Burnaby, BC – May 17, 2021 –– Smart grid technology leader Tantalus Systems Holding Inc. (TSX: GRID) (“Tantalus” or the “Company”) today announced the financial results for the first quarter, ended March 31, 2021.
“We witnessed favorable trends throughout Q1 as the utility industry continues to recover from disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The favorable trends translated into strong financial results for Q1 including revenue growth of 11% year-over-year and another quarter of positive Adjusted EBITDA,” said Peter Londa, President & CEO of Tantalus. “While regions across our geographic focus continue to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are becoming increasingly optimistic regarding a broad recovery across our sector, particularly given the Biden Administration’s commitment to decarbonize the power grid. Biden’s robust initiative to modernize the power industry coupled with the electrification of the transportation industry will require the electric distribution grid to transform into an intelligent network of connected devices capable of responding to these changing dynamics. As our user community now surpasses 190 utilities, we believe Tantalus is at the forefront of building the sustainable utility of the future,” said Londa.
In addition to the decarbonization and electrification of the transportation industry, the recent storm that devastated Texas is another example of how extreme weather can lead to catastrophic damage and amplifies the need to improve the resiliency of the electric distribution grid. During this past February, most of Texas was heavily impacted by a severe storm that brought freezing temperatures, ice and snow across the state. The storm disrupted more than 3 million people who were without power, left nearly 15 million people with undrinkable water, damaged homes and caused severe economic distress from extraordinarily high energy bills. In addition to the damage from the storm, the Texas grid was heavily impacted by the loss of approximately 40,000 megawatts of power from renewable energy, such as wind and solar, across a 24-hour period. This disruption of reliable electric power made clear how the variability of renewables must be balanced with upgrades to the electric distribution grid to enable utilities to command and control the consumption of electricity. Tantalus’ technology and solutions supported seven utilities across the state in navigating through the massive disruption arising from this storm and allowed those Tantalus customers to avoid severe damage to their infrastructure and the communities served by those utilities.
While the growth horizon looks favorable for Tantalus, management is mindful of ongoing worldwide disruptions to the availability of electronic components, which has a direct impact on the Company’s supply chain and lead times. Management is actively managing these global supply chain constraints and will continue to monitor the situation with its component suppliers and contract manufacturer.
“In addition to delivering our Q1 2021 financial results, we commenced trading on the TSXV on February 9th and launched several critical technology initiatives during the quarter which we expect to contribute to our long-term growth and increase the revenue we generate from software and services, which now stands at 33% of our entire revenue profile. As we look towards Q2, we are extremely excited about our recent graduation to the TSX which we believe will expand the universe of investors we can access to support our growth trajectory and increase the Company’s liquidity on behalf of our shareholders,” said Londa.
Financial Summary and Operating Highlights
(Financial information is reported in United States dollars (“US$”) and in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”)).
Q1 Financial Summary
- The Company reported revenue of US$8.0 million for Q1 of 2021 compared to US$7.2 million for the same period in 2020, representing approximately 11% growth year-over-year.
- Gross Profit for Q1 of 2021 increased to US$3.6 million versus US$3.4 million in Q1 of 2020. Gross Profit margin decreased to 45% in Q1 of 2021 from 47% in Q1 of 2020 due to the product mix of connected devices sold during the quarter.
- Adjusted EBITDA in Q1 of 2021 decreased to US$55,350 versus US$123,284 in Q1 of 2020. The decline in Adjusted EBITDA was tied to the Company’s incurrence of additional costs in connection with its going public transaction in January 2021 which were not similarly incurred in the prior year Q1 period, as well as a reduction in government assistance funding from the Canadian Scientific Research and Experimental Development program (SR&ED). The reduction in access to SR&ED arises from the Company no longer being a Canadian-controlled private corporation as a result of the going public transaction and the Company expects to see the impact from no longer accessing SR&ED on a year-over-year comparison basis through the end of FY2021.
- The Company had total assets of US$27.2 million as at March 31, 2021 compared to US$16.7 million as at March 31, 2020, with Adjusted Working Capital as at March 31, 2021 of US$9.1 million compared to Adjusted Working Capital of US$2.7 million as at March 31, 2020.
Operating Highlights in Q1 2021
- Growth of Tantalus’ User Community: Tantalus added 5 new utilities during Q1 of 2021, continuing to demonstrate an ability to expand the number of utilities leveraging Tantalus’ smart grid solutions. Tantalus’ user community now stands at over 190 utilities across the United States, Canada and the Caribbean Basin.
- Expansion of Solutions: Tantalus continued to make substantial progress in expanding the functionality and features of its solutions through March 31, 2021 and announced the introduction of several key initiatives aimed at increasing the company’s revenue contributions from recurring revenue generated from software and services:
- TUNet® Grid Reliability Analytics: TUNet Grid Reliability Analytics utilizes algorithms to continuously monitor power-quality data accessed by TRUEdge®-enabled meters on Tantalus’ TUNet smart grid platform. By detecting anomalies in power quality, the tool identifies symptoms of failing transformers, corroded meter sockets and splices, cracked insulators and other latent equipment problems. The analytics solution leverages data from Tantalus’ advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) to provide utilities with visibility into power quality issues that lead to outages and premature failure of devices deployed across the distribution grid.
- Introduction of a Next-Generation Fiber Gateway: TRUSense™ Fiber Gateway, a next-generation Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) solution, is the latest addition to Tantalus’ offerings and allows utilities to leverage investments in fiber to not only improve the resiliency of their distribution grids but also to deliver broadband services to consumers. The solution enables utilities to access granular power quality and consumption data in real time to make their grid more resilient as well as gain access to and control of distributed energy resources deployed at buildings and homes, including electric vehicles, roof-top solar panels, battery walls, and smart appliances.
- Industry Recognition: Tantalus participated as a keynote speaker in the 2021 Cormark Securities Sustainability conference. The Company also participated in a series of other industry conferences throughout the quarter.
- Transactions & TSX Uplisting: On January 29, 2021, Tantalus and RiseTech Capital Corp. (“RiseTech”), a TSX Venture Exchange-listed capital pool company, closed a reverse-takeover transaction and a concurrent financing of approximately CND$10 million. As a result of the transaction, Tantalus commenced trading on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol “GRID”. Tantalus graduated to the Toronto Stock Exchange (“TSX”) on May 10, 2021 and continues to trade under the GRID ticker symbol.
- Board of Directors: Tantalus’ Board of Directors was further strengthened with the addition of Mr. Thomas Liston on January 29th, 2021. Liston currently serves on several Boards of Directors for public and private technology companies and has a strong track record of shareholder value creation. Prior to his current roles, he was the Chief Investment Officer of a leading technology-focused venture capital firm, which provided growth capital to late-stage private companies. Mr. Liston began his career as a research analyst covering public software and IT services companies. During his tenure as a technology analyst for over 14 years, Mr. Liston has been consistently ranked amongst the top technology analysts in several surveys, including: StarMine, Brendan Wood, Greenwich Associates and Reuters.
Financial Statements and Management Discussion & Analysis
Please see the unaudited interim consolidated financial statements and related Management’s Discussion & Analysis (“MD&A”) for more details. The unaudited interim consolidated financial statements for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and related MD&A have been reviewed and approved by Tantalus’ Audit Committee and Board of Directors. For a more detailed explanation and analysis, please refer to the MD&A that has been filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and is also available on the Company’s website at www.tantalus.com.
Tantalus is a smart grid technology company that transforms aging one-way grids into future-proofed multi-directional grids that improve the efficiency, reliability and sustainability of public power and electric cooperative utilities and the communities they serve. Our solutions are purpose-built to allow utilities to restore power quickly after major disruptions, adapt to rapidly shifting consumer expectations and population shifts, innovate new solutions based on the adoption of distributed energy resources and evolve their grid infrastructure at their own pace without needless cost or complexity. All this gives our user community the flexibility they need to get the most value from existing infrastructure investments while planning for future requirements.
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Tantalus Systems Inc.
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The following and preceding discussion of financial results includes reference to Gross Profit, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted Working Capital, which are all non-IFRS financial measures. Management believes that Gross Profit is a meaningful indicator in evaluating the operating performance of the Company and is comprised of revenues less cost of sales. Adjusted EBITDA is comprised as income (loss) less interest, income tax, depreciation, amortization, stock-based compensation, foreign exchange gain (loss) and other non-core business related income / expenses and is provided as a proxy for the cash earnings from the operations of the business. Management believes Adjusted Working Capital is a meaningful indicator of the operating liquidity available to the Company and is comprised of current assets less current liabilities exclusive of the Company’s bank loan.
Forward Looking Statements:
Neither the TSX nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.
This news release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking information is generally identifiable by use of the words “believes”, “may”, “plans”, “will”, “anticipates”, “intends”, “could”, “estimates”, “expects”, “forecasts”, “projects” and similar expressions, and the negative of such expressions. Forward-looking information in this news release includes statements regarding: the adoption and development of new products and offerings, the ability to attract customers accessing government stimulus funding, the impact of supply chain constraints and the growth of the Company’s user community,
In connection with the forward-looking information contained in this news release, Tantalus has made numerous assumptions, regarding, among other things: the expected impact of COVID-19 and the expected timing of new product introductions. While Tantalus considers these assumptions to be reasonable, these assumptions are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies. Additionally, there are known and unknown risk factors which could cause Tantalus’ actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking information contained herein. Known risk factors include, among others: the impacts of COVID-19 are unpredictable and could have significant impacts on Tantalus’ financial performance; sales cycles to Tantalus’ customers can be lengthy and unpredictable and require significant employee time with no assurances that a prospective customer will select Tantalus’ products and services; Tantalus’ financial and operational performance significantly depends on its ability to attract and retain customers and its ability to develop new products and to enhance and sustain the quality of existing products to retain such customers; Tantalus depends on a limited number of key suppliers and if such suppliers fail to provide Tantalus with sufficient quantities of components at acceptable levels of quality and at anticipated costs, Tantalus’ revenue and operating results could be materially and adversely affected; Tantalus has a prior history of operating losses and Tantalus may not sustain profitability on a quarterly or annual basis; Tantalus’ quarterly results are inherently unpredictable and subject to substantial fluctuations; Tantalus’ success depends in part on Tantalus’ ability to integrate its technology into devices and its relationship with device manufacturers; Tantalus’ marketing efforts depend significantly on Tantalus’ ability to receive positive references from Tantalus’ existing customers; the markets for Tantalus’ products and services, smart grid, smart city, and broader IoT technology in general, are still developing – if the markets develop less extensively or more slowly than Tantalus expects, Tantalus’ business could be harmed; Tantalus operates in a highly competitive industry and Tantalus competes against many companies with substantially greater financial and other resources, and Tantalus’ market share and results of operations may be reduced if Tantalus is unable to respond to competitors effectively; Tantalus is dependent on the utility industry, which has experienced volatility in capital spending – this volatility could cause Tantalus’ results of operations to vary significantly from period to period; Tantalus’ reliance on certain infrastructure and information technology systems make it vulnerable to the potential adverse effects of cyber-attacks and other breaches; if Tantalus’ products contain defects or otherwise fail to perform as expected, Tantalus could be liable for damages and incur unanticipated warranty, recall and other related expenses, Tantalus’ reputation could be damaged, Tantalus could lose market share and, as a result, Tantalus’ financial condition or results of operations could suffer; the nature of Tantalus’ business exposes it to the unpredictable risks of contractual disputes; the loss of key employees and the inability to attract and retain qualified personnel could harm Tantalus’ business; Tantalus’ business is exposed to potential risks associated with international sales and operations; foreign exchange rate fluctuations could harm Tantalus’ results or operations; Tantalus and its customers operate in a highly regulated business environment and changes in regulation could impose costs on Tantalus or make Tantalus’ products less economical; Tantalus’ inability to acquire and integrate other businesses, products or technologies could seriously harm Tantalus’ competitive position; intellectual property infringement claims could be costly and time-consuming to prosecute or defend; substantially all of Tantalus’ current products depend on the availability and are subject to the regulation of radio spectrum in the United States and abroad; and interruptions or delays in services from Tantalus’ third-party data center facilities, or problems with the third-party hardware or software that Tantalus employs, could impair the delivery of its services and harm Tantalus’ business.
A more complete discussion of the risks and uncertainties facing Tantalus is disclosed under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Tantalus’ Filing Statement dated January 28, 2021, as well as the MD&A included with Tantalus’ continuous disclosure filings with Canadian securities regulatory authorities available at www.sedar.com. All forward-looking information herein is qualified in its entirety by this cautionary statement, and Tantalus disclaims any obligation to revise or update any such forward-looking information or to publicly announce the result of any revisions to any of the forward-looking information contained herein to reflect future results, events or developments, except as required by law.