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Press Release

MDC Partners Reports Results for the Three Months Ended March 31, 2019

To view/print the full release with schedules, click here.


  • Revenue of $328.8 million versus $327.0 million a year ago, an increase of 0.6%.
  • Organic revenue decrease of 0.9%
  • Net loss attributable to MDC Partners common shareholders of $2.5 million in the first quarter of 2019 versus a loss of $31.4 million a year ago. Net loss attributable to MDC Partners common shareholders for the last twelve months (LTM) of $103.3 million as of March 31, 2019 versus $132.3 million loss as of December 31, 2018.
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $21.5 million versus $7.8 million a year ago, an increase of 175%. Adjusted EBITDA Margin of 6.5%, an increase of 410 basis points compared to prior year quarter.
  • Covenant EBITDA (LTM) of $183.8 million versus $172.6 million at year end 2018, an increase of 6.5%. (Refer to Schedule 5)


New York, NY, May 7, 2019 (NASDAQ: MDCA) – MDC Partners Inc. (“MDC Partners” or the “Company”) today announced financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2019.

“In a time of continued disruption in the advertising industry, MDC Partners is off to a solid start in 2019 with Adjusted EBITDA significantly ahead of the first quarter of last year as a result of our cost-savings initiatives,” said Mark Penn, Chairman and CEO of MDC Partners. “The 175% increase in Adjusted EBITDA puts us on a path to return to both bottom and top-line growth and achieve significant positive cash flow by year end, as we expect new measures to further increase efficiencies, encourage intra-agency cooperation and expand the offerings of our lead agencies.

We are implementing a two-year plan designed to transform MDC to the model of a modern marketing services company, combining top creative talent with leading data, research, strategy, digital and media offerings. The talent in the network is already impressive in its ability to work for the top clients in the world and we plan to enhance our capabilities to deliver more impactful results for those same clients. In addition to facilitating revenue growth, we will bring comp to revenue ratio, real estate and other key costs in line to create meaningfully improved margins and cash flow through 2020. We plan to issue two-year guidance for this plan.”

David Doft, Chief Financial Officer, added, “The impact of our cost savings initiatives in 2018 are clear, with reductions in staff, real estate and corporate expense during the quarter, helping to drive Adjusted EBITDA growth. We see continued opportunity for efficiency in 2019 and remain focused on optimizing our profit margin while reinvigorating the business.”

First Quarter Financial Results

Revenue for the first quarter of 2019 was $328.8 million versus $327.0 million for the first quarter of 2018, an increase of 0.6%. The effect of foreign exchange due to the strong US Dollar was negative 1.6%, the impact of non-GAAP acquisitions (dispositions), net was positive 3.0%, and the organic revenue decrease was 0.9%. Organic revenue was favorably impacted by 242 basis points from increased billable pass-through costs incurred on clients’ behalf from certain of our partner firms acting as principal.

Net New Business wins in the first quarter of 2019 totaled a decline of $11.7 million due to client losses at one core agency within the Global Integrated Agencies segment and in the Media Services segment. Excluding these, the remainder of the business delivered net new business wins of $21.9 million.

Net loss attributable to MDC Partners common shareholders for the first quarter of 2019 was $2.5 million, an improvement versus net loss of $31.4 million for the first quarter of 2018. This change is primarily due to a decline in expenses driven by lower staff costs and a reduction in deferred acquisition costs as well as foreign exchange gain in the first quarter of 2019 as compared to a foreign exchange loss in the first quarter in 2018. Diluted loss per share attributable to MDC Partners common shareholders for the first quarter of 2019 was a loss of $0.04 versus diluted loss per share of $0.56 for the first quarter of 2018.

Adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter of 2019 was $21.5 million versus $7.8 million for the first quarter of 2018, an increase of 175%. The improvement was driven by reduced staff and occupancy costs and lower corporate costs following cost reduction initiatives taken in 2018. This led to a 410 basis-point improvement in Adjusted EBITDA margin in the first quarter of 2019 to 6.5% from 2.4% in the first quarter of 2018.

Net loss attributable to MDC Partners common shareholders for the last twelve months (LTM) was $103.3 million as of March 31, 2019 versus a $132.3 million loss as of December 31, 2018.

Covenant EBITDA for the last twelve months (LTM) was $183.8 million at March 31, 2019 versus $172.6 million at December 31, 2018, an increase of 6.5%. The change was primarily driven by the increase in Adjusted EBITDA, partially offset by the impact of the Kingsdale sale and a reduction in severance and one time professional fees.

Financial Outlook

2019 financial guidance is revised as follows:

* The Company has excluded a quantitative reconciliation with respect to the Company’s 2019 guidance under the “unreasonable efforts” exception in item 10(e)(1)(i)(B) of Regulation S-K See “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below for additional information

Conference Call

Management will host a conference call on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, at 8:30 a.m. (ET) to discuss results.  The conference call will be accessible by dialing 1-412-902-4266 or toll free 1-888-346-6216.  An investor presentation has been posted on our website at www.mdc-partners.com and may be referred to during the conference call.

A recording of the conference call will be available one hour after the call until 12:00 a.m. (ET), May 14, 2019, by dialing 1-412-317-0088 or toll free 1-877-344-7529 (passcode 10131220), or by visiting our website at www.mdc-partners.com.

About MDC Partners Inc.

MDC Partners is one of the most influential marketing and communications networks in the world. As “The Place Where Great Talent Lives,” MDC Partners is celebrated for its innovative advertising, public relations, branding, digital, social and event marketing agency partners, which are responsible for some of the most memorable and effective campaigns for the world’s most respected brands. By leveraging technology, data analytics, insights and strategic consulting solutions, MDC Partners drives creative excellence, business growth and measurable return on marketing investment for over 1,700 clients worldwide. For more information about MDC Partners and its partner firms, visit our website at www.mdc-partners.com and follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/mdcpartners.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

In addition to its reported results, MDC Partners has included in this earnings release certain financial results that the Securities and Exchange Commission defines as “non-GAAP financial measures.”  Management believes that such non-GAAP financial measures, when read in conjunction with the Company’s reported results, can provide useful supplemental information for investors analyzing period to period comparisons of the Company’s results. Such non-GAAP financial measures include the following:

(1) Organic Revenue: “Organic revenue growth” and “organic revenue decline” refer to the positive or negative results, respectively, of subtracting both the foreign exchange and acquisition (disposition) components from total revenue growth. The acquisition (disposition) component is calculated by aggregating prior period revenue for any acquired businesses, less the prior period revenue of any businesses that were disposed of during the current period. The organic revenue growth (decline) component reflects the constant currency impact of (a) the change in revenue of the partner firms which the Company has held throughout each of the comparable periods presented, and (b) “non-GAAP acquisitions (dispositions), net”. Non-GAAP acquisitions (dispositions), net consists of (i) for acquisitions during the current year, the revenue effect from such acquisition as if the acquisition had been owned during the equivalent period in the prior year and (ii) for acquisitions during the previous year, the revenue effect from such acquisitions as if they had been owned during that entire year (or same period as the current reportable period), taking into account their respective pre-acquisition revenues for the applicable periods, and (iii) for dispositions, the revenue effect from such disposition as if they had been disposed of during the equivalent period in the prior year.

(2) Net New Business: Estimate of annualized revenue for new wins less annualized revenue for losses incurred in the period.

(3) Adjusted EBITDA: Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP measure that represents operating profit plus depreciation and amortization, stock-based compensation, deferred acquisition consideration adjustments, distributions from non-consolidated affiliates, and other items.

(4) Covenant EBITDA: Covenant EBITDA is a measure that includes pro forma adjustments for acquisitions, one-time charges, and other items, as defined in the Credit Agreement. We believe that the presentation of Covenant EBITDA is appropriate as it eliminates the effect of certain non-cash and other items not necessarily indicative of a company’s underlying operating performance. In addition, the presentation of Covenant EBITDA provides additional information to investors about the calculation of, and compliance with, certain financial covenants in the Credit Agreement.

Included in this earnings release are tables reconciling MDC Partners’ reported results to arrive at certain of these non-GAAP financial measures. We are unable to reconcile our projected 2019 Organic Revenue Growth to the corresponding GAAP measure because we are unable to predict the 2019 impact of foreign exchange due to the unpredictability of future changes in foreign exchange rates and because we are unable to predict the occurrence or impact of any acquisitions, dispositions, or other potential changes. We are unable to reconcile our projected 2019 Covenant EBITDA to the corresponding GAAP measure because the amount and timing of many future charges that impact these measures (such as amortization of future acquired intangible assets, foreign exchange transaction gains or losses, impairment charges, provision or benefit for income taxes, and certain assumptions used in the calculation of deferred acquisition consideration) are variable, uncertain, or out of our control and therefore cannot be reasonably predicted without unreasonable effort, if at all. As a result, we are unable to provide reconciliations of these measures.  In addition, we believe such reconciliations could imply a degree of precision that might be confusing or misleading to investors. For the same reasons, we are unable to address the probable significance of the unavailable information, which could have a potentially unpredictable, and potentially significant, impact on future GAAP financial results.

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Statements in this press release that are not historical facts, including without limitation statements about the Company’s beliefs and expectations, earnings guidance, recent business and economic trends, potential acquisitions, and estimates of amounts for redeemable noncontrolling interests and deferred acquisition consideration, constitute forward-looking statements. Words such as “estimates”, “expects”, “contemplates”, “will”, “anticipates”, “projects”, “plans”, “intends”, “believes”, “forecasts”, “may”, “should”, and variations of such words or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current plans, estimates and projections, and are subject to change based on a number of factors, including those outlined in this section.  Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly any of them in light of new information or future events, if any.

Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties.  A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. Such risk factors include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • risks associated with severe effects of international, national and regional economic conditions;
  • the Company’s ability to attract new clients and retain existing clients;
  • the spending patterns and financial success of the Company’s clients;
  • the Company’s ability to retain and attract key employees;
  • the Company’s ability to remain in compliance with its debt agreements and the Company’s ability to finance its contingent payment obligations when due and payable, including but not limited to those relating to redeemable noncontrolling interests and deferred acquisition consideration;
  • the successful completion and integration of acquisitions which complement and expand the Company’s business capabilities; and
  • foreign currency fluctuations

Investors should carefully consider these risk factors and the additional risk factors outlined in more detail in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K under the caption “Risk Factors” and in the Company’s other SEC filings.


Erica Bartsch
Sloane & Company