- Long-term vision sets an ambitious destination for WSP to become the undisputed leader in its industry with aspirations to double in size.
- WSP will further evolve the organization through its three driving forces of change, namely ESG, Innovation and Technology.
- WSP’s 2022-2024 Global Strategic Action Plan aims to:
- Put the ingenuity of WSP’s people forward to accelerate the world’s green transition.
- Further diversify WSP’s platform by scaling its capabilities in core sectors and geographies, while continuing to develop other sectors and services with significant growth opportunities, through its disciplined acquisition and organic growth strategy.
- Deliver growth in net revenues in excess of 30%, adjusted EBITDA (1) by 40% and adjusted net earnings per share(2) by 50%.
MONTREAL, March 09, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- WSP Global Inc. (TSX: WSP) ("WSP" or the “Corporation”) today released the highlights of its 2022-2024 Global Strategic Action Plan entitled Future Ready, which sets the stage for the next three years of the Corporation’s evolution.
With the ambitions underpinning the Corporation’s 2019-2021 Global Strategic Plan successfully realized, WSP’s industry-leading platform is primed for growth with the ability to capitalize on transformational market trends. Building on this momentum, the Corporation has developed a three-year global strategic action plan, while simultaneously delineating an ambitious long-term vision for WSP.
“In 2019, we challenged ourselves to expand our horizons, setting ambitious goals to push ourselves even further. Since then, we have navigated through a period of extraordinary changes, added new talent and depth to our organization, and now have the most diversified platform in our industry with leading positions in our core markets,” said Alexandre L’Heureux, President and Chief Executive Officer of WSP. “Today, I am proud to unveil our 2022-2024 Global Strategic Action Plan, designed to empower our people to leverage a Future Ready® mindset in advising our clients, stand proudly at the forefront of the world’s green transition, and deliver industry-leading financial results. Through the forces that drive us, namely ESG, Innovation and Technology, we will further evolve our organization, reflecting the needs of both our professionals and our clients, and creating a platform where our insightful advice, cutting edge expertise, and smart designs provide the highest standard of services to clients.”
WSP’s long-term vision sets an ambitious destination for WSP to become the undisputed leader in its industry.
“Looking through the lens of our diverse stakeholders and given that many of the world’s most compelling and urgent global trends are well aligned with WSP’s strengths, expertise, and service offerings, the long-term vision for our organization became strikingly clear. We believe WSP is uniquely positioned to create an enduring legacy of greater impact,” stated L’Heureux.
The Corporation’s long-term vision has distinct ambitions for WSP to act as a bold change agent for the clients and communities it serves, raise up and empower the diversity of communities, and attract the brightest minds to solve the most complex challenges through exceptional service and the trust of our clients.
“The journey to becoming the undisputed leader in our industry puts us on a trajectory with aspirations to double in size, achieve sustainable industry-leading organic growth, and realize adjusted EBITDA margins above 20 percent. We cannot predict with certainty when we will arrive at this ambitious destination, but we know we will get there,” continued L’Heureux.
2022-2024 GLOBAL STRATEGIC ACTION PLAN
WSP’s 2022-2024 Global Strategic Action Plan will set the course for the continued evolution of the Corporation’s foundational pillars (People & Culture, Clients, Operational Excellence and Expertise) to support profitable growth, drive technical excellence and innovation, and deliver exceptional value to our clients.
LEADING BY EXAMPLE IN ESG COMMITMENTS
Over the next three years, WSP intends to make significant progress towards achieving its previously announced science-based GHG emissions reduction targets, which will contribute to the Corporation’s commitment to achieve net zero emissions across its value chain by 2040. The Corporation will also strive to grow its clean revenues to more than half of its business and remain steadfast in its commitment to working safely and with integrity.
“With our Future Ready® approach, we are more committed than ever before to leading the world’s green transition. Against this backdrop, we have given careful thought to who we are as an organization and the role we play in creating a brighter future. As we advance toward a more sustainable world, we recognize that exiting certain sectors or industries might seem like the right thing to do. However, leaving the field altogether will not help us transition to a better future,” stated L’Heureux. “Real change comes from assisting clients who share our goal of moving swiftly towards an equitable, inclusive, and net zero world. To that end, we will focus on projects that are consistent with that journey, or more fundamentally, with what we stand for.”
PEOPLE & CULTURE: FOSTERING INGENUITY
WSP’s success relies on the ingenuity and expertise of its professionals. To that end, the Corporation is committed to making significant efforts to provide its more than 55,000 people with a newly imagined best-in-class inclusive work environment, aimed at empowering them to deliver on their full potential. Additionally, WSP will provide an employee experience that attracts and retains the best professionals and will seek and promote talent through its commitment to broad recruitment and development programs that address under-represented groups in the industry.
EXPERTISE: LEADING THROUGH TECHNICAL EXCELLENCE AND INNOVATION
The Corporation continues to be recognized as a key player in the industry landscape, delivering some of the largest, most complex, and transformative projects globally. Over the next three years, the Corporation will seek to further leverage its global presence and ability, market leadership and the breadth of its expertise through accelerated organic growth and its proven disciplined approach to acquisitions.
WSP aims to continue to drive growth and expand in new areas by facilitating greater connections across borders and harnessing the wide-ranging and diverse brainpower of WSP professionals, while continuing to drive technical excellence in every discipline. With the rapid advancement of technology, WSP will also increase its focus on both the provision of digital solutions for clients and advanced tools for employees.
Over the next three years, the Corporation intends to capitalize on its strengths and further scale its capabilities in its top three market sectors: Transportation & Infrastructure, Earth & Environment and Property & Buildings. In parallel, the Corporation plans to expand in key services, sectors, and markets with significant growth opportunities, such as consulting and digital advisory services, water, power and renewable energy.
As a result of this continued diversification, WSP’s industry-leading platform should be stronger, more balanced, and resilient, ready to help its clients succeed in a changing world.
CLIENTS: ELEVATING THE STANDARD IN CLIENT EXPERIENCE
As market trends continue to shape the world of tomorrow, the Corporation will continue to expand its discipline through organic and acquisitive growth to bring WSP’s complete technical, advisory, and digital capabilities to tackle its clients’ needs. Additionally, the Future Ready® approach WSP has honed over the past few years will continue to provide a collaborative and forward-thinking model for innovative problem-solving. By 2024, WSP aims to achieve over $10 billion in net revenues.
OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE: DRIVING LEADING PERFORMANCE AND EFFICIENCY THROUGH TRANSFORMATION
The Corporation’s acquisitive growth has provided an opportunity to bring best practices from leading firms to WSP. Over the next three years, the Corporation will work to simplify and streamline systems and approaches, leveraging scale to create commonality across the business and driving elevated client delivery, a world-class employee experience, and greater efficiency, enhanced by additional investments in digital tools and solutions. By 2024, the Corporation aims to save more than one million hours through simplification and achieve a 30-50 bps annual increase in adjusted EBITDA margin.
Through the ambitions set out in its 2022-2024 Global Strategic Action Plan, WSP aims to grow net revenues in excess of 30%, adjusted EBITDA (1) by 40% and adjusted net earnings per share(2) by 50% by 2024, bringing the Corporation one step closer to its long-term vision.
WSP will measure its performance by targeting the following metrics:
| ||2022-2024 FINANCIAL AMBITIONS |
|Net revenues (3)||>$10B |
|Annual organic net revenue growth||>5%|
|Adjusted EBITDA margin (2) (3)||17.5% to 18.5%|
|Free cash flow (1)/ net earnings attributable to shareholders of WSP||>100%|
|Net Debt to adjusted EBITDA ratio ||1.0x to 2.0x|
Adjusted EBITDA of $1.3B in 2021 and $1.1 B in 2020; and earnings before net financing expense and income taxes of $724.6M in 2021. Free cash flow of $646.1M in 2021 and $735.3M in 2020; and cash flow from operating activities of $1.1B in 2021.
These financial ambitions, provided on March 9, 2022, as part of the presentation of the 2022-2024 Global Strategic Action Plan, are meant to assist analysts and shareholders in formalizing their respective views on the Corporation’s strategy. The reader is cautioned that using this information for other purposes may be inappropriate. These measures are subject to change. The target ranges presented above were prepared assuming no fluctuations in foreign exchange rate in markets in which the Corporation operates. The Corporation considered numerous economic and market assumptions regarding the competition, political environment, and economic performance of each region where it operates. In preparing its 2022-2024 Global Strategic Action Plan forecast, the Corporation also assumed that economic factors and market competition in regions where it operates would remain stable.
|(1)||Non-IFRS financial measure without a standardized definition under IFRS, which may not be comparable to similar measures used by other issuers. This press release incorporates by reference section 22, “Glossary of segment reporting, non-IFRS and other financial measures”, of WSP’s Management's Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”) for the year ended December 31, 2021, which is filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com, which includes explanations of the composition and usefulness of adjusted EBTIDA and free cash flow, as well as section 8.3, "Adjusted EBITDA" and section 9.1, “Operating activities and free cash flow” for quantitative reconciliation of these historical non-IFRS financial measures to the most directly comparable IFRS measures.|
|(2)||Non-IFRS ratios that are forward-looking, without a standardized definition under IFRS, which may not be comparable to similar ratios used by other issuers. This press release incorporates by reference section 22, “Glossary of segment reporting, non-IFRS and other financial measures”, of WSP’s MD&A for the year ended December 31, 2021, which is filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com, which includes explanations of the composition and usefulness of these non-IFRS ratios. Adjusted EBITDA margin is defined as adjusted EBITDA expressed as a percentage of net revenues. Adjusted net earnings per share is the ratio of adjusted net earnings divided by the basic weighted average number of shares outstanding for the period.|
A webcast will be held on March 10, 2022, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) to discuss the 2022-2024 Global Strategic Action Plan. This event will include insights from several key leaders from WSP, including regional and corporate executives. To participate in the event, register by accessing www.wsp.com/investors. The webcast and slideshow presentation will also be archived on WSP’s website at wsp.com under the Investors section.
NON IFRS MEASURES
The Corporation reports its financial results in accordance with IFRS. WSP uses a number of financial measures when assessing its results and measuring overall performance. Some of these financial measures are not calculated in accordance with IFRS. Regulation 52-112 respecting Non-IFRS, and Other Financial Measures Disclosure (“Regulation 52-112”) prescribes disclosure requirements that apply to the following types of measures used by the Corporation: (i) non-IFRS financial measures; (ii) non-IFRS ratios; (iii) total of segments measures; (iv) capital management measures; and (v) supplemental financial measures.
In this press release, the following non-IFRS and other financial measures are used by the Corporation: net revenues; adjusted EBITDA; adjusted EBITDA margin; adjusted net earnings; adjusted net earnings per share; free cash flow; and net debt to adjusted EBITDA ratio. Additional details for these non-IFRS and additional financial measures can be found in section 22, “Glossary of segment reporting, non-IFRS and other financial measures” of WSP’s MD&A for the year ended December 31, 2021, which is posted on WSP’s website at www.wsp.com, and filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
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 include statements about our proposed strategy, and our operating performance, financial outlook, and prospects. These forward-looking statements are based on a number of assumptions believed by the Corporation to be reasonable as at March 9, 2022, 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 including the impact of inflation and Increasing interest rates; 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, and the expected synergies to be realized as a result thereof.
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 MD&A for the year ended December 31, 2021, which is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. 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 strategic advisory, engineering and design services to clients in the Transportation & Infrastructure, Earth & Environment, Property & Buildings, Power & Energy, Resources, and Industry sectors. WSP's global experts include advisors, engineers, environmental specialists, scientists, technicians, architects and planners, in addition to other design and program management professionals. Our talented people are well positioned to deliver successful and sustainable projects, wherever our clients need us. wsp.com.
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WSP Global Inc.