6 8,837.4 

References to notes refer to notes in the financial statements

 Third quarters endedNine-month periods ended
 September 25,
September 26,
September 25,
September 26,
Operating activities    
Net earnings139.2 104.8 347.3 207.4 
Adjustments (note 15)144.8 103.7 339.9 325.5 
Net financing expense (note 8)33.3 2.1 65.2 71.6 
Income tax expense48.7 37.3 126.9 75.1 
Income taxes paid(27.6)(31.7)(100.0)(64.9)
Change in non-cash working capital items (note 15)(102.3)17.2 (232.4)128.6 
Cash inflows from operating activities236.1 233.4 546.9 743.3 
Financing activities    
Issuance of senior unsecured notes (note 12)  500.0  
Net (repayment) proceeds of borrowings under credit facilities(14.2)(239.0)443.7 (518.6)
Issuance of common shares, net of issuance costs (note 13)2.1  303.3 549.6 
Lease payments (note 10)(79.3)(71.2)(220.5)(213.7)
Dividends paid to shareholders of WSP Global Inc.(19.3)(19.5)(60.5)(68.6)
Net financing expenses paid, excluding interest on lease liabilities(8.8)(2.7)(36.7)(40.8)
Dividends paid to a non-controlling interest(0.8)(0.3)(0.8)(0.4)
Cash inflows (outflows) from financing activities(120.3)(332.7)928.5 (292.5)
Investing activities    
Net disbursements related to business acquisitions(1.8)(6.3)(1,220.3)(52.0)
Additions to property and equipment, excluding business acquisitions(15.8)(11.7)(46.7)(50.5)
Additions to identifiable intangible assets, excluding business acquisitions(3.2)(2.7)(12.9)(11.9)
Proceeds from disposal of property and equipment0.5 2.5 9.4 3.6 
Proceeds from sale of investment in an associate  4.4 0.4 
Repurchase of minority interest(0.6) (0.6) 
Net increase in investments in securities  (7.3) 
Net cash received on a loan from associate  0.3  
Dividends received from associates4.8 6.5 4.9 10.3 
Cash outflows from investing activities(16.1)(11.7)(1,268.8)(100.1)
Effect of exchange rate change on cash and cash equivalents5.6 (7.2)(9.2)4.2 
Change in net cash and cash equivalents105.3 (118.2)197.4 354.9 
Cash and cash equivalents, net of bank overdraft – beginning of period526.8 710.4 434.7 237.3 
Cash and cash equivalents, net of bank overdraft - end of period (note 15)632.1 592.2 632.1 592.2 

The Corporation reports its financial results in accordance with IFRS. However, in this press release, the following non-IFRS measures are used by the Corporation: net revenues; adjusted EBITDA; adjusted EBITDA margin; adjusted net earnings; adjusted net earnings per share; backlog; free cash flow; days sales outstanding (“DSO”) and net debt to adjusted EBITDA ratio. Additional details for these non-IFRS measures, including reconciliations of most measures to the most directly comparable IFRS measures, can be found in WSP’s MD&A for the quarter and nine-month period ended September 25, 2021, which is posted on WSP’s website at, and filed on SEDAR at

Management believes that these non-IFRS measures provide useful information to investors regarding the Corporation’s financial condition and results of operations as they provide key metrics of its performance. These non-IFRS measures are not recognized under IFRS, do not have any standardized meanings prescribed under IFRS and may differ from similar computations as reported by other issuers, and accordingly may not be comparable. These measures should not be viewed as a substitute for the related financial information prepared in accordance with IFRS.

Certain information regarding WSP contained herein may constitute forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements may include estimates, plans, strategic ambitions, objectives, expectations, opinions, forecasts, projections, guidance, outlook or other statements that are not statements of fact. Forward-looking statements made by the Corporation in this press release are based on a number of assumptions believed by the Corporation to be reasonable as at November 9, 2021, including assumptions about general economic and political conditions; the state of the global economy and the economies of the regions in which the Corporation operates; the state of and access to global and local capital and credit markets; the anticipated impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Corporation’s businesses, operating results, cash flows and/or financial condition, including the effect of measures implemented as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; the expected benefits of the Golder Acquisition and other acquisitions, the expected synergies to be realized as a result of the Golder Acquisition and other acquisitions.

Although WSP believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to have been correct. These statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties and may be based on assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated or implied in the forward-looking statements, including risks relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. WSP's forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. The complete version of the cautionary note regarding risk factors, which, if realized, could cause the Corporation's actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in forward-looking statements, are included in WSP's Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the year ended December 31, 2020 which is available on SEDAR at The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date hereof and WSP does not assume any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise unless expressly required by applicable securities laws.

As one of the world’s leading professional services firms, WSP provides engineering and design services to clients in the Transportation & Infrastructure, Property & Buildings, Earth & Environment, Power & Energy, Resources and Industry sectors, as well as offering strategic advisory services. WSP's global experts include engineers, advisors, technicians, scientists, architects, planners, environmental specialists and surveyors, in addition to other design, program and construction management professionals. Our talented people are well positioned to deliver successful and sustainable projects, wherever clients need us.


Alain Michaud
Chief Financial Officer
WSP Global Inc.
[email protected]
Phone: 438-843-7317