Quad/Graphics Reports Q2 Net Sales Down, Adjusted EBITDA Up Due to Operational Efficiencies
SUSSEX, Wis. — August 2, 2016 — Quad/Graphics, Inc. (NYSE: QUAD) ("Quad/Graphics" or the "Company") today reported results for its second quarter ending June 30, 2016.
"We are very pleased with our second quarter 2016 results, which reflect our ongoing, focused efforts to improve manufacturing productivity and sustainably reduce costs," says Joel Quadracci, Quad/Graphics chairman, president and CEO. "We surpassed our expectations for both earnings and cash flow, which further strengthens our balance sheet and supports our sustainable dividend policy. As always, we remain committed to being the industry's high-quality, low-cost producer while delivering an exceptional client experience."
Quadracci continued: "As we enter our 45th year, Quad continues to transform as a company at this critical time in the printing industry. We are delivering innovative solutions that help our clients improve both the efficiency and effectiveness of their media spend across multiple channels. Last month, we made a minority investment in Rise Interactive, a digital marketing agency with whom we have a well-established relationship. Through this partnership, we help clients use robust data analytics to deliver and measure highly relevant campaigns at scale to consumers across traditional and digital channels. This addresses an important need for today's marketers and publishers who acknowledge the difficulty of coordinating content efficiently and effectively across channels, and are looking for an integrated solution from a trusted partner."
Net sales for the second quarter 2016 were $1.0 billion, a 3% decrease from second quarter 2015 due to ongoing industry volume and pricing pressures. Despite lower sales, the $8 million second quarter GAAP net loss represented a $37 million, or 83%, improvement in earnings versus 2015 due to better operating performance from ongoing improvements in manufacturing productivity and labor management, sustainable cost reductions and lower restructuring and non-cash impairment charges. Second quarter Adjusted EBITDA increased $6 million to $98 million compared to $92 million in 2015, and Adjusted EBITDA margin improved to 9.5% compared to 8.7% last year. The increase in Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margins primarily reflect enhanced operational efficiency and sustainable cost reductions.
Net sales for the six months ended June 30, 2016 were $2.1 billion, a 3% decrease from the first six months of 2015. Year-to-date GAAP net loss was $4 million, a $76 million, or 95%, improvement versus an $80 million net loss in 2015. Year-to-date Adjusted EBITDA increased $23 million to $218 million as compared to $195 million in 2015, and Adjusted EBITDA margin improved to 10.5% as compared to 9.1%. These year-to-date financial trends are consistent with the explanations provided for the second quarter.
GAAP net cash provided by operating activities was $220 million for the first six months of 2016, an increase of $96 million, or 78%, over 2015. Correspondingly, Free Cash Flow was $179 million, an increase of $139 million over 2015, which was a 350% improvement. These improvements are due to the beneficial impacts from ongoing improvements in working capital levels, lower ongoing capital expenditures needs and increased earnings.
The Company updated its full-year 2016 guidance for net sales, Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow as follows:
"The operational efficiency and cost reduction momentum established during the first half of the year is driving stronger earnings and cash flow results and, therefore, we are increasing our guidance for Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow each by $40 million at the midpoint of their respective ranges," said Dave Honan, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer. "Our strong cash flow generation continues to be the foundation of our disciplined capital deployment strategy and has resulted in a $323 million, or a 21%, reduction in debt since peak debt levels at September 30, 2015. The debt reduction combined with increased earnings have resulted in a significant decrease in our debt leverage ratio to 2.43x, well within our stated long-term targeted leverage range of 2.0x to 2.5x. We are also committed to our annual dividend of $1.20 per share, which represents less than 25% of Free Cash Flow at the midpoint of our revised guidance range."
Quad/Graphics' next quarterly dividend of $0.30 per share will be payable on Sept. 9, 2016, to shareholders of record as of Aug. 29, 2016.
At the forefront of innovation for 45 years, Quad/Graphics (NYSE: QUAD) is a leading print and marketing services provider focused on helping brand owners market their products, services and content more efficiently and effectively across media channels. With a consultative approach, worldwide capabilities, leading-edge technology and single-source simplicity, Quad/Graphics has the resources and knowledge to help a wide variety of clients in distinct vertical industries, including but not limited to retail, publishing, healthcare, insurance and financial. The Company helps its clients perform better in today's rapidly changing world through the integration of print products with complementary services to improve efficiencies, reduce costs, create engagement, lift response and increase revenue. Quad/Graphics provides a diverse range of print and related products, services and solutions from multiple locations throughout North America, South America and Europe, and strategic partnerships in Asia and other parts of the world.