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Letter to Shareholders

Dear Fellow Shareholders,

In 2020, Aecon’s people – especially our frontline workers – kept Aecon moving forward, proving that together, we are stronger. We are incredibly proud of all that was accomplished amidst a challenging operating environment as the resiliency and agility which has been paramount to Aecon’s success was once again brought to the forefront.

Aecon’s 2020 results illustrate the strength of our purpose-built and diverse business. Our continued growth, underscored by revenue of $3.6 billion, Adjusted EBITDA of $265 million, and backlog of $6.5 billion at year-end demonstrates that operating conditions have stabilized, and our underlying business performance remains solid. Strong new contract awards and recurring revenue programs have helped us navigate the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Aecon’s Board of Directors were pleased to approve a 9 per cent increase in the quarterly dividend to 17.5 cents per share from 16 cents per share previously – the ninth annual increase in the last 10 years.

Aecon is focused on building upon our culture of operational excellence and delivering consistent performance for our clients. Aecon’s expert teams across Canada and abroad achieved much success in delivering some of the most complex projects underway in our industry, and there are many reasons we can all be Aecon Proud.

From our well-balanced roster of projects spanning the civil, urban transportation systems, nuclear and industrial sectors, to our recurring utilities work, Aecon teams made significant progress this past year. An Aecon joint venture reached completion on the Unit 2 Refurbishment at Ontario Power Generation’s Darlington Nuclear Generating Station – the first of 4 units to be refurbished at Darlington. An Aecon joint venture also reached completion on the Peace River Bridge Twinning project in Alberta.

And in December, Aecon proudly celebrated the opening of Bermuda’s new world-class passenger terminal building, marking a significant milestone for Aecon’s 30-year concession to operate the airport – a remarkable feat considering the challenges COVID-19 placed on construction, international travel and airport operations.

Aecon continues our drive to clearly be the number one Canadian infrastructure company. We made significant progress on our Aecon Forward 2022 Strategic Plan to safely, profitably and sustainably deliver integrated services, products, projects and solutions to serve our clients through four key focus areas:

  • Taking care of our people: Aecon was named one of the Best Employers in Canada for 2020, highlighting our reputation as a first-choice employer nationwide. Of note, Aecon employees rated their employment experience among the top 20 in Canada through the Kincentric Best Employers program in the areas of employee engagement, agility, engaging leadership and talent focus.
  • Improving project efficiency and maximizing profitability: Aecon took significant strides to reinforce risk management efforts and has established centres of excellence covering the lifecycle of our projects. We continued to drive improvement in project efficiency, and therefore profitability, by leveraging our ability to self-perform, and creating synergies and cost savings for both Aecon and our clients.
  • Balancing agility and process: Aecon stayed agile, pivoting quickly to keep our employees safe and successfully operate as an essential service during the COVID-19 pandemic while continuing to deliver for our clients.
  • Investing in tomorrow’s growth: Aecon acquired specialty businesses that broadened our capabilities across our end-markets and diversified our offering geographically. We continued to evaluate opportunities to leverage our Construction and Concessions expertise, both in Canada and internationally.

Aecon was proud to release its inaugural Sustainability Report, Building the Infrastructure of a Better Tomorrow, in 2020 and continued to evolve our sustainability initiatives – further embedding Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) processes and strategies in our operations and relationships with all stakeholders. We look forward to sharing our second annual Sustainability Report in 2021.

As we move through 2021, the overall outlook remains positive despite the ongoing background of COVID-19. Aecon expects that demand for its services will remain healthy for the foreseeable future as the federal and provincial governments across Canada have identified investment in infrastructure as a key source of stimulus as part of the economic recovery plan. Aecon is pre-qualified on a number of large project bids due to be awarded during 2021 and has a robust pipeline of opportunities to further add to backlog over time. In addition, recurring revenue in the utilities sector is expected to grow based on the capital investment plans of a number of key clients, particularly in the telecommunications sector.

Aecon’s financial position, liquidity and capital resources remain strong, and are expected to be sufficient to finance its operations and working capital requirements for the foreseeable future. Despite this overall positive outlook, the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to continue to have some impact in moderating overall revenue and profitability growth expectations in 2021. While the primary impact from COVID-19 will be to reduce revenue in certain areas of Aecon’s Construction segment until normal operations fully resume, there is no guarantee that all related costs will be recovered and therefore it is possible that future project margins could be impacted as well. In the Concessions segment, commercial operations at the Bermuda International Airport continue to recover slowly due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions, which have significantly impacted the aviation industry.

Aecon remains focused on operational excellence, delivering shareholder value, and an unwavering commitment to the stringent safety measures we have put in place across all project sites and work locations – especially as we continue to contend with COVID-19.

We thank all Aecon shareholders for your continued support, and again, we thank all our employees and frontline construction workers for their dedication, commitment and professionalism during this challenging time.

 

Servranckx's Signature

JEAN-LOUIS SERVRANCKX
PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Beck's Signature

JOHN M. BECK
CHAIRMAN

 
 

Financial Highlights(1)

For the year ended December 31
(in millions of Canadian Dollars, except per share amounts) 2020 2019
$ $
Revenue 3,643.6 3,460.4
Adjusted EBITDA(2) 264.5 221.9
Adjusted EBITDA Margin(2) 7.3% 6.4%
Operating profit(3) 149.9 107.3
Profit 88.0 72.9
Backlog 6,454 6,790
Earnings per share
Basic 1.47 1.20
Diluted 1.29 1.12
Dividends per share 0.64 0.58

Two-Year Financial Performance

Revenue
($ Millions)

Adjusted
EBITDA(2)

($ Millions)

Adjusted
EBITDA Margin
(2)
(Per Cent)

Year-End
Backlog

($ Millions)

New Contract
Awards

($ Millions)

Diluted Earnings Per Share
($ Per Share)

Annual Dividend Per Share
($ Per Share)

  1. This table presents certain non-GAAP and supplementary financial measures, as well as non-GAAP ratios to assist readers in understanding the Company's performance (GAAP refers to Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). Further details on these measures and ratios are included in the "Non-GAAP And Supplementary Financial Measures" section in the Management’s Discussion and Analysis filed on February 25, 2021.
  2. This is a non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to the "Non-GAAP And Supplementary Financial Measures" section in the Management’s Discussion and Analysis filed on February 25, 2021 for more information on each non-GAAP financial measure.
  3. This is a non-GAAP ratio. Refer to the "Non-GAAP And Supplementary Financial Measures" section in the Management’s Discussion and Analysis filed on February 25, 2021 for more information on each non-GAAP ratio.
  4. This is a supplementary financial measure. Refer to the "Non-GAAP And Supplementary Financial Measures" section in the Management’s Discussion and Analysis filed on February 25, 2021 for more information on each supplementary financial measure.

2020 Revenue

By Segment: Construction 97%, Concessions 3%.

By Segment

By Sector: Roads and Highways 17%, Heavy Civil 14%, Urban Transportation Systems 18%, Nuclear 10%, Industrial 25%, Utilities 16%.

By Operating Sector (Construction)