GFL Environmental (GFL) started 2021 with a bang as noted in their latest earnings report and call. The Company reports revenue of $1.19B (+27.8% YOY), which beats by $240.05M. The GFL management team credits solid waste pricing, steady volume recovery and acquisition contributions for its strong quarter.
Here are additional financial highlights:
- Adjusted EBITDA of $306.6 million, an increase of 37.6%
- Adjusted EBITDA margin of 25.8%, an increase of 190 basis points. Solid waste Adjusted EBITDA margin of 31%, an increase of 260 basis points
- Adjusted Cash Flows from Operating Activities of $229.6 million; cash flows from operating activities of $212.7 million; Adjusted Free Cash Flow of $102.1 million
- Adjusted earnings per share of $0.04
"We have had an exceptionally strong start to the year, with solid waste pricing, volume recovery and contribution from acquisitions all exceeding our expectations and driving a 37.6% increase in Adjusted EBITDA and a near doubling of Adjusted Cash Flows from Operating Activities as compared to the first quarter of 2020," said Patrick Dovigi, founder and CEO of GFL.
He continued, "The quality of our revenue growth, combined with our continued rigorous focus on cost management, productivity and asset utilization, drove over 210 basis points of organic margin expansion in our solid waste business. As a result, we saw this segment report 31% Adjusted EBITDA margin, the highest in our history and achieved during the first quarter, historically our lowest margins period on account of seasonality. The strength of this performance more than offset continued COVID related volume headwinds, particularly in our infrastructure, soil and liquid businesses, driving 190 basis points of Adjusted EBITDA margin expansion for the consolidated business."
Even with Canada’s continued shutdowns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, GFL’s solid waste margins were the highest in the Company’s history. This could mean a potential upside for GFL as Canada reopens.
Acquisitions Big and Small
During the Q1 earnings call, GFL management shared that its pipeline is active and that they see a clear path for increased guidance for the remainder of the year. Dovigi noted that, “We’re in the early innings and you’ll continue to see expansion.”
Dovigi addressed GFL’s acquisitions by adding, "We have substantially completed the integration of the acquisitions from the fourth quarter of last year. In March, we announced the acquisition of Terrapure Environmental, a transaction that we believe represents a unique opportunity to acquire a highly complementary, free cash flow accretive set of assets at a compelling valuation. The acquisition is still targeted to close in the third or fourth quarter of this year. We also completed six small tuck in acquisitions during the quarter and four more acquisitions subsequent to quarter end."
Mr. Dovigi concluded, "We are very encouraged by the solid waste volume recovery that we saw throughout the quarter, even in the face of new and more restrictive COVID-19 measures being implemented in Canada where we generate almost 40% of our revenue. As a result, we anticipate being in a position to increase our guidance when we provide our updated outlook at the time that we report our second quarter results."
When asked about ESG goals, the GFL team noted that ESG initiatives have been part of the Company’s makeup since the beginning, but it plans to share more quantifiable goals that will be industry leading in the next quarter or two.