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XPO Logistics reports margin improvement across transportation businesses 24 February 2016

Delivers higher-than-expected logistics segment results, led by Europe

XPO Logistics, Inc. has reported its financial results for Q4 and full year 2015. For the full year 2015, the Company reported total revenue of US$7.6 billion, a 223.5% increase from 2014. On a GAAP basis, the Company reported a net loss of US$191.6 million for the full year 2015, compared with a net loss of US$63.6 million last year. The net loss attributable to common shareholders was US$245.9 million, compared with a net loss of US$107.4 million for 2014. The 2015 GAAP net loss includes US$165.2 million of one-time after-tax transaction-related costs net of non-controlling interests; US$102.2 million non-cash after-tax amortisation charges; and US$52.0 million of non-cash accounting charges related to the beneficial conversion features of the US$1.26 billion equity private placement in June 2015.

The adjusted net loss attributable to common shareholders, a non-GAAP measure, was US$36.9 million for 2015. This compares with an adjusted net loss attributable to common shareholders of US$33.0 million for 2014. Adjusted EBITDA for 2015 improved to US$493.1 million, compared with US$81.4 million for 2014. Adjusted EBITDA for 2015 excludes US$201.0 million of one-time transaction-related costs; and a US$9.5 million benefit related to the gain on sale of intermodal equipment assets.

For Q4, 2015, total gross revenue increased 302.3% year-over-year to US$3.3 billion, and net revenue increased 419.8% to US$1.6 billion. On a GAAP basis, the Company reported a net loss of US$63.1 million for the quarter, compared with a net loss of US$9.9 million for the same period in 2014. The Q4, 2015 GAAP net loss includes US$64.7 million of one-time after-tax transaction-related costs net of non-controlling interests, and US$42.7 million non-cash after-tax amortisation charges. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (adjusted EBITDA), a non-GAAP financial measure, improved to US$217.6 million for the quarter, compared with US$42.0 million for the same period in 2014. Adjusted EBITDA in Q4, 2015 excludes US$82.6 million of one-time transaction-related costs; and a US$3.5 million benefit related to the gain on sale of intermodal equipment assets. As of December 31, 2015, the Company had approximately US$290 million of cash and cash equivalents, and a US$1.0 billion asset-backed revolver. Approximately 72.0% of the Company's debt will mature in 2021 or later.

Q4 saw organic adjusted EBITDA growth of 33.0%, and organic revenue growth of 8.4% ex-fuel. EBITDA growth in the transportation segment was led by the asset-light freight brokerage business, which continues to improve productivity through technology and the increasing tenure of the sales force. For freight brokerage, last mile, expedite and global forwarding combined, the Company grew organic net revenue margin by 280 basis points to 21.7%. The logistics segment saw higher-than-expected EBITDA and operating income, led by the European logistics business.

XPO completed the Con-way transaction one month into the quarter. The Company has already taken out over US$50.0 million of costs in annual savings in the first three months, while improving customer service levels and is on track with to deliver US$170.0 million to US$210.0 million of profit improvement within two years.

In Q4, the Company's transportation segment generated total gross revenue of US$2.1 billion, a 216.8% increase from the same period in 2014. The year-over-year increase in revenue was primarily due to the acquisitions of Norbert Dentressangle, Con-way, Bridge Terminal Transport, and UX Specialized Logistics, and to organic revenue growth led by the last mile and freight brokerage businesses. Net revenue margin for Q4 improved to 27.3%, compared with 20.0% in 2014. The increase in segment net revenue margin was primarily due to the acquisition of the less-than-truckload business, and to significant year-over-year margin improvements in all of the Company's existing businesses, including freight brokerage, last mile, expedite and global forwarding. The improvements in existing operations were largely driven by better pricing, lower purchased transportation costs, and the shedding of unprofitable business.  Q4 adjusted EBITDA for the segment improved to US$151.4 million, compared with US$31.6 million a year ago. Q4 operating loss was US$6.1 million, compared with operating income of US$10.7 million a year ago. The increase in adjusted EBITDA primarily reflects the impact of acquisitions, as well as improved profitability led by freight brokerage. The decrease in operating income reflects non-cash depreciation and amortisation expenses, as well as one-time transaction-related costs.

In Q4, the Company's logistics segment generated gross revenue of US$1.3 billion, compared with US$166.5 million from the same period in 2014. Gross margin was US$166.4 million, up from US$25.2 million a year ago. Adjusted EBITDA was US$98.5 million, up from US$26.0 million a year ago. Operating income for Q4 was US$34.8 million, versus US$13.1 million a year ago. In the logistics segment, the year-over-year increases in gross revenue and gross margin, adjusted EBITDA and operating income were primarily due to the 2015 acquisitions of Norbert Dentressangle and Con-way, as well as organic growth. Adjusted EBITDA and operating income were both higher than expected in the quarter, primarily due to operational improvements, strong demand from the retail and eCommerce sectors, and the shedding of unprofitable business.

Looking ahead, for 2016, the Company reaffirmed its full year target of at least US$1.25 billion of adjusted EBITDA. For 2018, the Company reaffirmed its full year target of approximately US$1.7 billion of adjusted EBITDA. In 2016, the Company has a high-impact agenda that includes accelerated cross-selling, the strategic sourcing of nearly US$3.0 billion of spend, the optimisation of purchased transportation, and the global integration of corporate services.