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Cortex Announces Fiscal 2011 Financial ResultsFiscal 2011 Financial and Operational Highlights (November 28, 2011)
CALGARY, ALBERTA -- (Marketwire) -- 11/28/11 -- Cortex Business Solutions Inc. ("Cortex" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:CBX) is pleased to announce the Company's year ended July 31st, 2011 Fiscal 2011 Financial and Operational Highlights
The past fiscal year has been a year of exceptional growth for Cortex. The Company has established itself as a reputable player in the relatively new eInvoicing industry.
In fiscal 2011, Cortex embarked on 2 major projects to expand our business into the United States of America ("U.S.") and upgrade Cortex Trading Partner Network (the "Network") to accelerate growth. The initial results of these projects have expanded the Cortex Network across North America as seen below. As of November 2011, Cortex has 1696 customers in the U.S. and is operating in 27 states. The Network upgrade was launched in the fall of 2011 has resulted in faster time to revenue and increased functionality for our customers. Cortex will complete the Network upgrade project during fiscal 2012 and continue to expand rapidly throughout North America.
To view a map of Cortex's North American expansion, click the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/cbx_maps_graphs.pdf
At the end of the fiscal year, Cortex had signed agreements with 15 buying organizations ("Hubs"), 7 more than at the end of fiscal 2010. Of those, 11 have progressed through the pilot phase and were available to receive invoices from their suppliers electronically. Hubs are the main driving force for the growth in the Company as each new hub brings a list of additional customers to the Network and provides an additional destination for existing network users to send invoices to.
Management's expectations were that the majority of the buying organizations would be live at the beginning of fiscal 2011 however; project delays pushed these go live dates back two quarters. As a result, the anticipated revenue was not seen until the last two quarters of 2011. The revenue by quarter graph (page 5 of this document) clearly shows that the delayed revenue has started to be seen in Q3 and Q4 fiscal 2011 which can be attributed to the buying organizations going live on the Network. This revenue growth is anticipated to continue through fiscal 2012 based on the additional buying organizations going live on the Network.
Despite the project delays, the number of contracted customers on the Network has increased by 111% to over 5,000 meeting management's expectations for fiscal 2011. The number of customers who actively use the Network in a given month has increased by 68%. Of those, 20% now send documents to multiple hubs.
The following table illustrates the growth in some key metrics: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/cbx_maps_graphs.pdf
The daily volume of documents sent through the Network continues to grow consistently, as can be seen from the graph below. The graph includes a 2 year moving average line as well as a linear trend line.
The volume of transactions in the Oil & Gas industry in Canada is seasonal and tied to drilling activity. April to June see lower activity with the Canadian customers due to "Spring Breakup", a time when heavy equipment cannot be moved while the roads defrost and dry out. This phenomenon does not occur in the U.S. and we expect the seasonality in our revenue to diminish as we continue to expand into the U.S.
This year, Spring Breakup in Canada lasted longer than normal. As can be seen from the 2 year moving average being well above the linear trend line, daily volumes are higher than ever and increasing at a fast pace.
Daily Supplier Documents: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/cbx_maps_graphs.pdf
Our program aimed at expanding into the U.S. continued with about 25% of our contracted customers currently being in that country. The acceptance of our product in the U.S. marketplace has been quicker than anticipated and the results have motivated the Company to continue to invest in this much larger market.
During September 2011, we commenced the rollout of our new network platform, beginning with our U.S. customers, who gave very positive feedback on the improved functionality. We expect this project to be completed in fiscal 2012.
The increase in number of Hubs active on the Network and the rapid on-boarding of their suppliers translated into an increase in recurring revenue.
The Company earns three types of revenue from its Network;
1. Set-up revenue when we first enable a customer to use the Network; 2. Access revenue that consists of monthly per user fees; and 3. Usage revenue charged per document initiated by the customer.
Together, these make up our base revenue, with access and usage revenue being recurring in nature. Base revenue for Cortex has improved 35% fiscal 2011 over fiscal 2010 (2011 - $2,912,505, 2010 - $2,160,146) and deferred revenue closed fiscal 2011 at $1,460,609.
The addition of a Hub creates the opportunity to onboard two types of customers. The first type is a crossover customer, which means they are already on the Network, transacting with one of Cortex's existing Hubs. The second type of customer is a net new customer to the Network. The crossover customers increase the billable transactions per customer and the net new customers increase the number of customers transacting on a daily basis. Both types of customers add to our base revenue and overall document volumes.
In the previous fiscal year the Company also earned a significant amount of project management fees. This type of revenue is not considered part of our base business and our focus is to replace this with revenue of a recurring nature.
The graph below shows the make-up of our revenue stream. Access and usage fee revenue provides the foundation for our base revenue and grew by 43% over the previous fiscal year.
Base Revenue: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/cbx_maps_graphs.pdf
To accelerate growth, the Company initiated a program to expand into the United States. This program has been successful with four Hubs signed and a strong pipeline of potential sales. To date Cortex has invested in setting up a U.S. subsidiary and has contracted a senior sales executive in Denver to set up a satellite sales office. Revenues from U.S. customers started in the third quarter and we expect the U.S. to become a major portion of the Company's growth strategy, understanding that the lead time for expenses will remain ahead of the revenue rewards.
The graph below depicts an analysis of the Company's spend profile. Project spending began in Q1 2011 and remained consistent each of the four quarters ended July 31, 2011, averaging 14% of total expenses.
Expenses Breakdown: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/cbx_maps_graphs.pdf
During this fiscal year, the Company embarked on a project to upgrade our core system and convert it into a Cloud based system. This is essential in order to handle increased volumes and to increase efficiencies. A Cloud based system will also allow the Company to expand internationally without additional system expenses.
Management intends to continue investing in system enhancements that will allow us to automate labour intensive processes, further improving our productivity, as witnessed in a reduced average cost per supplier.
The graph above clearly depicts the trend of our baseline expenditures which have leveled out quarter over quarter since Q1 2011. Given the investments in productivity improvements and technology, management expects the baseline expenditures to stay relatively flat over the upcoming fiscal year.
On May 31, 2011 the Company raised gross proceeds of $7.5 million in a bought deal offering for net proceeds to the Company of approximately $6.8 million. The major portion of this offering was taken up by institutional investors. The funds will be used to finance the aforementioned programs as well as working capital.
The Company has strengthened its balance sheet and has more than $9 million in cash at July 31, 2011. This will enable the Company to take advantage of organic growth opportunities and market expansion and product development initiatives.
Cortex will continue to expand the Network by adding buying organizations (Hubs) and their supplier groups through current and new partnerships. Cortex will explore new revenue, industry and partnership opportunities in Canada and the U.S.
Building on the strong Network growth in 2011, Cortex begins fiscal 2012 with 15 signed buying organizations and 5,073 supplies versus starting fiscal 2011 with 8 buying organizations and 2,409 suppliers. Our continued strong relationship with our oil and gas producer clients will provide continued month over month revenue growth from increasing transaction volumes between our 15 Hub customers and their suppliers.
Organic Network growth, both in the number of customers connected and the number of transactions they do, has provided a solid revenue foundation for the Company. Management expects to see an acceleration of Hub signing in 2012 and exit the fiscal year with over 25 Hub customers.
Strategic partnerships with Full Circle, Basware, Verian Technologies, Amex and Powervision are providing numerous opportunities to add buying organizations in both Canada and the U.S.
Management is investing in market expansion and product development to incorporate new technology in our core service, expanding sales efforts in both Canada and the U.S. and into new industries. These investments are important for accelerating growth of the Network and will provide significant opportunities for the Company in the future.
The validation of Cortex Solutions in the marketplace together with a strong balance sheet at July 31, 2011, has increased the credibility and acceptance of the Cortex Solution resulting in numerous opportunities to expand.
With the addition of multiple buying organizations to the Cortex Network, management expects the growth of access and usage fee revenue stream to accelerate. Our U.S. expansion is contributing to significant increases in customers connected to the Network with over 2,000 expected to be signed through our Apache U.S. project by December 2011.
Cortex is also starting to experience the "network effect", with significant increases in monthly revenue per supplier from customers transacting with multiple buying organizations on the Network. Recurring revenue growth has accelerated and management expects this to continue for fiscal 2012
In the coming year, Management expects to complete more partnerships, announce more buying organizations joining the Network in both Canada and the U.S. and continue increasing recurring revenue.
Cortex, in alignment with its 2011 Hub Resolution award as voted on by shareholders at the October 14, 2011 Special Meeting held on October 14, 2011 has applied to the TSX Venture Exchange to issue 73,171 common shares to non-insiders as compensation in lieu of cash for the signing of significant hub accounts to our Network.
In addition, the Company has applied to the TSX Venture Exchange for the issuance of 2,076,678 common shares to employees in accordance with the Company's Employee Performance Management Program ("EPM") as approved by shareholders at the Special Meeting held on October 14, 2011. Of this amount, 386,160 will be issued to insiders.
The Company has received board approval under the EPM program, to issue 1,121,560 stock options to insiders at an exercise price of $0.205 per share.
About Cortex Business Solutions
Cortex Business Solutions Inc. is a leading eCommerce service company that improves efficiencies, reduces costs and streamlines procurement and supply chain processes for its customers. Accessing the Cortex Network enhances the exchange of business critical documents, such as purchase orders, receipts and invoices resulting in improved cash flow management and business controls, while reducing day's outstanding and administrative costs. Cortex is a low cost, low risk solution that can be implemented quickly by leveraging its customers existing business environment - evolving business. For more information please visit our website at www.cortex.net.
Statements in this release that are forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties concerning the specific factors disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in the Company's periodic filings with Canadian securities regulators. Such information contained herein represents management's best judgment as of the date hereof based on information currently available. The Company does not assume the obligation to update any forward-looking statement.
The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the content of this news release.
Brisco Capital Partners
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