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Iron Mountain Inc (IRM) Q4 2019 Earnings Call Transcript

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IRM earnings call for the period ending December 31, 2019.

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Iron Mountain Inc (IRM 3.23%)
Q4 2019 Earnings Call
Feb 13, 2020, 8:30 a.m. ET


  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:


Good morning and welcome to the Iron Mountain Fourth Quarter 2019 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]. Please note this event is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Greer Aviv, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Greer Aviv -- Senior Vice President, Investor Relations

Thank you, Keith. Good morning and welcome to our fourth quarter and full year 2019 earnings conference call. The user controlled slides that will be referred to in today's prepared remarks are available on our Investor Relations website, along with a link to today's webcast, the earnings press release and the full supplemental financial information.

On today's call, we'll hear from Bill Meaney, Iron Mountain, President and CEO, who will discuss highlights and progress toward our strategic plan. Barry Hytinen, our CFO, will then cover financial results and our outlook for 2020. After our prepared remarks, we'll open up the lines for Q&A.

Referring now to slide 2 of the presentation, today's earnings call slide presentation and supplemental financial information will contain forward-looking statements. Most notably, our outlook for 2020 financials and operating performance and expectations from Project Summit. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties. Please refer to today's press release, earnings call presentation, supplemental financial report, the Safe Harbor language on this slide and our Annual Report on Form 10-K, which we expect to file later today, for a discussion of the major risk factors that could cause our actual results to differ from those in our forward-looking statements. In addition, we use several non-GAAP measures, when presenting our financial results and the reconciliations to these measures are required by Reg G are included in the supplemental financial information.

With that, Bill, would you please begin?

William Meaney -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Greer, and thank you all for taking the time to join us. Before we get into our discussion of the Q4 results, I want to first welcome Barry as our new CFO to the Iron Mountain family. Barry bring a successful track record of navigating transformation and effective change at various organizations. Most recently, he led efforts at HanesBrands to increase operating cash flow, reduce leverage and produce strong international growth. His insights will be very valuable, as we rollout Project Summit, our transformation program to simplify our structure and create a more dynamic and agile organization. We look forward to his contributions, as we enter 2020 and beyond.

With that, let me start with a look back at where we have been on our journey over the past six years. Looking first at total organic revenue, in 2013, it was flat and adjusted EBITDA declined 1%. Today, we reported total organic revenue growth of approximately 1%, and 2% if we hold paper prices constant. In terms of adjusted EBITDA, 2019 saw growth of 3% or nearly 5%, if we apply 2019 paper prices to 2018. More broadly, progress over the past six years is visible in nearly all metrics, not the least being the expansion of EBITDA margin by almost 500 basis points. This macro look back is important, as it is the basis that continues to provide momentum going forward. We feel this positive momentum in sales and profitability, coupled with Project Summit and a broader portfolio in service offerings to our core customers is the platform from which we expect this trend to continue.

Of course, this progress just didn't happen. It is the result of the successful execution of our strategy of shifting our revenue mix to faster growing businesses, including emerging markets, data center, and adjacent businesses, and successfully implementing our revenue management program. We also made important progress on Project Summit, our transformation program designed to accelerate this strategy, and create a more streamlined, simplified and agile organization, better suited to solve our customer's challenges.

Furthermore, I am pleased to share with you, that we are very much on track with our execution on Project Summit. We moved quickly with the headcount reduction we announced, in order to ensure minimal disruption to the broader organization. If you recall, we announced plans to reduce the number of VP level and above decisions by approximately 45%. As of the end of December, we had completed approximately 70% of the reductions. We all recognize that change is never easy, and over these last few months, our organization has shown great resilience and focus. This is a testament to our great people and the fact that a large number of mountaineers are already feeling energized by being able to more easily address and serve our customers.

As it relates to the savings targets we communicated, the actions we took in the fourth quarter have resulted in $50 million of annual adjusted EBITDA benefits, that will begin to flow through in Q1. We have good line of sight to the incremental $30 million of in-year benefits we expect to generate in the second half of 2020, with a number of the process and systems improvements under way. We are excited about the new ways we are embracing technology, to improve the way we work, so we could all show up differently and drive change. Ultimately, we expect Project Summit to expand organic revenue beyond the current growth rates, all while boosting adjusted EBITDA by an additional $200 million over the next two years. This is all on top of the 4% plus organic adjusted EBITDA growth we have been achieving the last few quarters.

Turning to fourth quarter performance, constant currency revenue increased almost 3% over the prior year. We delivered solid adjusted EBITDA growth of 8%, adjusted EPS growth of 24% and AFFO growth of 18%, while simultaneously increasing investments to support future growth. Barry will provide more detail on the financial performance, as well as our outlook for 2020.

Turning to business performance, organic global records management volume remained relatively steady, with a 10 basis points decline over the trailing 12-month period. To put this into perspective, globally, volumes declined approximately 500,000 cubic feet on a base of nearly 700 million cubic feet driven mainly by fewer acquisitions of customer relationships. More specifically in 2018, we acquired 3.5 million cubic feet of customer relationships, which tend to be some of our highest returning investments, as opposed to only 2.8 million cubic feet in 2019. We expect the impact of fewer customer acquisitions in 2019 to continue its drag on volume through the first half of 2020.

However, we are confident that this is a temporary deviation, and that records management volume, along with incremental storage opportunities in non-box categories such as consumer and alternative storage and adjacent businesses, should result in flat to positive levels of organic volume growth for the full year 2020.

Now coming back to current volume trends; apart from the dynamic I just discussed, the single biggest headwind on volume today is the rate of change of incoming boxes from our existing customers. You will recall from previous calls, the average life of a box in our inventory has remained rock steady at 15 years. Whilst the average age of a box, when it is destroyed has remained steady over many years, the average age of our inventory will naturally skew during periods where the growth rate of incoming boxes is undergoing change. For example, if a vertical is experiencing a slowdown in the rate of incoming volume, then the average age of our inventory will increase.

Whilst we can't predict when equilibrium will again be achieved, we feel In the meantime it will remain a minor impact, given that our customers continue to add new boxes to storage annually, just at a lower rate than historically. To help you better understand, let's take a look at what has become one of our slowest growing, yet most stable verticals. The North American legal vertical began its digital transformation journey many years ago. This change in customer behavior has resulted in a deceleration in the rate, at which existing legal customers sent us new boxes every year until recently. The good news is that we have seen the growth rate stabilize to slightly positive net volume growth. We expect a similar trend across other verticals, that are not as far along on their digital transformation journey.

To provide further context, let's say, a legal customer stores 100 boxes with us. 10 years ago, they would send us six new boxes a year and destroy or remove two boxes, so they would be net positive four boxes or a 4% growth rate. Today, a similar customer would send us to two to three new boxes and still destroy one or two boxes, making them flat to net positive 1% growth rate, which is the new normal for this customer vertical, remaining stable at this lower growth rate, given the age profile of their inventory has stabilized.

We should remind you that, what I just discussed, is only affecting volume from existing customers. In addition to that, we continue to focus on new customers competitive wins, opportunities in the unvended and federal channels and as we talked about earlier, other methods of customer acquisition. We expect all these various sales channels to continue to contribute to overall organic volume growth for global RIM over time.

This is what gives us confidence in the durability of the recurring revenue stream and strong cash flow generation that comes from global RIM organization, and we do not anticipate a change in the foreseeable future. As I like to say, it's the financial piece that allows us to fund growth opportunities, while returning cash to our shareholders.

We have also made considerable progress in transforming our core RIM business to be more diversified model, and are on track to achieve our targeted geographic mix, which as a reminder, is 20% of revenue from faster growing markets by the end of 2020. We ended 2019 with these markets contributing 19% to total revenue, and for comparative purposes, faster growing markets represented less than 10% of revenue in 2013. Moreover, over the same period of time, we have expanded the adjusted EBITDA margin for these relatively new and faster growing markets from 20% to 30% in 2019 and we believe we can continue to expand margins, as we scale our presence in these geographies, and to select new markets that offer superior growth opportunities, all while managing our cost structure efficiently.

Related, our global digital solutions business had a record year, with revenue increasing 10% year-over-year. As we shared with you last quarter, our digital solutions offerings, such as insights are increasingly enabling us to approach our customers with a differentiated solution, resulting in a pull-through of other products and services.

Just one example of this was a recent win with a large, highly regulated financial institution. This customer previously managed its physical file room storage in-house, with over 600 employees across five global locations. We will assume responsibility for the management of all file storage, processing of the files, and begin providing value-added services. We plan to transform the operation by consolidating locations, reorganizing workflows, adding workflow software and applying digital solutions such as RFID and artificial intelligence and machine learning through our Insight platform. When completed, this effort will not only help our customers significantly reduce costs, but it will also be the foundation for future enhanced digital products. We were able to win the business based on our unique combination of document document management and workflow expertise, combined with our digital solutions, which we expect will result in close to $30 million in annual revenue for the next 10 years, making this one of the largest single deals we have signed.

Turning now to our data center business; we had a good year executing 17 megawatts of new and expansion leases, including our first Hyperscale deal. Whilst we are pleased with the steady commercial progress we have made leasing up our facilities, ending Q4 with a stabilized utilization rate of 90%, we did see some deals in the pipeline shift from Q4 into 2020. The 17 megawatts leased in 2019 shows good progress on a base of approximately 100 megawatts at the beginning of 2019.

Within our leasing for the year, we were successful in attracting over 100 new logos to our global datacenter platform, further diversifying our enterprise customer base, and underscoring our brand strength in this dynamic industry. We continue to make good progress, organically building our global platform, delivering almost 20 megawatts of capacity in key markets around the globe, including London, Amsterdam, Singapore, New Jersey, Northern Virginia and Phoenix. We are excited about our newest development in Frankfurt, and currently have a strong pipeline of pre-leasing opportunities in various stages of discussion.

Additionally, in Q4, we entered into an agreement for a second site in Slough, which will allow us to expand our presence in the important London market, by adding an incremental of 25 megawatts of capacity. Under the terms of the agreement, the landowner will build a shell, after which we will finish the build out of a datacenter to our specifications. Our existing footprint in London, which is adjacent to this new site, is nearing stabilization and this new agreement provides capacity for larger requirements in a very desirable market with low latency network connectivity.

Looking into 2020, the first-half pipeline looks strong, with a number of larger opportunities on the horizon. That said, these larger deals tend to be lumpy and timing is often harder to predict. Putting this all together, we would expect to be able to lease up another 15 megawatts to 20 megawatts of capacity in 2020. We feel very good about our commercial momentum and a building pipeline of demand, including hyperscale interest in a number of our markets such as Phoenix, Northern Virginia and Frankfurt.

In summary, 2019 was not without its challenges in terms of consistently declining paper prices, but we ended the year in line with our expectations, having a number of strong commercial wins, while making measurable progress on our strategic plan. We are focused on maximizing the benefits from Project Summit, not only financially, but in how we operate as a team and an organization. We have a unique opportunity to translate a streamlined and more agile organization into speed to unlock further revenue opportunities, through how we connect with and build additional value for our customers.

With that I will turn the call over to Barry, who will walk you through Q4 performance and our outlook for 2020.

Barry A. Hytinen -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Bill. I am delighted to be here at such an important time in the company's evolution, and I'm energized by our strategy, the engagement and strength of our team, and the opportunities we have in front of us.

Turning now to results; in the fourth quarter, revenue, EBITDA and AFFO were in line with our guidance ranges. We continue to expand margins, as adjusted EBITDA increased 8% over last year. Additionally, AFFO increased 18% to $228 million. Revenue of $1.1 billion increased $18 million or 2% on a reported basis and 3% on a constant currency basis compared to the prior year. Total organic revenue grew by 1.3% in the fourth quarter. This was driven by total organic storage rental revenue growth of 2.5% for the quarter, reflecting the volume trends Bill discussed, and contributions from revenue management.

Total organic service revenue declined 70 basis points in the fourth quarter year-over-year. This reflects the change in paper prices, which were at record highs in the back half of 2018, but ended 2019 at record lows. Adjusting for the $13 million impact of lower paper prices, organic service revenue would have increased 2.9% in the fourth quarter. Adjusted EBITDA grew 8% for the fourth quarter to $386 million, despite lower paper prices and FX headwinds, with margins expanding 190 basis points year-over-year to 35.8%. For the quarter, our tax rate was in line with guidance, and adjusted earnings per share was $0.31.

Turning to Project Summit, as Bill mentioned, we are on track, and in the fourth quarter, we recognized $49 million of restructuring charges to implement the first phase. For 2020, we expect to recognize approximately $130 million of additional restructuring charges, and we continue to expect Project Summit to deliver $80 million of adjusted EBITDA benefits in 2020, and $200 million over the next two years. We continue to expect total restructuring charges related to the program to be approximately $240 million.

Now let me take you through our fourth quarter segment performance. Global RIM delivered total organic revenue growth of 90 basis points for the quarter. Organic storage revenue increased 2.2%, reflecting volume growth in faster growing markets and revenue management. Organic service revenue declined 1%, driven by the change in paper prices. Global RIM's adjusted EBITDA margin of 42.3% represents an increase of 90 basis points, driven by revenue management and continuous improvement initiatives.

Turning to the data center business; we delivered strong organic revenue growth of 7.8%. We executed approximately 2 megawatts of new and expansion leasing, for a total of 17 megawatts for the year. The leasing was primarily driven by Enterprise and Federal government customers, and churn at 1.5% remains consistent with expectations.

Adjusted EBITDA margin was 51.7%, up significantly year-on-year. Profitability was boosted by two non-recurring items; first, a $4 million contractual settlement, and second, a $2 million lease modification fee. Adjusting for those items, margin was 44.4% in the quarter, an increase of 290 basis points, reflecting the increased scale and progress on integration activity.

Datacenter development capex was approximately $400 million for the full year, including $50 million for the Frankfurt land acquisition. In 2020, we expect development capex of approximately $200 million, reflecting the development projects currently under way. For the full year 2019, revenue of $4.3 billion dollars increased 3% on a constant currency basis compared to the prior year. Total organic revenue grew by 1.1% for the full-year. Adjusted EBITDA of $1.44 billion grew 2.7% on a constant currency basis. Adjusted earnings per share was $1.02. AFFO was $856 million and dividend per share was $2.45, representing an 82% dividend payout ratio.

Turning to cash flow and the balance sheet; lease adjusted leverage at the end of the year was 5.7 times, which was slightly down versus the third quarter. We expect leverage to remain flat to slightly down in 2020, reflecting our strong focus on profit expansion, partially offset by Project Summit one-time costs, lower year-over-year paper prices, and foreign exchange rates. We remain committed to de-levering over time, which will enable considerable strategic flexibility.

As part of our ongoing capital recycling program, in the fourth quarter, we sold two portfolios, which generated net proceeds of $83 million, bringing us to approximately $170 million of proceeds for the full year. We expect to generate capital recycling proceeds of approximately $100 million in 2020. As investors know, part of our strategy is an increased scale in faster growing international markets. We are pleased to report that in early January, we acquired the remaining 75% stake in OSG Records Management, the leading provider of document and data management solutions in Russia. As investors may recall, this had been a joint venture, in which we previously owned 25%. We now have complete ownership of the business, which has annual revenues of more than $50 million, manages approximately 18 million cubic feet of inventory, and is exhibiting strong growth.

Turning to guidance, which is detailed in the supplemental, for your review and highlighted on slide 13 of our presentation. We are expecting 2020 revenue to be in the range of $4.4 billion to $4.5 billion and adjusted EBITDA to be in the range of $1.52 billion to $1.57 billion, driven by organic EBITDA growth in Project Summit benefits. We expect adjusted EPS to be in the range of $1.15 to $1.25 and AFFO to be in the range of $930 million to $960 million. This strong growth is despite continued low paper prices, additional foreign exchange headwinds, and includes continued investments in digital solutions, IT infrastructure, and our datacenter business.

While we don't provide quarterly guidance, there are several items I would like to call out to consider when modeling the first quarter. First, we expect Project Summit actions taken in 2019 will be a significant addition to adjusted EBITDA throughout the year, beginning in the first quarter. Naturally, we also anticipate organic EBITDA growth from our base business. I would also remind you that in the first quarter of 2019, we experienced elevated labor and other costs. Lastly, given where paper prices and the U.S. dollar are currently, we expect both will be notable headwinds in the first quarter.

Our 2020 guidance implies total organic revenue is expected to be flat to up 2% as compared to prior year, including organic storage rental revenue growth of approximately 2%. Our guidance assumes paper prices and FX remain at current levels, which combined, we expect to result in an adjusted EBITDA headwind of approximately $35 million in 2020 compared to 2019. Anticipated investments, which are detailed in our supplemental, will be funded by a combination of cash available from operations, capital recycling and new borrowings. We may also utilize third-party capital for datacenter development, as we have previously discussed.

In closing, we expect to deliver organic growth while also realizing the benefits from Project Summit. Our capital allocation priorities continue to be; commitment to our dividend, investing in growth areas through both organic investment and strategic acquisitions, and reducing lease adjusted leverage over time.

We look forward to sharing further progress with you on our first quarter earnings call, and with that, operator, please open the line for Q&A.

Questions and Answers:


Yes, thank you. We will now begin the question-and-answer session. [Operator Instructions]. And the first question comes from Sheila McGrath with Evercore.

Sheila McGrath -- Evercore ISI -- Analyst

Yes, good morning. At first glance, Project Summit appears to be focused mostly on cost cuts, the employee reduction. I was wondering if you could give us a little bit more detail on how any improvements in information technology might be part of the mix? And any other changes or tweaks in strategy that would be focused more on revenues?

William Meaney -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Good morning, Sheila. Thanks for the question. So let me answer the question on two levels. One, in terms of the technology aspect that you alluded to and then the other, in terms of the operating rhythm and what we're doing differently in managing and leading the company. So on the technology side is, one of that one of the biggest areas of change is going to be upgrading and applying new technology in terms of the way we track and interact with our customers. So to give you specific examples we have, for instance is a sales force, which is very hard to get a single view of a customer globally. The second thing is, as we have over 40 billing systems, which again -- billing is an area where we need to make sure that we are consistently not just billing, but responding to queries around billing for our customers. So that's an area where we are applying technology to allow our mountaineers to have better visibility of our customers, which helps them on the selling side, but also in terms of serving those customers, when they have inquiries. So that's one area of technology.

The part that we're already starting to see a big effect is, in terms of how we are leading the company. So one of the things that we talked about -- or probably not, is directly on the last call is, Summit isn't just about taking costs out, it's actually redeploying costs, that we're actually adding cost or adding resources around our people that are interacting with our customers or are -- especially in terms of strategic account management. So to give you an example of that -- and also in terms of the way we lead the company. So we now have an expanded Enterprise leadership team, which we met in January. And first of all, the energy in the room was noticeably different, because now we have the top 40 leaders and on a regular rhythm every quarter in a room to discuss where we're going and how to get there faster and better. But also a part of that briefing was the strategic account team had the opportunity to put up a slide of one of our most mature customers that we serve globally.

And the interesting thing is, if you had surveyed people beforehand, they would have said that that customer is probably 80% served. If you look at a matrix of our product offering and the geographies they fit in, and they are completely a global company, virtually in every country we're in and then some more. And the interesting thing is, it was just the opposite. We are serving about 20% to 30% of the potential of that client, rather than 80%. So a combination having strategic accounts taking a global look at how we can serve that customer better, and then the energy being able to have that discussion with the top leadership of the company globally on a quarterly basis, I think is going to make a real change

Sheila McGrath -- Evercore ISI -- Analyst

Okay. That's helpful. And I didn't see a sources and uses slide this quarter. I was just wondering, if you could provide some insight on your outlook for sources and uses in 2020, and progress on sourcing JV capital, potentially for the Frankfurt data center?

William Meaney -- President and Chief Executive Officer

So Sheila, I will take the JV question and then I'll hand it over to Barry, on the sources and uses. So we continue to look at entering a JV for the Frankfurt facility, as we've spoken on in the last couple of calls. We've slow rolled that slightly, because the pre-leasing activity on Frankfurt is very-very strong. So obviously we want to line that up before we finalize the negotiations. But we still expect to put Frankfurt into a joint venture. We are quite far down the track with a couple of potential investors, so we feel good about that. But we also want to make sure that we put our best foot forward and we're really encouraged and quite excited about the pre-leasing activity for the Frankfurt site.

Sheila McGrath -- Evercore ISI -- Analyst

And Sheila it's Barry, and thanks for the question. It's great to be here. I'll just highlight a few things and I'll note that in the slide presentation, as well as the supplemental, I think you've got basically all of the items that you need, but to call out a few things, cash interest that will naturally be below the interest expense that we guided to in light of sort of deferred financing charges and things like that to go through interest. We guided to cash taxes of $70 million to $80 million and you've got all of the -- on slide 13, all of the various items like recurring capex and non-real estate is about $150 million, and you see the customer inducements etc. We are assuming $100 million of capital recycling, you know that we did more than that in 2019. I'd call out that Summit, as we mentioned, is about $130 million of expected use in the year, and then you've got our datacenter development and base acquisitions etc.

So I think you'll find that, if you work through the schedule, there is a considerable amount of cash available for discretionary, and we feel good about where we are at this point. Okay. Thank you.


Thank you. And once again, please limit yourself to one question and a follow-up. And right now we have a question from Nate Crossett with Berenberg.

Nate Crossett -- Berenberg Capital Markets -- Analyst

Hey, good morning guys. The volume decline in the quarter, I appreciate some of the color you gave, but can you give us some more detail on the declines? Like what's the breakout of declines for North America versus international? It sounded like you said at the end of 2020, you're expecting volumes to be flat to up? Did I hear that correctly?

William Meaney -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, good morning, Nate. So first of all, yes, we expect volumes to be flat to up for the year, including consumer and other alternative storage, such as Art, for instance. But yes, you heard that correctly. You're right to also assume that it in North America is where the negative volume is, the rest of the world -- Europe is basically flat, slightly positive. It changes from quarter-to-quarter, but think of Europe is flat. And then other international is kind of mid-single digit positive, right, because those are the faster growing emerging markets.

So just to come back to it -- to put it in context. First of all, we're talking about 0.5 million cubic feet in negative decline in the year, over 700 million cubic feet. And if you look at that -- that's more than explained by just the slowdown in the number of customer acquisitions that we did during '19, as compared to 2018. And at that level, that's totally in our control. In other words, we normally do about 3 million cubic feet. We did less than that in 2019. We did more than that -- a little bit more than that in 2018. And those -- the difference between those two more than counts for the 0.5 million cubic feet down in 2019. So just put that into context.

In addition to that is, we continue -- we source volume in three different buckets besides volume coming in from existing accounts. We source it from customers that are completely unvended, not just the Federal Government, but there are even some of our most mature or -- I mentioned one of our most mature customers. There's, believe it or not, some places where they still do records management in house, and I actually talked about the file rooms that we're taking over for this customer, which is the largest single customer we ever signed, $30 million a year. We signed that contract because we are actually providing them a full wraparound solution, but we're taking over all their volume in their records rooms, which historically weren't in our facilities, right, and this is a customer that wed serve for many, many years. So there is the unvended bucket.

The second bucket and those are our most highest returns. The second and third buckets are either competitive takeaways or these customer acquisitions I talked about, which has historically trended around 3 million cubic feet plus or minus on a given year. Those actually have similar returns. In one cases, we're paying per month fees and sales commissions. In the other case, we are paying someone that wants to get out of the business or is getting out of business completely, and we take over those customer contracts. So those -- if we look at those three vectors, we continue to see that there's a lot of growth. The last thing I would say just to emphasize is that, I talked about the legal vertical. The thing that's driving the negative trend, is not that all of a sudden, people aren't sending us anything. Virtually every customer is continuing to send us new boxes every year. The thing that is driving the slight drag on volume, is the secondary effect of slowing down rates, as they go through this transformation.

So the legal vertical I gave you -- for a number of years when it was going through that deceleration, was in negative net volume territory, because each year, the rate of incoming boxes was changing, so the average age of the inventory with ticking up and so you were getting more boxes destroyed during that period of time. Has this now stabilized at the new normal, at this lower rate? It's actually stabilized to slightly net positive Q. So we see similar trends happening in some of the other verticals that may be a little bit further behind the legal vertical on digital transformation. But it is important to note, that the legal vertical, which is virtually almost our slowest growing vertical in North America, is actually slightly net positive in terms of cube growth.


Thank you. And the next question comes from Eric Luebchow with Wells Fargo.

Eric Luebchow -- Wells Fargo -- Analyst

Hi, thanks for taking the question. Curious Bill, on kind of your international footprint. I think earlier in the revenue management initiatives in those international markets, I'm curious what type of impact you've seen as you roll that out, and if there has been any impact on customer retention or volume growth, as you roll that out more broadly across your portfolio?

William Meaney -- President and Chief Executive Officer

It's a good question Eric. You're right, we are in the earlier innings on those markets and those are the faster-growing markets. So the growth that we're getting from other international, when you see storage revenue growth, is mainly from volume growth and only a little bit revenue management. So far, we don't see any difference in trends in those markets than we did, say in Western Europe, when we rolled it out or North America before that, in terms of elasticity. But it does take longer for that effect to show up, just because some of those contracts are on three years. Some of them here on five-year contracts. Of course, some are annual. So what we find is, where I guess 18 to 24 months into the revenue -- rolling revenue management out globally, and you'll see that just like it did in Western Europe, it will take, I would say another year, year and a half before you start seeing the full effects of that.


Thank you. And the next question comes from Andrew Steinerman with JP Morgan.

Michael Cho -- JP Morgan -- Analyst

Hi, good morning. This is Michael Cho on for Andrew. I just had a first question, follow-up on Project Summit. And I realize there is always a number of moving pieces and Bill, I think you've given an example of upselling and you nearly [Indecipherable], but if we think about the impact from Project Summit, what's the EBITDA margin goal for Iron Mountain, that's a result of Project Summit?

William Meaney -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Mike. I'll let Barry talk about it. We have talked about it, as you said, briefly in the last call. But Barry, can give you some more color on that.

Barry A. Hytinen -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Okay. Hey Michael, thank you for the question. If you look at where we are from an adjusted EBITDA margin today and what's embedded in the guidance. And then, if you play that out over the next couple of years, as you know, Project Summit is going to generate $200 million or more of EBITDA benefit and you worked through both, improvements in our base EBITDA, as well as Summit, together with a little bit of revenue growth. I think you'd find that over the course of the project that we're exiting it, probably going to find the EBITDA margin into the high 30s, and we feel very good about where we are trending. I'd say Summit is well under way. The fourth quarter actions we are taking and completed very successfully, and we have very good line of sight on the -- in-year benefits, here this year. Thank you for the question.

William Meaney -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Operator, can we go to the next question please?


[Operator Instructions]. And the next question comes from George Tong with Goldman Sachs.

George Tong -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Hi thanks. Good morning. I'd like to dive a little bit deeper into your physical storage volume trends. Your global volumes grew 90 bps year-over-year in 4Q, but this did decelerate from nearly 2% growth in early 2019. This is rather a large move for a relatively stable business, and you talked about legal and the declining rate of change with new boxes. Can you maybe elaborate on what's causing the increase in the second derivative of change? And perhaps, what needs to happen for volume growth to stabilize or improve, which is what you're assuming for 2020?

William Meaney -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Sure George. So let me first start with your observation on Q1. So the reason why I also said that we expect the trend that we saw in Q4 to continue in the first half of 2020, is the -- Q1 was also a high quarter where we actually did customer acquisition. So the trends that you're kind of calling out, is virtually 100% covered by the change in customer, acquisition is not even the second derivative.

Now in terms of the overall change, in terms of volumes in North America that we see, as I said is that, when legal was going through its downward march ni growth rate as they were transforming or adding more digital processes to their workflows, is we did see similar trends that we see for instance in financial services today. In financial services, it's still one of our higher growing or incoming boxes from financial services, but it's just at a lower rate than we did previously. So first of all, is that -- because we're talking about the thing that's impacting our net volume for some of these verticals, is rates of change, just by its very kind of mathematical nature, these are muted effects or their secondary effects. And the thing I can't predict -- the thing I would predict is, I think we're going to be in this territory, but if you think about it over a year kind of 7 million to 8 million negative cube growth, just on pure RIM and mainly focused in North America, until we get through this transformation. And as I said, when we look at legal, we've gotten through that and legal is actually slightly positive, in terms of net cube growth, once it goes through it. The thing that's hard to predict, is how fast people digitally transform, and at what growth rate they stabilize to.


We do have a question from Shlomo Rosenbaum with Stifel.

Adam Parrington -- Stifel -- Analyst

Hi. This is Adam on for Shlomo. Could you talk a little bit more about, what's weighing on the organic revenue growth guidance for 2020? Just the zero to 2% organic, just talk about it a little bit more?

William Meaney -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. So thanks Adam. It's linked to the other question, which was how is the revenue management rolling out into emerging markets. So it is a broader range and I understand where you're coming out with a question. Is that right now, we're still seeing most of the growth internationally, which is becoming a bigger percentage of the whole of the company, is coming from volume rather than pricing. So we want to get more visibility, in terms of how quickly some of the pricing changes we're making in international, before we could guide higher.


Thank you. And the next question is a follow-up from Sheila McGrath with Evercore.

Sheila McGrath -- Evercore ISI -- Analyst

Hi, yes. Bill, historically, you've mentioned that you've had some wins with the U.S. government with that specialized account focus group. But you've also mentioned, it takes a while to get the inventory from them. Just wondering if you've seen any progress in terms of them implementing the awards to Iron Mountain?

William Meaney -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, it's a great question, Sheila. So I would answer it in two different ways. Is I think the contract you talk about, we had a very large blanket contract with one of the large departments, and it's still exactly -- we still have the frustration that you're alluding to. Actually we've had more wins on the service side, because it has been easier for them to give us business on the service side, than it is on the storage, and that's partly because of the relationships with the relationships with the National Archives. So one thing that we do know both from the National Archives and government leaders, is that we do expect over time for that to start coming free, because National Archives has publicly announced that there is only a window, it's over the next few months or years, where they're going to continue to accept volume from government agency. So eventually, that will come loose, but that one has been slower.

On the other side, we had a win -- I think it was about a year and a half ago, where we -- I think it'll be two years this summer. We had one win with a large government agency, where they were exiting their own warehouse, and we moved that, I think one in the summer, and we had it all -- we had 400,000 cubic feet roughly moved by November into our facility near Joint Base Andrews. So when they decide to move, we can onboard it quite quickly. But the contract that you're talking about, that large government contract, we find that we are getting more success on the services, the digital services side right now than the storage, because of the stickiness with their relationship with NARA.


Thank you. And the next question is a follow-up from Nate Crossett with Berenberg.

Nate Crossett -- Berenberg Capital Markets -- Analyst

Hey, there has certainly been a lot of chatter in the DC space, in terms of M&A. We've heard that some of the smaller private players are having a harder time of late, and I'm just wondering if that could maybe create some opportunities for you to acquire, what's your current appetite for kind of accelerating the DC build out?

William Meaney -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Good question, Nate. I think you asked it last time as well. So I guess I should expect it. Our stance is still the same. We feel really good about the acquisitions that we did, if you think about the IO that was really building the platform and Credit Suisse allowed us to start building out our international management team as well as the EvoSwitch in Europe. I think where we stand right now is, that we like development -- development still has the highest returns. Now that being said, we do -- when we go into a market. For instance, I think I may have used -- referenced this before. We looked at Frankfurt, we looked at either doing an acquisition or buying land. In this case, we bought a piece of land that was already permitted. And for us, the better opportunity was buying the piece of land and building it out. But we do look, when we go into these markets, what I would call brownfield where we -- there may be a small player in that market that we want to be in, but it has significant amount of expansion capacity on their land or within their shell. So we do continue, and that was what drove us to the EvoSwitch. Amsterdam was another market where we looked at -- buy a brownfield opportunity for a greenfield, and in that case, it was better to do a brownfield.

So we will continue to look at it that way, but we don't feel like we need to go out and buy something to bulk up, for the sake of bulking up. We feel we are -- we've grown a lot and we're in pretty good position in terms of being recognized. And I would say that we see most things that are up for grabs in the markets that we're present in.


Thank you. And the next question is a follow-up from George Tong with Goldman Sachs.

George Tong -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Hi, thanks. Just a follow-up question on volume trends that you're seeing. You called out legal and financial services as being in transition. Can you discuss how volume trends may be evolving in some of your other larger verticals?

William Meaney -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, I think legal has kind of -- George, has kind of gone through the transition. That's why it has now gone back to kind of net positive, flat to net positive. We don't give it to you vertical by vertical, but I'll just give you a kind of a flavor as, yeah -- health sciences is actually one that we're still seeing significant increase in growth. But most of our verticals are going through different degrees, and this is mainly North America a little bit in Western Europe are going through. We see digital transformation taking hold. So they're further behind on legal, but they are getting impacted right now. But if you wrap it all up together. George, it's still -- I'd say, it's a second derivative -- sorry to be a little bit mathematical, it's a second derivative effect. That's why we think it's very much bounded in this kind of 7 million to 8 million negative cubic feet on a 700 million cubic foot base. And I'd say right now, it's really focused more -- mostly in North America and Western Europe is kind of flat, moves up and down a little bit.


Thank you. And the next question. Also as a follow-up from Andrew Steinerman with JP Morgan.

Michael Cho -- JP Morgan -- Analyst

[Technical Issues]. But in the 2020 revenue organic revenue guidance, what's the data center revenue growth and the margins that are implied in the 2020 guide?

Barry A. Hytinen -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Data center continues to contribute nicely for organic growth, and obviously that can vary some depending upon the level of hyperscale deals and that we execute and commence in the year. But you'd be thinking something in the -- call it 10% kind of range on a constant basis.


[Operator Closing Remarks].

Duration: 47 minutes

Call participants:

Greer Aviv -- Senior Vice President, Investor Relations

William Meaney -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Barry A. Hytinen -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Sheila McGrath -- Evercore ISI -- Analyst

Nate Crossett -- Berenberg Capital Markets -- Analyst

Eric Luebchow -- Wells Fargo -- Analyst

Michael Cho -- JP Morgan -- Analyst

George Tong -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Adam Parrington -- Stifel -- Analyst

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