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Deluxe Reports Q2 Results: NEBS Drives Revenue Growth

Friday, July 29, 2005

Press release from the issuing company

ST. PAUL, Minn., July 28 -- Deluxe Corporation reported second quarter diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.83 on net income of $42 million. Diluted earnings per share and net income for the second quarter in 2004 were $0.91 and $46 million, respectively. Higher profits from Small Business Services (SBS) were offset by the loss of a large financial institution client in November 2004 and higher interest expense. "Our performance reflects steady progress through the first half of the year," said Lawrence J. Mosner, chairman and CEO of Deluxe Corporation. "NEBS is performing at a level consistent with the guidance we provided when we announced the acquisition, which is helping drive profitability in the SBS segment." Deluxe acquired New England Business Service, Inc. on June 25, 2004. "Between now and year-end, we will continue to execute our integration initiatives, remain vigilant about cost management, and pursue a growth strategy that leverages the unique assets and strengths of SBS for the benefit of the financial institutions and small businesses we serve." Second Quarter Performance Revenue was $434 million in the second quarter, compared to $309 million during the same quarter a year ago. Second quarter 2005 revenue included an increase of $154 million from NEBS. Results for the second quarter of last year included only 5 days of NEBS' operating results. The decrease in revenue for the Company's other businesses was primarily due to the loss of the large financial institution client. Partially offsetting the revenue decline were $12 million of contract termination payments received this quarter and an improvement in revenue per unit. Gross margin was 65.4 percent of revenue for the quarter, compared to 66.7 percent in 2004. The addition of NEBS' lower margin business was partially offset by the favorable impact of the contract termination payments, the increase in revenue per unit, continued productivity improvements within the plants and distribution centers and cost synergies resulting from the NEBS acquisition. Selling, general, and administrative expense (SG&A) increased $76 million to 46.5 percent of revenue, compared to 40.8 percent in the second quarter of 2004. The addition of NEBS' SG&A expenses and integration costs were partially offset by the Company's cost management actions during the past year. As a result, operating income was $82 million in the second quarter compared to $80 million last year. Included in the 2005 results were $10 million of acquisition-related amortization expense and $5 million of integration costs, which were more than offset by $16 million of contribution from NEBS. The increase in the other businesses was due to productivity improvements, integration savings related to the NEBS acquisition, and cost management actions. Operating margin was 18.9 percent of revenue, compared to 25.9 percent in the prior year, due primarily to NEBS' lower margin business. Segment Performance Small Business Services' revenue was $224 million for the quarter, up from $69 million in 2004. The increase was due primarily to the acquisition of NEBS. Operating income for the quarter increased to $22 million, from $19 million in 2004. Included in the 2005 SBS results were $10 million of acquisition-related amortization expense and $5 million of integration costs, which were more than offset by $16 million of contribution from NEBS. Financial Services' revenue was $149 million for the quarter, compared to $169 million in 2004. The decrease was primarily the result of the financial institution client loss, mentioned previously, as well as the overall decline in check usage, partially offset by the $12 million of contract termination payments, productivity improvements, synergies related to the NEBS acquisition, and cost management actions. Operating income for the quarter decreased slightly to $40 million, from $41 million in 2004. Direct Checks' revenue was $61 million for the quarter, compared to $71 million in 2004, due to lower unit volume. Despite the volume decline, operating income for the quarter was flat compared to 2004 at $20 million. Higher revenue per unit, synergies related to the NEBS acquisition, and cost management actions offset the decline in unit volume. Year-to-Date Performance Revenue was $872 million in the first half of 2005, compared to $618 million during the same period a year ago. 2005 revenue included an increase of $314 million from the acquired NEBS business. The $60 million decrease in revenue for the Company's other businesses was primarily due to a decline in unit volume, largely the result of losing the financial institution client. Partially offsetting the decline were an increase in revenue per unit and $12 million in contract termination payments during the second quarter. Gross margin was 65.3 percent of revenue for the first half of the year, down slightly from 66.0 percent in 2004. Despite the decrease in volume and the addition of NEBS' lower margin business, the Company realized beneficial impact from the increase in revenue per unit, continued productivity improvements within its plants and distribution centers, favorable impact of the contract termination payments, and cost synergies resulting from the NEBS acquisition. Selling, general, and administrative expense increased $165 million to 47.1 percent of revenue, compared to 39.8 percent in the first half of 2004. The addition of NEBS' SG&A expense and integration costs were partially offset by the Company's cost management actions during the past year. As a result, operating income was $158 million in the first half of the year compared to $162 million last year. Included in the 2005 results were $21 million of acquisition-related amortization expense and $8 million of integration costs, offset by $33 million of contribution from NEBS. Operating margin was 18.1 percent of revenue, compared to 26.2 percent in the prior year, reflecting, in part, lower operating margins in the NEBS business. Business Outlook The Company expects third quarter diluted EPS to be in the range of $0.72 to $0.76, and the full-year to be approximately $3.30. Cash from operating activities is expected to be approximately $220 million for 2005. "We remain confident that the long-term growth opportunities in SBS will more than offset the check unit declines in our other business segments," said Mosner. "We will grow by capitalizing on the symbiotic relationship between our Financial Services and Small Business Services segments. Financial Services acquires and maintains relationships with financial institutions who count on SBS to deliver small business customers with the products and services they need. In turn, the relationships that SBS has with millions of small businesses serve as a tool for Financial Services to pursue and retain contracts with financial institutions."

 

 

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