FTG Posts Full Year, Fourth Quarter 2020 Financial Results

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Firan Technology Group Corporation has announced financial results for the full year and fourth quarter 2020.

  • FTG has managed successfully through the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 as a result of three key strategies or actions:
  1. FTG’s long-term market diversification strategy enabled the Company to mitigate the dramatic downturn in the commercial aerospace market through its involvement in the stable defense market
  2. FTG carefully managed costs across the Company, balancing decisions on cost reductions with a goal to retain critical skills to ensure the Company is positioned for a faster recovery in the future
  3. FTG carefully managed investments in the year and ended 2020 with a stronger balance sheet than before the pandemic
  • Achieved over $102M in annual sales, a 9% decline, during a very challenging year for the Aerospace industry
  • Maintained gross margins above 25% for the year
  • Received $3.2M in Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) which we used to help maintain our workforce in the face of revenue reductions due to COVID-19
  • Received $3.3M in US Paycheck Protection Program funds in the United States, which remain classified as loans at year-end
  • Achieved $13.4M EBITDA in the year, or 13.1%
  • Achieved $11.1M in Free Cash Flow (FCF) for the year, the highest ever achieved at FTG (FCF is defined as operating activities less investing activities, excluding acquisitions, less lease liability payments)
  • In Q4 2020, achieved 98.7% of Q4 2019 sales or $26.7M
  • Generated $4.1M in FCF in Q4 2020 and ended the quarter with $12.6M in net cash on the balance sheet

Business Highlights

  • FTG accomplished many goals in 2020 that continue to improve the Corporation and position it for the future, including:
  • Purchased and installed an automated, highly secure backup system to protect Information Technology data across the Company
  • In July, FTG completed a new 2-year committed Credit Facility with our existing financial institution, which includes an operating facility of $USD 10.0 million and a capex facility of $USD 10.0 million, as well as sufficient capacity for foreign exchange forward contracts and precious metal forward contracts
  • Received $3.2M in Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) which we used to help maintain our workforce in the face of revenue reductions due to COVID-19
  • Received $3.3M in PPP loans in the US, that were classified as loans at the end of 2020
  • Reduced overtime across FTG and a series of one-week plant shutdowns (to reduce wage costs) particularly in sites focused on the commercial aerospace markets
  • Reduced headcount by approximately 7% through the year primarily through attrition
  • Achieved a 0.87:1 book-to-bill ratio for 2020 with increased backlog in the US sites focused more on defense work and decreased backlog in Canadian and Chinese sites focused more on commercial aerospace programs
  • Completed integration of FTG Circuits Fredericksburg into FTG including converting to FTG standard ERP system, completing AS9100 certification and achieving NADCAP accreditation
  • FTG Aerospace Toronto was approved by Transport Canada as an approved maintenance organization (AMO) opening up future aftermarket opportunities

For FTG in 2020, overall sales decreased by $10.2M or 9% from $112.7M in 2019 to $102.4M in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted commercial aerospace activity this year and this impacted FTG’s sites predominantly focused on this market, which include Circuits Toronto and the facilities in China. In our fourth quarter, sales were down 1.3% from $27.1 in Q4 2019 to $26.7M in Q4 2020. The drop is due to the COVID-19 pandemic offset by strong shipments in our simulator related business, primarily focused on defense programs. In Q4 2019, FTG was also subjected to a cyberattack that negatively impacted operating results in that quarter.

The Circuits Segment sales in 2020 were down $5.6M, or 8% in 2020 versus 2019. The largest decline was seen in the Circuits Toronto plant which is more heavily exposed to the Commercial Aerospace market. Offsetting this was 140% growth for the Circuits Fredericksburg site as it was part of FTG for the full year in 2020 as compared to only 4 ½ months in 2019. For the full year, operating performance in Circuits Chatsworth was below 2019 levels and as a result organizational improvements were made in the fourth quarter and subsequent to year-end. In the fourth quarter, sales in the Circuits Segment were $14.1M vs $18.6M in Q4 2019. Again, Circuits Toronto saw the largest decline, while Circuits Chatsworth was up Q4 over Q4. The increase at Circuits Chatsworth was primarily due to their focus on the defense market.

For the Aerospace Segment, sales in 2020 were $36.6M compared to $41.2M last year, a decrease of $4.6M or 11%. Simulator related sales remained strong for the full year as FTG’s activity in that market primarily relates to defense simulators. For the full year, simulator sales were up 8% compared to 2019. In Q4 2020, Aerospace Segment sales were up $4.2M or 50% primarily due to timing of simulator related shipments which were very strong in Q4 2020. Simulator related sales were up over $6M in Q4 2020 compared to Q4 2019.

Gross margins in 2020 were $26.4M or 25.8% compared to $30.3M or 26.9% in 2019. The lower sales impacted the overall margin. The Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy added $2.8M to gross margin or 2.7 percentage points. In the fourth quarter, gross margins were $7.1M compared to $5.9M in Q4 2019. The CEWS added $1.4M to the Q4 2020 gross margin or 5.2 percentage points.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for FTG in 2020 was $13.4M compared to $14.6M in 2019.   Lower sales and profitability were offset by wage subsidies in Canada of $3.2M.

Net profit after tax at FTG in 2020 was $1.4M or $0.06 per diluted share compared to a net profit of $6.1M or $0.25 per diluted share in 2019. Revenues were reduced due to the decline in the Commercial Aerospace market as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic which reduced margins and profitability. The impairment of intangible assets in 2020 reduced earnings by $1.1M compared to nil in 2019. In the fourth quarter, net profit was $1.3M compared to $0.6M in Q4 2019. Included in Q4 2020 was a recovery of $0.3M resulting from insurance proceeds from the fire in Fredericksburg earlier in the year, offset by $0.2M for preferred share conversion premium expense.

The Circuits Segment net earnings before corporate and interest and other costs was $6.9M in 2020 compared to $12.5M in 2019.   The lower sales was the most significant impact on the segment profitability.   For the full year, operating performance in Circuits Chatsworth was below 2019 levels and as a result, organizational improvements were made in the fourth quarter and subsequent to year-end. This site’s operations have also been the site most affected by COVID-19 due to various absences over the course of the year.

The Aerospace net earnings before corporate and interest and other costs in the full year was $1.5M in 2020 versus $1.1M in 2019. While sales were down in 2020, operating performance at the Toronto and Chatsworth sites more than offset the impact of the lower sale and the $1.1M asset impairment charge taken in this segment in Q1 2020.

As at November 30, 2020, the Corporation’s net working capital was $39.1M, compared to $28.6M at year-end in 2019. The increase is due to higher cash and lower accounts payable offset by lower accounts receivable and inventories.

FTG ended 2020 with $12.6M in net cash as compared to $2.2M at the end of 2019. 



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