MONTREAL, QUEBEC and BRADENTON, FLORIDA -- (Marketwire) -- 03/07/13 -- Intertape Polymer Group Inc. (TSX: ITP) ("Intertape" or the "Company") today released results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2012. All dollar amounts are US denominated unless otherwise indicated.
Fiscal Year 2012 Highlights:
-- Gross margin increased to 18.0% from 14.6% last year-- Adjusted EBITDA increased 37.4% to $87.9 million-- Cash flows from operating activities before changes in working capital increased 45.3% over last year to $78.7 million-- Total debt reduced by $43.0 million during the year-- Introduced 35 new products during the year-- Adjusted fully diluted EPS of $0.69 compared to $0.23 last year-- Redeemed $55.0 million of Senior Subordinated Notes ("Notes") in December for a total redemption of $80.0 million for the year
-- Initiated $26 million investment to relocate and modernize South Carolina operations (please refer to press release issued on February 26, 2013 for more details)-- Declared dividend of US$0.08 per common share
"Our focus for the past few years has been on margin improvement by implementing manufacturing cost reductions and driving favourable product mix changes," stated Intertape President and Chief Executive Officer, Greg Yull. "For the year, we achieved a gross margin of 18.0% and adjusted EBITDA of $87.9 million, representing an increase of 37.4% from 2011. Furthermore, during the year, we increased our gross margin goal range to 18% to 20% from 18% to 19%.
"During the year, we launched 35 new products. Since ramping up product innovation in 2009, we have introduced more than 135 new products. In 2012, new products introduced over the past five years accounted for over 15% of Intertape's total revenue, up from over 10% in 2011.
"We continued to deleverage our balance sheet with debt reduction of $43.0 million and also considerably reduced the average cost of debt with the redemption of $80 million of Notes. At the end of 2012, the debt to trailing 12-month adjusted EBITDA ratio was 1.7 compared to 3.0 at the end of 2011.
"During 2012, we invested $21.6 million in projects primarily related to operational efficiencies. This represented an increase of $8 million from 2011. Even with this increased investment, free cash flows for the year increased to $62.9 million from $34.7 million in 2011.
"We recently commenced an initiative to invest $26 million to relocate and modernize our Columbia, South Carolina manufacturing operations. The new facility will include state-of-the-art equipment and annual savings from productivity gains and energy efficiencies are projected to be more than $13 million starting in the first half of 2015 with the first full year effects in 2016," concluded Mr. Yull.
The Company declared a dividend, in the amount of US$0.08, under the semi-annual dividend policy adopted in 2012. The dividend will be paid on April 10, 2013 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 25, 2013. This dividend to be paid by the Company is an "eligible dividend" as per the Income Tax Act (Canada).