Alan Torrie - Remarks to the 2014 Annual and Special Meeting of Shareholders
Good afternoon everyone – and thank you joining us here today.
Indeed, our presence in Atlantic Canada goes back decades.
Looking back in time, the people who led our company then saw a great opportunity to grow here. They made the effort to be here, on the ground. They built relationships with clients and a strong team here. And that investment – which continues today – is paying off for everyone.
Today Morneau Shepell is deeply connected into the lives of people and organizations all across Atlantic Canada. I’m proud of our work here, our client relationships, and our people.
Bill mentioned our consulting work with the New Brunswick and PEI governments. But we also work with the governments of Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador, where we serve as consultants and solution providers. And beyond that, we work with a virtual who’s who in Atlantic Canada:
- The major universities, through their Interuniversity Services Incorporated association – Dalhousie, St. Mary’s, Acadia, UNB, Memorial and others.
- Major corporate clients – from Emera here in Nova Scotia, to McCains in Florenceville, New Brunswick.
- Municipalities – The City of Fredericton Shared Risk Plan, the City of St. John’s and many others, including several in Nova Scotia through the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities.
- And associations – the New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes comes to mind, among others.
Atlantic Canada is a microcosm of how our business has – over a long period – gone from strength to strength, measured against the important benchmarks of consistent, profitable growth.
In 2013 we delivered another very solid year of financial results, with double-digit top and bottom line growth. Revenues increased over 12 per cent to $471 million, and we saw EBIDTA growth of nearly 11 per cent to $86.5 million.
One of our key objectives last year was to continue to provide a superior return to our shareholders, which, for 2013, was 28.5 per cent including a dividend yield of 5.1 per cent, which is consistent with what we keep doing, year after year.
In 2013, we also continued to set the stage for longer-term growth, notably by expanding our presence in the U.S., and also through acquisition.