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03.27.2013

EXFO Reports Second-Quarter Results for Fiscal 2013

  • Sales reach US$62.6 million
  • Gross margin amounts to 62.2% of sales
  • Adjusted EBITDA totals US$4.4 million

QUEBEC CITY, CANADA, March 27, 2013 - EXFO Inc. (NASDAQ: EXFO; TSX: EXF) reported today financial results for the second quarter ended February 28, 2013.

Sales reached US$62.6 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2013 compared to US$66.9 million in the second quarter of 2012 and US$59.8 million in the first quarter of 2013.

Bookings attained US$53.4 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2013 compared to US$60.6 million in the same period last year and US$64.3 million in the first quarter of 2013. The company's book-to-bill ratio was 0.85 in the second quarter of 2013 and 0.96 after six months into the fiscal year.

Gross margin* amounted to 62.2% of sales in the second quarter of fiscal 2013 compared to 64.7% in the second quarter of 2012 and 60.5% in the first quarter of 2013.

IFRS net earnings in the second quarter of fiscal 2013 totaled US$39,000, or US$0.00 per diluted share, compared to net earnings of US$1.0 million, or US$0.02 per diluted share, in the same period last year and a net loss of US$1.6 million, or US$0.03 per share, in the first quarter of 2013. IFRS net earnings in the second quarter of 2013 included US$1.9 million in after-tax amortization of intangible assets, US$0.5 million in stock-based compensation costs, US$0.1 million in after-tax restructuring charges and a foreign exchange gain of US$1.7 million.

Adjusted EBITDA** totaled US$4.4 million, or 7.1% of sales, in the second quarter of fiscal 2013 compared to US$7.8 million, or 11.7% of sales, in the second quarter of 2012 and US$2.7 million, or 4.5% of sales, in the first quarter of 2013.

"I am encouraged by our sequential increase in sales and profitability in the second quarter," said Germain Lamonde, EXFO's Chairman, President and CEO. "At the beginning of fiscal 2013, we had expected a stronger financial performance in the second half and I remain confident we will deliver a stronger second half. This stated confidence is based on improving market conditions, discussions with customers, positive impact of key new product launches for 4G/LTE and 100G network deployments, recent product approvals and the quality of our sales funnel."

"Consequently, I believe EXFO will generate mid-single digit sales growth and improved profitability in fiscal 2013," Mr. Lamonde added. "I am pleased with our improved market position and remain committed to returning to our historical sales CAGR of 20% that we delivered over the last 10 years, while focusing on the earnings growth that the investment community has come to expect from EXFO."

Operating Expenses
Selling and administrative expenses totaled US$23.1 million, or 36.9% of sales in the second quarter of fiscal 2013 compared to US$23.7 million, or 35.4% of sales, in the same period last year and US$22.3 million, or 37.3% of sales, in the first quarter of 2013.

Gross research and development expenses amounted to US$14.1 million, or 22.6% of sales, in the second quarter of fiscal 2013 compared to US$14.8 million, or 22.1% of sales, in the second quarter of 2012 and US$13.9 million, or 23.2% of sales, in the first quarter of 2013.

Net R&D expenses totaled US$12.0 million, or 19.1% of sales, in the second quarter of fiscal 2013 compared to US$12.3 million, or 18.4% of sales, in the same period last year and US$11.6 million, or 19.4% of sales, in the first quarter of 2013.

Second-Quarter Highlights

  • Growth. Despite late budget releases by network operators, EXFO's revenue level improved 4.6% sequentially in the second quarter mainly due to increased traction in the wireless sector. This marked the second consecutive quarter of revenue growth for EXFO amid difficult market conditions. The company posted double-digit sequential sales increases in the Asia-Pacific and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions, but a decrease in the Americas. EXFO's top customer accounted for 5.9% of sales in the second quarter, while the top three represented 13.1%.
  • Profitability. EXFO finished break-even (US$39,000) on an IFRS basis in the second quarter compared to a net loss of US$1.6 million in the previous quarter. The company also generated US$2.1 million in cash flows from operating activities. Based on increased sales volume and a tight control on expenses, EXFO expects to significantly improve profitability in the second half of the fiscal year.
  • Innovation. EXFO launched six new products in the second quarter including amongst others the TravelHawk Pro, a 4G/LTE network troubleshooting tool that has been selected by three of world's top five LTE operators; FTB-88100NGE Power Blazer, the first portable, multiservice test solution supporting transmission rates from 10M to 100G; and packet synchronization functionalities on the FTB1/FTB-800 NetBlazer series for wireless network deployments. Altogether, the company has released 11 new products since the beginning of the fiscal year.

Business Outlook
EXFO forecasts sales between US$64.0 million and US$69.0 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2013, while IFRS net earnings are expected to range between US$0.00 and US$0.04 per diluted share. Net earnings include US$0.03 per share in after-tax amortization of intangible assets and stock-based compensation costs.

This guidance was established by management based on existing backlog as of the date of this press release, seasonality, expected bookings for the remaining of the quarter, as well as exchange rates as of the day of this press release.

Conference Call and Webcast
EXFO will host a conference call today at 5 p.m. (Eastern time) to review its financial results for the second quarter of fiscal 2013. To listen to the conference call and participate in the question period via telephone, dial 1-416-641-6680. Germain Lamonde, Chairman, President and CEO, and Pierre Plamondon, CPA, CA, Vice-President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer, will participate in the call. An audio replay of the conference call will be available one hour after the event until 7 p.m. on April 3, 2013. The replay number is 1-402-977-9141 and the reservation number is 21649128. The audio Webcast and replay of the conference call will also be available on EXFO's Website at www.EXFO.com, under the Investors section.

About EXFO
Listed on the NASDAQ and TSX stock exchanges, EXFO is among the leading providers of next-generation test and service assurance solutions for wireline and wireless network operators and equipment manufacturers in the global telecommunications industry. The company offers innovative solutions for the development, installation, management and maintenance of converged, IP fixed and mobile networks-from the core to the edge. Key technologies supported include 3G, 4G/LTE, IMS, Ethernet, OTN, FTTx, VDSL2, ADSL2+ and various optical technologies accounting for more than 35% of the portable fiber-optic test market. EXFO has a staff of approximately 1700 people in 25 countries, supporting more than 2000 telecom customers worldwide. For more information, visit www.EXFO.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and we intend that such forward-looking statements be subject to the safe harbors created thereby. Forward-looking statements are statements other than historical information or statements of current condition. Words such as may, will, expect, believe, anticipate, intend, could, estimate, continue, or the negative or comparable terminology are intended to identify forward-looking statements. In addition, any statements that refer to expectations, projections or other characterizations of future events and circumstances are considered forward-looking statements. They are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those in forward-looking statements due to various factors including macro-economic uncertainty and/or recession (including our ability to quickly adapt cost structures with anticipated levels of business and our ability to manage inventory levels with market demand); capital spending and network deployment levels in the telecommunications industry; future economic, competitive, financial and market conditions; limited visibility with regards to customer orders and the timing of such orders; fluctuating exchange rates; consolidation in the global telecommunications test and service assurance industry and increased competition among vendors; concentration of sales; timely release and market acceptance of our new products and other upcoming products; our ability to successfully integrate our acquired and to-be-acquired businesses; our ability to successfully expand international operations; and the retention of key technical and management personnel. Assumptions relating to the foregoing involve judgments and risks, all of which are difficult or impossible to predict and many of which are beyond our control. Other risk factors that may affect our future performance and operations are detailed in our Annual Report, on Form 20-F, and our other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Canadian securities commissions. We believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable based on information currently available to us, but we cannot assure you that the expectations will prove to have been correct. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. These statements speak only as of the date of this document. Unless required by law or applicable regulations, we undertake no obligation to revise or update any of them to reflect events or circumstances that occur after the date of this document.

Non-IFRS Measures
EXFO provides non-IFRS measures (gross margin* and adjusted EBITDA**) as supplemental information regarding its operational performance. The company uses these measures for the purposes of evaluating its historical and prospective financial performance, as well as its performance relative to competitors. These measures also help the company to plan and forecast future periods as well as to make operational and strategic decisions. EXFO believes that providing this information to investors, in addition to IFRS measures, allows them to see the company's results through the eyes of management, and to better understand historical and future financial performance.

The presentation of this additional information is not prepared in accordance with IFRS. Therefore, the information may not necessarily be comparable to that of other companies and should be considered as a supplement to, not a substitute for, the corresponding measures calculated in accordance with IFRS.

* Gross margin represents sales less cost of sales, excluding depreciation and amortization.

** Adjusted EBITDA represents net earnings (loss) before interest, income taxes, depreciation of property, plant and equipment, amortization of intangible assets, restructuring charges, change in the fair value of the cash contingent consideration, stock-based compensation costs and foreign exchange gain or loss.

The following table summarizes the reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA to IFRS net earnings (loss), in thousands of US dollars:

For more information
Vance Oliver
Manager, Investor Relations
(418) 683-0913, Ext. 23733
vance.oliver@exfo.com