Deluxe Reports Q4 2015 Revenue Increases; Check Demand Still Declining
ST. PAUL, Minn.—Jan. 29, 2016—Deluxe Corp., a leader in providing small businesses and financial institutions with products and services to drive customer revenue, announced its financial results for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2015. Key financial highlights include:
Revenue was near the high-end of the range in the prior outlook and adjusted diluted EPS exceeded the high-end of the range in the prior outlook driven primarily by strong operating results in each of the three segments and a better than expected effective tax rate.
"Our team delivered another strong year of financial results—growing revenue for the sixth consecutive year and growing cash flow from operations for the seventh consecutive year," said Lee Schram, CEO of Deluxe. "Throughout 2015 we made substantial progress on our transformation and we further strengthened our marketing solutions and other services product offerings by aggressively expanding our focus and investments into the Financial Services segment where we added comprehensive data analytics and enhanced treasury management solutions and products."
He continued, "In addition, we added even more robust technologies for web-hosting customers and expanded our direct sales channels to expose more small businesses to our extensive assortment of marketing capabilities. Looking into 2016, we expect to continue our track record of growth in revenue, EPS and cash flow from operations and we expect that marketing solutions and other services will account for over one third of our total revenue."
Fourth Quarter 2015 Highlights:
- Revenue increased 3.3 percent year-over-year, primarily due to the Small Business Services segment which grew 3.3 percent, as well as the Financial Services segment which grew 7.3 percent and included the results of Datamyx LLC which was acquired in October 2015.
- Revenue from marketing solutions and other services increased 12.3 percent year-over-year and accounted for 33.1 percent of consolidated revenue in the quarter.
- Gross margin was 63.0 percent of revenue, flat compared to 63.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014. Unfavorable product revenue mix and increased delivery and material costs were offset by previous price increases, an increase in service margins and improvements in manufacturing productivity.
- Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expense increased 4.0 percent from last year primarily due to additional SG&A expense from acquisitions, but was partially offset by continued cost reduction initiatives in all segments. SG&A as a percent of revenue was 43.1 percent in the quarter compared to 42.8 percent last year.
- Operating income increased 0.8 percent year-over-year and includes restructuring and transaction-related costs in both periods and a loss on the sale-leaseback of a facility in 2014. Adjusted operating income, which excludes these items, increased 2.8 percent year-over-year from higher revenue and continued cost reductions.
- Diluted EPS increased 3.4 percent year-over-year. Excluding restructuring and transaction-related costs in both periods and the loss on sale-leaseback in 2014, adjusted diluted EPS increased 5.9 percent year-over-year driven by lower interest expense and stronger operating performance, partially offset by a higher effective income tax rate.
Small Business Services
- Revenue was $303.7 million and increased 3.3 percent year-over-year due primarily to growth in marketing solutions and other services, and from a channel perspective, growth in the online, Safeguard distributor, dealer and major account channels. Previous price increases also benefitted the quarter while unfavorable foreign exchange rates negatively impacted revenue growth by approximately 1.0 percentage point year-over-year.
- Operating income increased 4.4 percent from last year to $54.4 million. Adjusted operating income, which excludes restructuring and transaction-related costs in both periods, increased 7.8 percent year-over-year due primarily to cost reductions, partly offset by product revenue mix and investments in revenue-generating initiatives.
- Revenue was $120.3 million and increased 7.3 percent year-over-year. The increase in revenue was primarily due to growth in marketing solutions and other services, which includes Datamyx revenue of approximately $8 million, as well as the impact of previous price increases, partially offset by the secular decline in check usage.
- Operating income decreased 9.3 percent from last year to $22.3 million. Adjusted operating income, which excludes restructuring and transaction-related costs in both periods, decreased 5.5 percent year-over-year and includes costs associated with the Datamyx acquisition and the impact of the secular decline in check usage, partially offset by previous price increases and the continued benefits of cost reductions.
- Revenue of $39.5 million declined 6.8 percent year-over-year due primarily to the secular decline in check usage and the elimination of marketing expenditures that no longer met the Company’s return criteria, partially offset by higher conversion rates from email marketing offers and an improved call center incentive plan.
- Operating income increased 5.2 percent year-over-year to $14.1 million. Adjusted operating income, which excludes restructuring costs and a loss on sale-leaseback in 2014, decreased 0.7 percent year-over-year, due to lower order volume partly offset by lower costs and a higher mix of reorders.
- Cash provided by operating activities for 2015 was $307.9 million, an increase of $27.5 million compared to 2014, driven primarily by lower interest payments and improved operating performance, partially offset by higher income tax and performance-based compensation payments.
- The Company repurchased an additional $13 million of common stock in open market transactions in the fourth quarter bringing the full year common stock repurchase amount to $60 million.
- At the end of the fourth quarter, the company had $631 million of total debt outstanding.
- On January 25, 2016, the Board of Directors of Deluxe Corporation declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.30 per common share on all outstanding shares of the Company. The dividend will be payable on March 7, 2016 to all shareholders of record at the close of business on February 22, 2016.
About Deluxe Corp.
Deluxe is a growth engine for small businesses and financial institutions. 4.5 million small business customers utilize Deluxe's service and product solutions, including website development and hosting, email marketing, social media, search engine optimization and logo design, in addition to our industry-leading checks and forms offerings. Deluxe serves approximately 5,100 financial institutions with a diverse portfolio of financial technology solutions that enable them to grow revenue and manage their customers’ throughout their lifecycle, including our best-in-class check program solutions. Deluxe is also a leading provider of checks and accessories sold directly to consumers.
Source: Deluxe Corp.