SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Ed Featherston, Kevin Benedict, Adrian Bridgwater

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Softchoice Announces Record Fourth Quarter Earnings, Increases Quarterly Dividend

Fourth Quarter Highlights

  • Reported revenue grows 15 percent
  • Gross profit increases 14 percent
  • EBITDA up 30 percent
  • Net income increases 29 percent.  Adjusted net earnings per diluted share grows 50 percent

2012 Full Year Highlights

  • Net income increases 25 percent.  Adjusted net earnings per diluted share increases 14 percent to $1.37 per diluted share
  • Gross profit up 10 percent

TORONTO, Feb. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - Softchoice Corporation (TSX: SO), a North American provider of technology solutions and services, today reported earnings for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2012.

For the three-month period ended December 31, 2012, Softchoice reported net income of US$8.4 million compared to US$6.5 million for the same period in the prior year. Eliminating the impact of certain non-cash foreign exchange gains and losses, and an adjustment resulting from the retroactive change to Canadian tax legislation, adjusted net income grew 50 percent in the period, increasing to US$9.5 million, or US$0.48 per diluted share, compared to adjusted net income of US$6.3 million, or US$0.32 per diluted share recorded in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Fourth quarter revenue grew 15 percent to US$308.7 million. The Company's Services business grew 65 percent compared to the same quarter in the prior year, bolstered by the additive impact of the acquisition of Unis Lumin. Sales of Enterprise Software, Servers, Storage and Networking solutions also made steady gains in the period, increasing 33 percent for the quarter while sales of Microsoft grew by 10 percent. Fourth quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization ("EBITDA") margin increased 63 basis points to 5.4 percent.

"Our focus on delivering high-value solutions and services to our clients and expanding our reach within the small and medium-size business segment resulted in strong net income growth in the quarter," said David MacDonald, President and CEO of Softchoice.  "Moreover, the solid growth in EBITDA reflects the leverage our operating model is delivering to our business as we benefit from the integration of UNIS LUMIN, major upgrades to our internal CRM system and strong execution on the part of our field sales organization."

On a full year basis, Softchoice reported net income of US$27.7 million or US$1.37 per diluted share. On an adjusted basis, earnings amounted to US$27.5 million or US$1.37 per diluted share, representing an earnings increase of 15 percent compared to the US$23.9 million or US$1.20 per diluted share reported for fiscal year 2011.

"The fourth quarter was a strong close to a transformational year for Softchoice," added Mr. MacDonald.  "In 2012 we largely completed the integration of UNIS LUMIN, built new recurring revenue streams with the launch of Softchoice Cloud and Keystone, our first North American-wide managed services offering, and strengthened our Services organization with the appointment of new regional leadership.  With solid momentum and alignment around our services strategy, we are well-positioned to continue outgrowing the market."

In August 2012, the Company reinstated its quarterly dividend in the amount of CAD$0.07 per common share. The quarter will see a dividend increase to CAD$0.09 per common share.  This dividend will be payable on March 15, 2013 to shareholders of record as of March 1, 2013.

At the end of the quarter, Softchoice had cash on hand of US$67.9 million compared to $33.0 million ending the fourth quarter of 2011 and total debt of nil. Cash flow generated from operations for the year was $44.1 million, which increased by $5.5 million or 14 percent.

Quarterly Operating Highlights

  • In the fourth quarter, total revenue, including imputed revenue, increased 9 percent to $589.4 million.   
  • Microsoft Canada recognized Softchoice with awards for marketing innovation and collaboration at the recent 2012 IMPACT awards ceremony in Toronto.
  • During the quarter, Softchoice was honored with the Cisco Customer Satisfaction Excellence award for both the U.S. and Canada, the highest distinction a partner can achieve for customer satisfaction within the Cisco Channel Partner Community.
  • Softchoice has once again been named to the CRN Tech Elite 250 list, a definitive list of solution providers with deep technical expertise and premier certifications in the data center market.

The Management's Discussion & Analysis and Audited Consolidated Financial Statements can be found on the company's website at http://www.softchoice.com/about/ir/financials.aspx

Softchoice Fourth Quarter Earnings Call Details

Softchoice Corporation will host its fourth quarter earnings call on February 20, 2013 at 8:00 am ET.

The call will be moderated by David MacDonald, Softchoice's President and CEO and Chief Financial Officer, David Long. The conference call will begin with a brief web presentation followed by a question-and-answer session.

Participant Information:

Local Dial in number: 416 800 1066

Toll Free Dial in number: 1 866 212 4491

Webcast URL: 

http://www.snwebcastcenter.com/custom_events/softchoice-20130220/site/

To ensure participation, please dial in at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the conference at 8:00 am ET.

For those unable to attend the call, a link will be made available on the Softchoice website to an archived web and audio version on February 21, 2013.

About Softchoice

As a leading North American provider of technology solutions and services, Softchoice combines the efficiency and reliability of a national IT supplier with the personal touch and technical expertise of a local solutions provider. Softchoice's holistic approach to technology includes solution design, implementation and asset management services, as well as access to one of the most comprehensive and cost-effective technology distribution networks in North America. With over 1,200 employees, Softchoice manages the technology needs of thousands of corporate and public sector organizations across the United States and Canada.

Softchoice stock is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the trading symbol "SO." The common shares of Softchoice are not registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and are not publicly traded in the United States.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements relate to expectations, intentions and plans contained in this press release that are not historical fact. When used in this press release, the words "anticipate", "expect", "will" and similar expressions generally identify forward-looking statements. These statements reflect our current expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, change in technology and general market conditions, many of which are set out or incorporated by reference in the Company's latest Annual Information Form. Due to the many risks and uncertainties, Softchoice cannot assure that the forward-looking statements contained in this press release will be realized.

SOFTCHOICE CORPORATION
Consolidated Statements of Financial Position
(In thousands of U.S. dollars)

December 31, 2012 and 2011

                       
            2012         2011
Assets                      
Current assets:                      
  Cash       $   67,875     $   32,993
  Trade and other receivables           280,241         306,434
  Inventories             3,836         8,872
  Deferred costs            2,644         2,591
  Prepaid expenses and other assets            7,635         6,158
  Total current assets            362,231         357,048
Non-current assets:                      
  Long-term accounts receivable             207         643
  Long-term prepaid expenses            1,690         1,821
  Property and equipment           5,478         6,309
  Goodwill             16,696         16,441
  Intangible assets           40,571         46,203
  Deferred tax assets           18,708         19,224
  Total non-current assets            83,350         90,641
Total assets        $   445,581     $   447,689
Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity                      
Current liabilities:                      
  Trade and other payables       $   263,813     $   290,267
  Deferred lease inducements            276         243
  Deferred revenue            11,321         10,627
  Income taxes payable            779         2,279
  Total current liabilities            276,189         303,416
Non-current liabilities:                      
  Deferred lease inducements            498         648
  Deferred revenue            3,991         3,307
  Total non-current liabilities            4,489         3,955
Total liabilities            280,678         307,371
Shareholders' equity:                      
  Capital stock           26,728         26,548
  Contributed surplus            2,907          3,274
  Retained earnings            136,567         111,689
  Accumulated other comprehensive loss            (1,299)         (1,193)
  Total shareholders' equity            164,903         140,318
Total liabilities and shareholders' equity        $   445,581     $   447,689
                       

SOFTCHOICE CORPORATION
Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income
(In thousands of U.S. dollars, except per share information)

Years ended December 31, 2012 and 2011

                     
            2012        2011
Net sales        $   1,065,620     $ 999,400
Cost of sales            858,304        810,518
Gross profit            207,316        188,882
Expenses:                    
  Selling and marketing             119,543        102,434
  Administrative            47,225        45,680
            166,768         148,114
Income from operations            40,548        40,768
Finance costs             528        6,169
Finance income             (1,289)        (82)
Other income           (232)        (119)
Other expense             96        673
            (897)        6,641
Income before income taxes            41,445        34,127
Income tax expense           13,789        12,007
Net income            27,656        22,120
Other comprehensive loss:                    
  Foreign currency translation adjustment            (106)        (51)
Total comprehensive income          $   27,550     $  22,069
Net earnings per common share:                    
  Basic         $   1.40     $ 1.12
  Diluted           1.37       1.11
                       

SOFTCHOICE CORPORATION
Consolidated Statements of Changes in Equity
(In thousands of U.S. dollars)

Years ended December 31, 2012 and 2011

                                   
                      Accumulated            
                      other             Total
    Number     Capital     Contributed     comprehensive      Retained      shareholders'
2012    of shares      stock       surplus      loss      earnings      equity
Balance, January 1, 2012    19,837,211   $ 26,548   $ 3,274   $ (1,193)   $ 111,689   $ 140,318
Total comprehensive income (loss):                                  
  Net income    -      -      -      -      27,656      27,656
  Other comprehensive loss:                                  
    Foreign currency translation adjustment    -      -      -      (106)      -      (106)
  Total comprehensive income (loss)    -      -      -      (106)      27,656      27,550
Transactions with shareholders recorded directly in equity:                                  
  Share options exercised    40,151      516      (194)      -      -      322
  Share-based compensation    -      -      2,091      -      -      2,091
  Repurchase of common shares     (219,600)       (336)      (2,264)      -      -      (2,600)
  Dividends declared      -      -      -      -     (2,778)      (2,778)
    (179,449)      180      (367)      -      (2,778)      (2,965)
Balance, December 31, 2012    19,657,762   $ 26,728   $ 2,907   $ (1,299)   $ 136,567   $ 164,903
                                   
                                   
                          Accumulated        
                      other             Total
    Number      Capital      Contributed     comprehensive      Retained     shareholders'
2011    of shares      stock      surplus     loss      earnings      equity
Balance, January 1, 2011    19,780,039   $ 26,016   $ 2,054   $ (1,142)   $ 89,569   $ 116,497
Total comprehensive income (loss):                                  
  Net income    -      -      -      -      22,120      22,120
  Other comprehensive loss:                                  
    Foreign currency translation adjustment    -      -      -      (51)      -      (51)
  Total comprehensive income (loss)    -      -      -      (51)      22,120      22,069
Transactions with shareholders recorded directly in equity:                                  
  Share options exercised    8,599      108      (41)      -      -      67
  Share-based compensation    -      -      1,722      -      -      1,722
  Repurchase of common shares     (4,000)       (37)      -      -      -      (37)
  Deferred share units exercised    52,573      461      (461)      -      -      -
    57,172      532      1,220      -      -      1,752
Balance, December 31, 2011    19,837,211   $ 26,548   $ 3,274   $ (1,193)   $ 111,689   $ 140,318
                                   

SOFTCHOICE CORPORATION
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
(In thousands of U.S. dollars)

Years ended December 31, 2012 and 2011

                       
            2012          2011
Cash provided by (used in):                      
Operating activities:                      
  Net income        $   27,656     $   22,120
  Adjustments for:                      
    Amortization of intangible assets            8,663          5,989
    Depreciation of property and equipment            3,124          3,018
    Share-based compensation            2,091          1,722
    Income tax expense            13,789          12,007
    Unrealized foreign currency (gain) loss            (1,086)          648
    Loss on disposal of intangible assets and property and equipment            167          16
    Interest expense on financial liabilities            52          1,840
    Amortization of deferred financing costs            -          1,844
                54,456           49,204
  Change in non-cash operating working capital            2,951          4,477
            57,407          53,681
  Interest paid            (53)          (1,832)
  Income taxes paid            (13,252)          (13,259)
  Cash provided by operating activities            44,102          38,590
Financing activities:                      
  Repayment of loans and borrowings            -          (12,784)
  Proceeds from issuance of common shares            322          67
  Dividends paid to shareholders            (2,778)          -
  Repurchase of common shares            (2,600)          (37)
  Cash used in financing activities            (5,056)          (12,754)
Investing activities:                      
  Purchase of property and equipment            (2,346)          (2,280)
  Purchase of intangible assets            (2,563)          (2,620)
  Restricted cash            -          500
  Acquisition of UNIS LUMIN Inc.           -          (23,941)
  Cash used in investing activities            (4,909)          (28,341)
Increase (decrease) in cash            34,137          (2,505)
Cash, beginning of year            32,993          35,752
Effect of exchange rate fluctuations on cash held            745          (254)
Cash, end of year        $   67,875     $   32,993

SOURCE Softchoice Corporation

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