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Guardian Capital Group Limited (TSX: GCG; GCG.A) Announces 2015 Operating Results

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb 24, 2016) - Guardian Capital Group Limited (GCG.TO)(TSX:GCG.A) -

All per share figures disclosed below are stated on a diluted basis.

For the years ended December 31

($ in thousands, except per share amounts)

2015

2014

Net revenue

$

132,911

$

119,275

Operating earnings

42,998

38,141

Net gains(1)

11,040

6,700

Net earnings before net gains on securities held for sale(1)

44,977

37,227

Net gains on securities held for sale(1)

--

386

Net earnings available to shareholders

44,105

37,017

EBITDA(2)

$

47,826

$

42,892

Adjusted cash flow from operations(2)

38,347

36,225

Per Share

Net earnings available to shareholders

$

1.44

$

1.19

EBITDA(2)

1.56

1.38

Adjusted cash flow from operations(2)

1.25

1.16

As at December 31

($ in millions, except per share amounts)

2015

2014

Assets under management

$

24,278

$

24,968

Assets under administration

14,943

13,126

Shareholders' equity

504

489

Value of corporate holdings of securities

540

525

Per Share

Shareholders' equity

$

16.55

$

15.62

Value of corporate holdings of securities

17.72

16.78

Amidst ongoing equity market volatility, the Company completed the year with solid financial results in 2015. The assets under management were $24.3 billion as at December 31, 2015, a decrease of 3% from $25.0 billion as at December 31, 2014. Assets under administration were $14.9 billion, a historic high, as at December 31, 2015, an increase of 14% from $13.1 billion as at December 31, 2014.

The Company's operating earnings for the year reached a historic high of $43.0 million, a 13% increase from $38.1 million in 2014. The growth in operating earnings was the result of continued improved operating earnings from the financial advisory segment and higher investment income from our corporate holdings of securities, slightly offset by lower operating earnings from our investment management segment.

Net gains for the year were $11.0 million, an increase of $4.3 million from $6.7 million in 2014. The current year's gains include a gain on the sale of 204,000 Bank of Montreal shares during the fourth quarter.

Net earnings available to shareholders for the year were $44.1 million ($1.44 per share), a 19% growth compared to $37.0 million ($1.19 per share) in 2014. The increase in net earnings available to shareholders in 2015 was due to the combination the growth in operating earnings and the increase in net gains.

EBITDA for the year was $47.8 million, or $1.56 per share, compared to $42.9 million, or $1.38 per share, for 2014. Adjusted cash flow from operations for the year was $38.3 million, or $1.25 per share, compared to $36.2 million, or $1.16 per share for 2014. The increases in each of these measures reflect the strong growth in operating earnings for the year. These two non-IFRS financial measures used by the Company are defined in its quarterly and annual Management's Discussion and Analysis.

The Company's shareholders' equity as at December 31, 2015 was $504 million, or $16.55 per share, compared to $489 million, or $15.62 per share, at December 31, 2014. The fair value of the Company's holdings of securities as at December 31, 2015 was $540 million, or $17.72 per share, compared to $525 million, or $16.78 per share, as at December 31, 2014.

The Board of Directors has declared a quarterly eligible dividend of $0.085 per share, an increase of 13% from the prior quarter, payable on April 18, 2016, to shareholders of record on April 11, 2016.

The following table summarizes Guardian's financial results for the past eight quarters.

Quarters ended

Dec 31,

Sep 30,

Jun 30,

Mar 31,

Dec 31,

Sep 30,

Jun 30,

Mar 31,

($ in thousands)

2015

2015

2015

2015

2014

2014

2014

2014

Net revenue

$

34,353

$

33,188

$

33,066

$

32,304

$

31,490

$

30,806

$

29,257

$

27,722

Operating earnings

10,256

10,876

11,390

10,476

10,335

10,051

9,199

8,556

Net gains (losses)(1)

9,658

(2,407

)

602

3,187

288

(194

)

2,959

3,647

Net earnings before net gains on securities held for sale(1)

17,362

6,278

9,786

11,551

8,438

7,877

10,288

10,624

Net gains on securities held for sale(1)

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

386

Net earnings available to shareholders

17,138

6,053

9,604

11,310

8,223

7,715

10,163

10,916

Shareholders' equity

504,255

470,533

473,944

477,901

488,835

482,242

463,306

438,363

(in $)

Per average Class A and Common Share

Net earnings available to shareholders:

- Basic

$

0.59

$

0.21

$

0.33

$

0.38

$

0.27

$

0.26

$

0.34

$

0.36

- Diluted

0.56

0.20

0.31

0.37

0.27

0.25

0.33

0.35

Shareholders' equity

- Basic

$

17.37

$

15.96

$

16.08

$

16.15

$

16.33

$

16.08

$

15.34

$

14.49

- Diluted

16.55

15.23

15.32

15.42

15.62

15.39

14.72

13.93

Guardian Capital Group Limited is a diversified financial services company founded in 1962. Guardian provides institutional and high net worth investment management services to clients; financial services to international investors; and services to financial advisors in its national mutual fund dealer, securities dealer, and insurance distribution network. Its Common and Class A shares are listed on The Toronto Stock Exchange.

(1) During the year, certain of the Company's investments in mutual funds were reclassified from the held for sale category to the held for trading category on a retrospective basis. The reclassification had the effect of re-presenting net gains, income tax expenses, net earnings before net gains on securities held for sale, and net gains on securities held for sale in prior periods but did not Impact operating earnings or net earnings available to shareholders. The above tables reflect the effects of the retrospective application of the reclassification.

(2) The Company's management uses EBITDA and Adjusted cash flow from operations to evaluate and assess the performance of its business. These two measures do not have standardized measures under International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS"), and are therefore unlikely to be strictly comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. However, management believes that most shareholders, creditors, other stakeholders and investment analysts prefer to include the use of these measures in analyzing the Company's results. The Company defines EBITDA as net earnings before interest, income taxes, amortization, stock-based compensation, net gains or losses and net gains or losses on securities held for sale, less amounts attributable to non-controlling interest. The Company defines Adjusted cash flow from operations as Net cash from operating activities, net of changes in non-cash working capital items and net of non-controlling interests. The most comparable IFRS measures are Net earnings, which were $44,977 (2014 - $37,613) and Net cash from operating activities, which was $33,777 (2014 - $38,083). More detailed descriptions of these two non-IFRS measures are provided in the Management's Discussions and Analysis, in the Company's 2015 Annual Report, including a reconciliation of these measures to their most comparable IFRS measures.

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