CaribPR Wire, CALGARY, Alberta, March 30, 2020: Parkland Fuel Corporation (”Parkland”, “we”, the “Company”, or “our”) (TSX:PKI) announced today in response to the uncertain economic impact of novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”): a reduction in its 2020 Capital Expenditure program, the withdrawal of its 2020 Adjusted EBITDA guidance, reiteration of the Company’s financial strength and other corporate updates.
“We are responding quickly and prudently to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” commented Bob Espey, President and Chief Executive Officer. “During this unprecedented period of uncertainty, our priority is to protect the health and safety of our employees as they continue to provide an essential service to the communities we serve. We are proud to remain operational through this period and I would like to thank our team for their ongoing commitment to safely meeting our customer’s energy and convenience needs.”
“The agility of our business model is evident by being able to quickly taper our 2020 capital expenditure program and reduce costs to reflect the current business environment. We will maintain the operational flexibility to resume our growth initiatives when conditions improve. Underpinned by our integrated and resilient business model, diverse geographic platform, and extensive product offering, we have a strong track record of growth and expect that to continue once conditions improve.”
2020 Capital Expenditure Program revision
On March 5, 2020, Parkland issued guidance for 2020 Total Capital expenditures of $575 million +/- 5%. Consistent with our priority to maintain financial flexibility and balance sheet strength, we are reducing our 2020 Capital Program by $300 million to $275 million +/- 5%. The capital expenditures included in the reduction can be deferred until an improvement in the current economic environment. Details of our updated 2020 plans are below:
|Capital Expenditures ($ millions)|
|2020 Refinery Turnaround Maintenance||60|
|Total Capital Expenditures (1)||275||+/- 5%|
(1) the “2020 Capital Program”
We expect to have invested approximately $130 million of total capital expenditures by the end of Q1 2020. Our revised 2020 growth capital still enables Parkland to maintain leadership in low-carbon fuel refining by increasing bio-feed capacity by 250 percent, enhance our supply capability through infrastructure investments and build additional digital capability such as the JOURNIE™ Rewards program.
2020 Adjusted EBITDA Guidance withdrawn
The current COVID-19 situation and associated impact on economic activity is expected to reduce demand for fuel globally. Parkland remains focused on providing essential fuel and convenience services to our customers, however, the extent and duration of the impact is uncertain. As a result, we are withdrawing our 2020 Adjusted EBITDA Guidance Range.
Snapshot of Parkland’s financial strength
Coupled with our actions outlined above, we have a strong financial position with significant liquidity to manage through challenging market environments. As of December 31, 2019, we had liquidity of nearly $1 billion, made up of approximately $750 million of committed credit facility capacity and $250 million of cash. Our existing credit facility has a maturity date of January 8, 2023. Furthermore, our Total Funded Debt to Credit Facility EBITDA ratio was 2.8 times as of December 31, 2019, which has a covenant limit of 5.0 times.
Other corporate updates
- There is no change to our 2020 Refinery Turnaround Maintenance projections. We are on track to begin startup of the Burnaby refinery in early April and will provide notification when we achieve full operational capability. After startup, optimal utilization rates will be determined based on the demand outlook at the time.
- Demonstrating the flexibility of our operational platform, we will reduce variable and fixed costs while retaining our core capabilities to ensure we can continue our growth programs when current market conditions change. These measures are designed to preserve cash flow during this period of reduced demand and are also consistent with our long-term goals of building a scalable platform for growth.
- In support of our cost initiatives, effective April 1, 2020 and for the remainder of 2020, Parkland’s President and CEO will take a 35 percent salary reduction while other members of the leadership team will take a 25 percent reduction. Similarly, Parkland’s Board of Directors will take a 25 percent reduction in cash retainer fees.
- Parkland’s balance sheet should also benefit from reduced working capital requirements as a result of lower global energy prices.
Certain statements contained in this news release constitute forward-looking information and statements (collectively, “forward-looking statements”). When used in this news release the words “expect”, “will”, “could”, “would”, “believe”, “continue”, “pursue” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. In particular, this news release contains forward-looking statements with respect to, among other things: the revised 2020 Capital Program, including expected maintenance and growth capital expenditure estimates and projects; expected Q1 2020 capital expenditures; the expected timing of startup of the Burnaby refinery and the expected utilization rates at the Burnaby refinery upon startup; expected working capital benefits to Parkland due to lower energy prices; and our ability to accelerate growth activity when current market conditions change.
These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements. No assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct and such forward-looking statements included in this news release should not be unduly relied upon. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this news release. Parkland does not undertake any obligations to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements except as required by securities law. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of numerous risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, general economic, market and business conditions and the extent and duration COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on such economic, market and business conditions; the effect on demand for Parkland’s products as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; the ability of suppliers and other counterparties to meet commitments; actions by governmental authorities and other regulators including but not limited to increases in taxes or restricted access to markets; changes and developments in environmental and other regulations; and other factors, many of which are beyond the control of Parkland. See also the risks and uncertainties described in “Forward-Looking Information” and “Risk Factors” included in Parkland’s Annual Information Form dated March 30, 2020 and in “Forward-Looking Information” and “Risk Factors” in the 2019 annual management’s discussion and analysis dated March 5, 2020 (the “Q4 2019 MD&A”), which are filed on SEDAR and available on the Parkland website at www.parkland.ca. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
This news release refers to certain non-GAAP financial measures that are not determined in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (”IFRS”). Adjusted EBITDA is a measures of segment profit. See Section 13 of the Q4 2019 MD&A and Note 27 of the 2019 annual consolidated financial statements for a reconciliation of this measure of segment profit to the nearest IFRS measure. Management considers this to be an important supplemental measure of Parkland’s performance and believes this measure is used frequently used by securities analysts, investors and other interested parties in the evaluation of companies in our industry. However, Adjusted EBITDA may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers, as other issuers may calculate these metrics differently. Investors are cautioned that these measures should not be construed as an alternative to net earnings determined in accordance with IFRS as an indication of Parkland’s performance. Investors are encouraged to evaluate the measure and the reasons Parkland considers it appropriate for supplemental analysis.
Parkland is an independent supplier and marketer of fuel and petroleum products and a leading convenience store operator. Parkland services customers across Canada, the United States, the Caribbean region and the Americas through three channels: Retail, Commercial and Wholesale. Parkland optimizes its fuel supply across these three channels by operating and leveraging a growing portfolio of supply relationships and storage infrastructure. Parkland provides trusted and locally relevant fuel brands and convenience store offerings in the communities it serves.
Parkland creates value for shareholders by focusing on its proven strategy of growing organically, realizing a supply advantage and acquiring prudently and integrating successfully. At the core of our strategy are our people, as well as our values of safety, integrity, community and respect, which are embraced across our organization.