Toronto, Ontario – March 30, 2020: Aecon Group Inc. (TSX: ARE) announced today that it is withdrawing its outlook for 2020 as the Company evaluates the impact of the temporary slowing or suspension of work on several Aecon projects in multiple jurisdictions due to directives recently issued by clients and governments in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the deferral of certain project procurement processes in the Company’s bidding pipeline.
Aecon has activated continuity plans and a rigorous COVID-19 health and safety assurance process, which meets or exceeds guidance by applicable government health authorities, to minimize disruptions to its business and adapt to evolving market conditions and safety standards. These plans include stringent site pre-screening processes, heightened hygienic and disinfection practices, physical distancing, provision of additional personal protective equipment to front line workers, team separation and staggered work hours where possible, as well as extensive technology-enabled remote work initiatives. Additionally, Aecon has eliminated all non-essential spend, reduced discretionary capital investments, and is evaluating ongoing cost saving opportunities across the Company under different operating scenarios and timelines. Aecon does not intend to make any further purchases of its common shares pursuant to its normal course issuer bid until at least the date that its first quarter 2020 results are released.
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. As at March 30, 2020, Aecon had $74 million of cash on hand (excluding cash in joint ventures and restricted cash), and a committed revolving credit facility of $600 million, of which $105 million was utilized (primarily for letters of credit). When combined with an additional $700 million performance security guarantee facility to support letters of credit provided by Export Development Canada, Aecon’s total committed credit facilities for working capital and letter of credit requirements total $1,300 million. The Company has no debt or working capital credit facility maturities until the second half of 2023, except equipment finance leases in the normal course.
Aecon continues to monitor developments and mitigate risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact on Aecon’s projects, operations, supply chain, and most importantly the health and safety of its employees. At this time, the majority of governments across the jurisdictions in which Aecon operates have deemed construction projects to be essential services and, therefore, operations are broadly continuing, although in many cases on a modified basis. As this is still an evolving situation, shifting directives and policies are expected to continue.
“As we all contend with the challenging COVID-19 pandemic, the health, safety and well-being of our employees and their families is our top priority,” said Jean-Louis Servranckx, President and Chief Executive Officer, Aecon Group Inc. “Our thoughts and gratitude are with all of the front-line workers whose efforts are ensuring the continuity of essential services.”
Further information on business impacts and a revised outlook is expected be provided with Aecon’s first quarter results.
As a Canadian leader in construction and infrastructure development with global expertise, Aecon Group Inc. (TSX: ARE) strives to be the number one Canadian infrastructure company. Aecon safely, profitably and sustainably delivers integrated solutions to private and public-sector clients through its Construction segment in the Civil, Urban Transportation, Nuclear, Utility and Conventional Industrial sectors, and provides project development, financing, investment and management services through its Concessions segment. Join our online community on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram @AeconGroup.
Statement on Forward-Looking Information
The information in this press release includes certain forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on currently available competitive, financial and economic data and operating plans but are subject to risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements may include, without limitation, statements regarding the operations, business, financial condition, expected financial results, performance, prospects, ongoing objectives, strategies and outlook for Aecon, including statements regarding the sufficiency of Aecon’s liquidity and working capital requirements for the foreseeable future, the period during which no purchases under Aecon’s normal course issuer bid will be made and Aecon’s expectation regarding timing of a revised outlook. Forward-looking statements, may in some cases be identified by words such as "will," "plans," "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "estimates," "projects," "intends," "should" or the negative of these terms, or similar expressions. In addition to events beyond Aecon's control, there are factors which could cause actual or future results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or inferred herein including, but not limited to: the timing of projects, unanticipated costs and expenses, the failure to recognize and adequately respond to climate change concerns or public and governmental expectations on climate matters, general market and industry conditions and operational and reputational risks, including large project risk and contractual factors and risks relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Readers are referred to the specific risk factors relating to and affecting Aecon's business and operations as filed by Aecon pursuant to applicable securities laws. Except as required by applicable securities laws, forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made and Aecon undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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SVP, Corporate Development and Investor Relations
Senior Director, Corporate Affairs