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FirstService Corporation (FSRV)

Q2 2013 Earnings Call

July 30, 2013 11:00 AM ET


Jay Hennick – Founder and CEO

John Friedrichsen – SVP and CFO

Scott Patterson – President and COO


Frederic Bastien – Raymond James

Stephen MacLeod – BMO Capital Markets

Varun Choyah – CIBC World Markets

Sami Abboud – Scotiabank

Brandon Dobell – William Blair

David Gold – Sidoti



Welcome to the Second Quarter Investors’ Conference Call. Today’s call is being recorded. Legal counsel requires us to advice that the discussion scheduled today, placed today, may contain forward-looking statements that involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results may be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements contemplated in the forward-looking statements.

Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual results to materially differ from those in the forward-looking statements, is contained in the company’s annual information form as filed with the Canadian Securities Administrators and in the company’s annual report on Form 40F as filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

As a reminder, today’s call is being recorded. Today is Tuesday, July 30, 2013. At this time, for opening remarks and introductions, I’d like to turn the call over to the Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Jay Hennick. Please go ahead, sir.

Jay Hennick

Thank you, and good morning everyone. As the – as the announcer just stated, I’m the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the company. And with me today, is Scott Patterson, President and Chief Operating Officer, and John Friedrichsen, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

This morning, FirstService reported very strong year-over-year results with earnings per share up 29% in an otherwise very busy second quarter.

Colliers International posts EBITDA growth of 40% with margins up almost 200 basis points partly as a result of the recent acquisition of Colliers Germany and partly from improved productivity and efficiency as we continue to refine and strengthen our global platform.

During the quarter, Colliers also finalized the consolidation of all of its operations in Germany by completing the acquisitions of Colliers Frankfurt and Colliers Dusseldorf and complementing the acquisitions of Colliers operations in Munich, Stuttgart, and Berlin earlier in the year.

Having a leadership position in Germany, the anchor of the entire EU is an important part of our strategy. It not only allows us to operate one fully integrated business in Europe, but it also reinforces our ability to better serve our clients, both regionally, and globally.

Another important initiative for Colliers during the quarter was the combination of our Americas business, the US, Canada and Latin America, into one business unit.

Bringing these operations together, helps us leverage client relationships, and facilitate the common vision and strategy for our service lines in the region including brokerage, corporate solutions, property management, valuation and advisory.

And finally, in commercial real estate, winning awards is nothing new. This happens to be an industry the dolo [ph] awards on a regular basis. However, being recognized as one of the world’s top outsourcing firms to the eighth year in a row, being the best commercial real estate advisor in Asia for the first time ever and being ranked in the top four real estate advisors in Europe for the first time make us particularly proud and demonstrate once again the momentum that Colliers is building on a global basis.

Revenues at our highly successful residential property management business were up more than 10%. More importantly, we completed a major initiative rebranding all 18 of our regional operations across North America to the FirstService Residential name and brand.

Bringing the FirstService Residential brand to the forefront is an important part of our ambitious growth plans for this division. By unifying all of our operations under one powerful brand, we can better showcase our market leadership and commitment to service excellence while leveraging our industry leading strengths for the benefit of both our clients and our shareholders.

In property services, EBITDA was up 4% and margin was up significantly on the strength of 12% revenue growth at the FirstService Brand business. Field Asset is finally stabilized with its current revenue run rate and we look forward to profitable growth for the balance of the year and beyond.

And corporately, during the quarter, FirstService simplified its capital structure by eliminating its outstanding preferred shares and instituting a dividend policy on our common shares.

In addition to the 19% annualized internal rate of return, our shareholders have received on their investment in FirstService shares over the past 18 years, our new dividend provide shareholders with yet one more source of investment income. However, paying dividends also introduces the company to a growing universe of investors who only invest in dividend paying stocks thereby increasing our traditional shareholder base and increasing the liquidity of our shares both of which have helped our market performance.

Now, before we open things up to questions, let me turn things over to John for more of the financial details from the quarter and then Scott will provide his operational report. John.

John Friedrichsen

Thank you, Jay. As announced in our press release earlier this morning and by Jay in his opening remarks, FirstService reported a very solid overall results in a very busy second quarter was strong contributions from Colliers International, FirstService Residential and FirstService Brands and a modest contribution from our now stabilized property preservation and distressed asset management operation, all in the context of market conditions that continue to show recovery, but with a varying pace depending on the region.

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