Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

The Brink's Co (BCO) Q4 2020 Earnings Call Transcript

By Motley Fool Transcribers - Feb 23, 2021 at 1:30PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

BCO earnings call for the period ending December 31, 2020.

Logo of jester cap with thought bubble.

Image source: The Motley Fool.

The Brink's Co (BCO 2.84%)
Q4 2020 Earnings Call
Feb 23, 2021, 8:30 a.m. ET


  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:


Welcome to The Brink's Company's Fourth Quarter 2020 Earnings Call. Brink's issued a press release on fourth quarter results this morning. The company also filed an 8-K that includes the release and the slides that will be used in today's call. For those of you listening by phone, the release and slides are available in the Investor Relations section of the company's website, [Operator Instructions].

Now, for the company's Safe Harbor statements. This call and the Q&A session will contain forward-looking statements. Actual results could differ materially from projected or estimated results. Information regarding factors that could cause such differences is available in today's press release and in the company's most recent SEC filings. Information presented and discussed on this call is representative as of today only. Brink's assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements. The call is copyrighted and may not be used without written permission from Brink's.

It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, Ed Cunningham, Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications. Mr. Cunningham, you may begin.

Ed Cunningham -- Vice President, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications

Thanks, Andrew. Good morning, everyone. Joining me today are CEO, Doug Pertz; and CFO, Ron Domanico. This morning we reported fourth quarter results on both a GAAP and a non-GAAP basis. The non-GAAP results exclude a number of items, including our Venezuela operations, the impact of Argentina's highly inflationary accounting, reorg and restructuring costs, items related to acquisitions and dispositions, costs related to an internal loss, and costs related to certain accounting compliance matters. We're also providing our results on a constant currency basis, which eliminates changes in foreign currency exchange rates from the prior year. We believe the non-GAAP results make it easier for investors to assess operating performance between periods. Accordingly, our comments today will focus primarily on non-GAAP results. Reconciliations are provided in the press release, in the appendix to the slides we're using today, and in this morning's 8-K filing, all of which can be found on our website.

I'll now turn the call over to Doug Pertz.

Douglas A. Pertz -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Ed. Good morning, everyone, and thanks for joining us today. Before we review our strong fourth quarter results and increased guidance, I want to stress how proud I am of our employees around the world. Their dedication, focus on health and safety, and outstanding execution under pandemic conditions has been nothing short of remarkable. Despite unprecedented challenges, they have continued to provide the essential high-quality services that makes Brink's the clear leader in the cash management business globally.

In response to the pandemic our more than 76,000 global employees have been focused on our key priorities of providing essential services and ensuring that Brink's emerges stronger on the other side of this pandemic. Our leadership and global team have also remained focused on strategic execution, including the completion and integration of the large and very complex acquisition of G4S cash operations in 17 markets. Our fourth quarter results clearly demonstrate that in addition to proactively addressing the pandemic's impact on our employees, our customers, our families, and our business, we've not lost sight of our strategic priorities.

By any means, our fourth quarter results I think are outstanding. Reported revenue was up 9%, driven by sequentially improving organic revenue growth since the onset of the pandemic and the G4S acquisition. Operating profit was up 26%, reflecting a margin rate of 14.2%, an increase of 140 basis -- excuse me, 180 basis points with strong support from the U.S. business, which achieved a margin rate of 15%. Adjusted EBITDA increased 25% to $194 million, which was 19% of revenue. And EPS grew 39% to $1.64 per share.

These results primarily reflect the impact of our 2020 cost reductions and business restructurings, which yielded significant margin improvements. These sustainable cost reductions are expected to drive continued earnings leverage in 2021, driven by organic revenue growth, partially supported by the pandemic recovery and the full-year impact of the completed G4S acquisition.

Our fourth quarter results underscore the continued strength of cash as well as a payments method. Even during the pandemic, cash is used in two-thirds of global consumer transactions and in 35% of U.S. in-person transactions. The strength and the resiliency of cash is reflected in the independent data from the Federal Reserve showing that during the pandemic, U.S. currency in circulation grew at a materially higher rate than the 6% compound annual growth rate that it has grown over the last 30-plus years. As -- and I'll share with you in a moment, our internal U.S. money processing metrics also show the cash usage increased during the pandemic.

Looking ahead, we expect continued strong organic revenue and profit improvement in 2021. At the midpoint of our guidance, we expect revenue growth of 17%, operating growth of 30%, and EPS growth of 26%. Adjusted EBITDA is expected to be in the range of between $640 million and $730 million, an increase of 21% at the midpoint. Our confidence in the short- and long-term future of Brink's is based on our team's proven track record of strategic and operational execution, continued retail recovery from the pandemic lows, the realization of full-year benefits of the G4S acquisition, this is substantially -- the sustainability of our cost reductions, and the substantial organic growth expected in our core base business, as well as the transformational potential of our Brink's complete digital cash solutions.

Turning now to slide four, which we think demonstrates the resiliency of our revenue base compared to other companies represented here in various indices. I think some of you may be surprised to learn that Brink's is outperforming all of these industries during the global pandemic. Clearly, revenue for the hospitality and entertainment industries, with their near-total reliance on consumer spending, has been hit very hard by the pandemic and government-mandated closings. Yet in many cases, the equity values of some of these companies in these indexes have shown sharp increases in anticipation of a post-pandemic recovery.

Moving from the left to the right on the chart, you can see that the cash management industry, the S&P 400 Industrials, our route-based peers, and traditional payment companies all fared better than most consumer-focused companies, with 2020 fourth quarter revenue at the -- at or above the 90% of 2019 levels. Our fourth quarter recovery is the strongest versus these indices. I just want to make a note that all of the company's reported revenues in these indices use organic revenue as well as acquisitions and divestitures, similar to ours. This is especially the case if you take a look at the payments indexes that include several companies with numerous acquisitions.

The far right of the slide shows the strength of our recovery on both a reported basis and a pro forma basis, which includes the G4S results for both 2019 and 2020. We compare favorably on both counts, with reported fourth quarter revenue up 9% versus prior year and pro forma revenue at 92% of 2019, up from 88% in the third quarter and 78% in the second quarter.

Brink's shares many characteristics with the route-based and industrial services companies, including high levels of recurring revenue, strong customer retention, but we've not yet been able to achieve similar valuation multiples or share price increases since the onset of the pandemic, despite the fact that we had similar revenue growth since the bottom of the pandemic versus these indices. Taking a step -- taking a step further, Brink's even outperformed the payments index with fourth quarter revenue up 9% versus 2019 for Brink's. On a comparable basis, the payments index was down 6% versus the prior year.

While some of you may have been surprised at our comparably strong revenue growth, we most certainly weren't. Slide five represents data that proves our long-standing assertion that cash usage is strong and growing, even during the pandemic. To be clear, we fully acknowledge the increase in e-commerce and the step-change in the growth in e-commerce sales during the pandemic. But if you consider the facts, there may be a different story. Even during the height of the pandemic-related shutdowns, cash as a percent of all payments remained strong, and the use of cash continues to grow. Further, despite accelerated e-commerce growth during the pandemic, in-person retail sales, where cash is the most popular method of payments -- payment, are expected to continue to grow and remain far greater than e-commerce sales.

The growth on the left side of page five -- slide five, I think, is compelling. It shows the growth of e-commerce sales and continued growth in in-person retail. In 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, in-person retail spending accounted for about 89% of total retail sales. This was prior to the pandemic, suggesting that e-commerce accounted for about the balance of the 11%. Obviously, the pandemic has accelerated e-commerce sales growth to about 14% of total sales in 2020, suggesting full-year e-commerce growth this year -- or last year, excuse me, of about 35% [Phonetic], but this growth rate is expected to level off and even decelerate between now and the next five years through 2025 when e-commerce is expected to reach about 23% of total retail sales. This means that in 2025, five years from now, more than 75% of retail sales will be in-store purchases. It's also important to remember that total retail sales are expected to reach more than $6.5 trillion in 2025. So the size of in-person retail sales in terms of total dollars will be larger in 2025 than it was before the pandemic, or over $5.2 trillion, even with accelerated e-commerce sales growth.

The right side of the slide shows that cash is the most popular form of in-person transactions in the U.S. at 35% of payments, ahead of debit and credit cards. That survey suggests that retailers have no intentions as well of stopping acceptance of cash as a form of payment. So even as e-commerce becomes a larger part of the payments landscape, in-person sales, where cash is the preferred method payment of payment, are also expected to grow. This data supports our belief that Brink's is very much a growth business, given our strategic focus on increasing organic revenue, growth through acquisition, and our development of digital cash management solutions targeted at a very large market of underserved or unserved customers and retailers today.

Turning to the next slide. Consistent with prior quarters, this year fourth quarter internal and external cash usage levels remained elevated versus prior year. According to the Federal Reserve, cash in circulation in the U.S. is up 16% year-over-year, a material increase, as I mentioned earlier, over the 30-year historical compound annual growth rate of 6%-plus. Historically -- and as history has also shown that during periods of recession and economic stimulus, the use of cash increases as a percent of payments, suggesting that we are in and possibly will continue to be in a period of increased cash usage. And our internal Brink's metrics show that both the volume and value of notes flowing through our U.S. operations have increased 6% over last year's fourth quarter, even with your locations still being served. So despite the headlines, we believe both the historical and current data support the resiliency and persistence of cash usage.

And on the right side of slide six, the outer ring show that between 85% and 90% of U.S. retail locations do not use any cash management industry services. They're unvended or under-vended. Unlike the market for credit and debit services that is almost fully vended shown by the inner ring, there is clearly a significant opportunity for Brink's to penetrate the very large unvended or unvended cash payments market with our new services in the future.

Let's now take a look at our 2021 guidance on slide seven. Despite the pandemic's continued impact on near-term revenue in many countries, we expect strong growth in our financial results as we move through 2021, with revenue and profit growth continuing to accelerate, especially in the second half. For 2021, we're targeting revenue growth of 17% at the midpoint to $4.3 billion, driven primarily by organic growth and continued revenue in our retail market recoveries; operating profit growth of 30% at the midpoint of $495 million, reflecting a margin of 11.5%, an increase of 120 basis points over last year; adjusted EBIT growth of 21% to $685 million at midpoint; and EPS growth of 26% at midpoint to $4.75 per share. This includes -- this excludes the impact of MoneyGram in 2021, or let me restate that. Excluding the impact that was favorable in 2020 of MoneyGram, the midpoint equates to a 32% increase.

We expect strong revenue growth in 2021 as the pandemic subsides and economies around the world continue to reopen, especially again in the second half, supported by the full-year impact as well of the G4S acquisition. Given the difficulty of predicting the timing and pace of the recovery, the low end of our guidance assumes a conservative revenue recovery rate that does not increase from our current fourth quarter rate of, approximately, 92% of pro forma 2019. The midpoint of our guidance assumes a recovery rate of about 96% and the high end a little over 100%, which would generate $730 million of EBITDA. Our guidance also assumes improved margins and operating leverage and only includes minimal potential benefits from our Strategy 2.0 Digital Cash Management solutions.

Before I turn it over to Ron, I'd like to make a few comments about our ES&G initiative that Ron is driving. We're pleased with our fourth quarter results and for our outlook for 2021 as we just discussed. But we appreciate that the way we achieved results is just as important to us and to our investors. As an industry leader, we recognize the importance of being stewards of the environment, employing sound government [Phonetic] principles and having a positive social impact on the communities where we live and where we do business, all while continuing to drive shareholder value.

In 2020, we accelerated our efforts and evaluation of best practices in sustainability programs and recently formalized and centralized a global sustainability program at Brink's. Our priority in 2021 is to conduct ES&G assessments with internal and external stakeholders and to determine metrics and goals that we'll begin to report -- that we will begin to report to stakeholders. Based on our work to date, we're encouraged by the many examples of ES&G initiatives throughout our global organization, and we'll seek to leverage best practices across our global footprint. Our commitment to ES&G is underscored by the fact that Ron is leading the effort.

I'll now turn it over to him for follow-up comments on this plus our financial review. Ron?

Ronald J. Domanico -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Doug, and good day, everyone. I'm honored and excited to lead Brink's sustainability program reporting directly to the Brink's board, which is determined to retain oversight responsibility for this important work. We haven't publicly shared our many initiatives that positively impact the environment or society. That's beginning to change, and you'll begin to see ESG information in our annual disclosures and on our website. But beyond disclosure, we're committed to improve sustainability by investing in new initiatives. The bottom of this slide indicates some of the progress that we've made. I look forward to sharing more details about Brink's sustainability program in the future.

Moving now to a review of our financial results and guidance. Before I go into details, please remember that we disclose acquisitions separately for the first 12 months of ownership, at which time they are mostly integrated, and then they are included in organic results. Please refer to slide 29 in the appendix for the timing of specific acquisitions. Slide nine is a snapshot of four metrics that I'll review in more detail on the following slides: revenue, operating profit, adjusted EBITDA, and EPS. This is a format that we've used repeatedly and is included here for reference.

Turning to slide 10. 2020 fourth quarter revenue in constant currency was up 13% as the pandemic-related 7% organic decline was more than offset by a 19% contribution from acquisitions. Negative forex reduced revenue by $32 million or 3%, driven primarily by a stronger U.S. dollar versus currencies in Latin America, partially offset by a stronger euro. Sequentially, on average, exchange rates improved slightly during the fourth quarter. Reported revenue was $1.22 billion, up 9% versus the fourth quarter last year. Fourth quarter operating profit was up 29% in constant currency, with organic growth contributing 8% and acquisitions adding 21%.

As I noted in the third quarter, the fact that we achieved organic operating profit growth despite an organic revenue decline is a testament to our proactive cost realignment. Forex reduced OP by $4 million or minus 3%. Reported operating profit for the quarter was $145 million, and the operating margin was 14.2%, up 180 bps from the fourth quarter 2019, at the highest level since Doug and I joined the company in 2016.

Corporate expense in the fourth quarter was relatively flat to 2019 with an increase in bad debt and stock compensation accruals, offset by favorable forex. Remember in the fourth quarter 2019, we incurred $5 million in Argentine peso conversion cost. Our fourth quarter reported results include, approximately, $3 million in incremental expense for personal protective equipment, additional cleaning, and other measures to keep our employees and our customers safe. Full year and segment results are included in the appendix and in our press release.

Moving to slide 11. Fourth quarter interest expense was $26 million, up $5 million versus the same period last year, as higher debt associated with the G4S acquisition was partly offset by lower variable interest rates. Tax expense in the quarter was $40 million, $12 million higher than last year, primarily as a result of higher income. Our full-year effective tax rate was 31.8%, up 40 bps from last year, but down 230 bps from our estimate in the third quarter. ETR volatility is due to changes in assumptions about our ability to utilize tax attributes at varying projected income levels. The G4S acquisition should be constructive in moderating the ETR.

Other improved by $10 million, mainly due to gains on marketable securities, including our equity investment in MoneyGram, partly offset by increased non-controlling interest from the G4S cash acquisitions in Asia. $145 million in fourth quarter 2020 operating profit was reduced by $26 million of interest and $40 million of taxes and increased by $3 million in minority interest and other to generate $83 million of income from continuing operations. Dividing this by 50.3 million weighted average diluted shares outstanding, generated $1.64 of earnings per share, up $0.46 or plus 39% versus $1.18 in the fourth quarter 2019. Our EPS comparison was positively impacted versus 2019 by about $0.18 from gains on marketable securities and by $0.03 from the $1.1 million share repurchase in the third quarter 2020, which reduced our outstanding shares by, approximately, 2%.

To calculate fourth quarter 2020 adjusted EBITDA, starting with $83 million of income from continuing operations, we added depreciation and amortization of $44 million, interest expense and taxes of $66 million, and non-cash share-based compensation of $10 million. We then removed the $8 million in gains on marketable securities, which resulted in $194 million of adjusted EBITDA, up $39 million or plus 25% versus 2019.

Turning to slide 12. There are three charts on this slide. The chart on the left shows 2020 revenue levels versus 2019 pro forma revenue, including the G4S acquisitions. The chart in the middle shows 2019 and 2020 operating profit margin rates by quarter, and the chart on the right shows full-year OP margin rates for 2019, 2020, and the midpoint of our 2021 guidance.

Looking at the revenue chart on the left, you can see that the pandemic impact on revenue peaked in the second quarter. As Doug mentioned earlier, versus 2019 pro forma, revenue in the second quarter 2020 was only 78% of the pre-pandemic prior year. Revenue recovered to 88% in the third quarter and to 92% in the fourth quarter. Despite lockdowns in many countries that have impacted the start of 2021, the rollout of vaccines provides optimism that recovery will continue throughout this year.

The chart in the center shows that historically, each year, operating profit margins increase sequentially from the first quarter through the fourth quarter. The first quarter of each new year drops materially from the immediately preceding fourth quarter but typically increases from the first quarter of the prior year. The 500-plus bp drop from the fourth quarter 2019 to the first quarter 2020 was materially impacted by the start of the pandemic. However, the proactive global cost realignment of our business structure to address reduced revenue levels enabled us to achieve operating profit margin growth in each quarter of 2020, peaking at 14.2%.

To a lesser extent, operating profit margins benefited from several government relief programs, which have expired or will shortly. Due to historic seasonality and the lockdowns in many countries, we expect that first quarter 2021 margins will be materially lower than our fourth quarter 2020 margins. Nevertheless, the chart on the right illustrates that we expect our cost realignment leverage will drive margin expansion in 2021 and increase our full-year operating profit margin, approximately, 120 bps to 11.5%. This margin is at the revenue guidance midpoint of $4.3 billion and is in line with the midpoint of the margin range in the 2021 sensitivity model we shared during the third quarter call.

Advancing to slide 13. Our guidance for 2021 assumes a revenue range of $4.1 billion to $4.5 billion. That represents a 92% to 100% plus recovery of 2019 pro forma revenue, including the G4S cash acquisition. In constant currency, the 37% targeted midpoint operating profit growth is 32% organic with an additional 5% from the G4S cash acquisitions. We expect this growth to be partially offset by forex translation of, approximately, minus 7%. These assumptions are expected to result in reported operating profit growth of 30% to $495 million at the guidance midpoint, with a margin rate of, approximately, 11.5%. Also at the guidance midpoint, adjusted EBITDA is expected to grow 21% to $685 million with the corresponding EBITDA margin rate expected around 15.9%. A portion of this growth is expected to result from the recovery of pandemic-related revenue and the positive operating leverage from our cost realignment initiatives implemented last year. We also expect to see improvement from Strategy 1.0 Wider and Deeper and the continued rollout of Strategy 2.0 initiatives, which should begin generating operating profit in the second half of this year.

Moving to slide 14. Total cash CapEx for 2020 was $119 million, which included $101 million for operating CapEx and $18 million to purchase cash devices. We acquired another $31 million of assets under financing leases. 2020 cash CapEx exceeded our third quarter target by about $19 million. As we began to see favorable fourth quarter earnings and cash flow, we released some postponed CapEx that should improve 2021 earnings and accelerate implementation of strategic initiatives. This year, we expect cash CapEx of about $170 million, which includes, approximately, $125 million for legacy Brink's businesses, $25 million for the acquired G4S cash businesses, and $20 million for cash devices. We expect to acquire about $35 million of operating assets under financing leases. Total operating CapEx, including assets acquired under cash and financing leases, is expected to be around $185 million, which is, approximately, 4.5% of revenue.

It is important to note that these targets do not include significant amounts related to our Strategy 2.0 initiatives. When economically feasible, we expect to source the majority of 2.0 devices under operating lease arrangements. If we're unable to secure operating leases, our cash and/or financing lease CapEx target could increase.

Turning to 2020 free cash flow on slide 15. Free cash flow is comprised of adjusted EBITDA reduced by changes in working capital and cash paid for restructuring, interest, taxes, and CapEx. Our 2020 free cash flow of $206 million exceeded the high end of our third quarter target by $71 million, primarily due to higher fourth quarter EBITDA of $31 million and better working capital performance of $48 million. We expected the pandemic to materially impact our ability to collect receivables. To the contrary, our amazing team in the field actually improved DSO by one day versus prior year. Wow.

Government initiatives, primarily in the U.S. and France, benefited 2020 free cash flow by about $45 million for payroll and other taxes that were deferred to 2021 and 2022. Free cash flow excluding this benefit would have been $161 million, resulting in an EBITDA to free cash flow conversion ratio of about 28%. And as noted previously, during the third quarter 2020, we used $50 million of cash on hand to repurchase and retire, approximately, 1.1 million shares.

Let's move to slide 16. Our 2021 free cash flow target range is $175 million to $265 million, which reflects our adjusted EBITDA guidance range of $640 million to $730 million. We expect to use about $95 million of cash for working capital growth and restructuring. This includes around $35 million in 2020 deferred payroll and other taxes payable that I mentioned on the previous slide. Cash taxes should be, approximately, $95 million and cash interest about $105 million, an increase of about $27 million due primarily to a full year of debt related to the G4S acquisition. And as I discussed a few moments ago, our cash CapEx target is around $170 million, an increase of $57 million versus 2020. Our free cash flow target, excluding the payment of deferred taxes mentioned earlier, would be $210 million to $300 million, resulting in an EBITDA to free cash conversion ratio of about 33% to 41%, up from the 28% achieved in 2020.

Advancing to slide 17. The bars on this chart represent the source of our liquidity, the cash available in our business, and the capacity in our revolving credit facility. At the top of each bar, you can see that our cash and below the cash is our credit facility, both available and drawn. Below that, our debt and financial leases. The bars each represent a point in time at year-end 2019 and 2020. At the start of 2020, we had, approximately, $1.2 billion in liquidity. On April 1, we closed a $590 million expansion of our Term Loan A with our bank group, and on June 22nd, we issued $400 million in new five-year senior unsecured notes. In 2020, we used most of those proceeds to complete, approximately, 90% of the G4S acquisition and the balance, combined with our free cash flow, increased liquidity of $1.6 billion on December 31. In February, we used $115 million in cash to complete the G4S cash acquisitions in Kuwait, Macau, and Luxembourg, and reduced liquidity correspondingly.

Other than the 5% annual amortization of our Term Loan A, we have no significant debt maturities before 2024. Our variable interest rate, including the expanded Term Loan A is L plus 200. On June 9, we amended our bank agreement through February 2024 to replace the total debt leverage covenant with a secured debt leverage covenant. The 2020 max of the new covenant was 4.25 times, and our December 31, 2020, secured leverage ratio was 1.8 times. We don't anticipate approaching our covenant limits at any time in the foreseeable future. We plan to maintain our quarterly dividend and our credit rating remains strong.

Let's look at our debt and leverage on slide 18. This slide illustrates our actual net debt and financial leverage at year's end 2019 and 2020. The third bar on each side estimates our net debt and financial leverage at December 31, 2021, based on our EBITDA guidance, free cash flow target, and the recent completion of the G4S acquisitions. Our net debt at the end of 2020 was $1.9 billion. That was up over $500 million versus year-end 2019 due primarily to the debt incurred to complete the G4S acquisitions. At December 31, 2020, our total leverage ratio was 3.3 times. And as I just mentioned, our fully synergized secured leverage ratio was 1.8 times. At the end of 2021, given our free cash flow guidance and the completion of the G4S acquisitions, we're estimating a net debt range of $1.85 billion to $1.94 billion, which combined with our EBITDA guidance of $640 million to $730 million is expected to reduce leverage by 0.3 to 0.8 turns to a midpoint total leverage ratio of about 2.7 turns.

With that, I'll hand it back to Doug.

Douglas A. Pertz -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Ron. Let me turn to slide 19, which summarizes our Strategic Plan 2 or what we call SP2, which builds on our proven initiatives executed in SP1. What's new about SP2 is the addition of our Strategy 2.0, the development and introduction of digital cash management solutions through an integrated platform of services, technology, and devices, leveraging our core CIT and money processing capabilities and assets. Our original 1.0 initiatives, which are now called 1.0 Wider and Deeper or WD, which stands for wider and deeper, obviously. Originally, these initiatives were added -- which added $100 million of operating profit during our SP1 timeframe, 2017 to 2019, were heavily focused on our U.S. and Mexico improvements. We're now expanding them to 30-plus additional countries, and we're targeting another $70 million of cost reductions from our 1.0 Wider and Deeper initiatives over the 2021 and 2022 timeframe. We plan to achieve these savings through the implementation of more than 18 initiatives, such as route optimization, fleet savings, investment in high-speed money processing equipment, and many other proven initiatives globally. These initiatives supported by -- are supported by dedicated regional 1.0 Wider and Deeper Lean experts, and they will also help to drive additional operating leverage and profitability as our revenues continue to grow.

Our 1.5 initiatives include the recent addition of the G4S cash operations in 17 markets, including very desirable cash-intensive markets in Eastern Europe and in Asia. We're confident that these new markets will support continued acceleration of organic growth and provide an expanded platform of over 50 countries to drive our new strategies. We'll continue to identify and evaluate additional acquisitions that drive top and bottom line growth while enhancing free cash flow generation.

I want to point out, though, even if we did nothing more than continue to execute on Strategy 1.0 and synergies from our existing 1.5 acquisitions, we would expect to achieve close to $70 million of incremental cost savings or about 1.5% of revenue by the end of 2022, again, substantially creating value for shareholders. The top bar represents a new strategy layer that we call Brink's Strategy 2.0. It's designed to expand our presence in the global cash ecosystem by offering digital cash management and payment solutions. Internally, we see Strategy 2.0 as having the potential to transform our industry and drive enormous future value.

Turning to the next page. While Strategy 1.0 WD is about continuing to optimize and grow our core business with internal improvement initiatives, Strategy 2.0 is about combining our strengths to create new digital cash managers and solutions for retailers and financial institutions. With 2.0, we're taking our tech-enabled solutions and strength, including such things as cloud-based apps, systemwide track and trace, customer portables, and low-cost safe devices, and combining them with Brink's core assets and capabilities in cash logistics and money processing to deliver complete digital cash management solutions that provide faster access to working capital and are easier to use as our other digital cash options.

By integrating these new services with our core cash operations, we're creating a platform of truly differentiated digital cash management solutions that include four distinct strategic pillars. Our 2.1 solutions offer hassle-free tech-enabled deposit management for retailers that are easy to use with one integrated provider and is less expensive than processing, credit and other types of digital purchases. Our 2.2 solution extends digital cash management to large, big box and enterprise retailers, enabling them to automate and optimize their internal and external flow of cash from the register to the back office to the bank using Brink's as a single service provider.

With our 2.3 solutions, we provide cost-effective management of consumer-facing ATM sort of devices -- consumer-facing devices such as ATMs and other service kiosks. These are critical consumer touch points and expensive operational components for many retailers and financial institutions. By outsourcing these devices and all the related services to Brink's, customers can reduce cost, improve their experience with their customer, and most importantly, focused on the needs of their customer. Our BPCE relationship in France is a great example of a fully outsourced financial institution managed service for a complete ATM estate of, approximately, 11,000 ATMs, which will be coming online later this year. We believe the market for ATM managed services will be another important growth for Brink's in the future.

And finally, our 2.4 digital payment solution integrates our cash management offerings with retailers, others -- other payment methods to provide a unified solution for small- and medium-sized retailers. For example, companies like Square and many other digital payment processors are solely focused on processing non-cash payments with a solution -- without a solution for cash, which is in Square's case, it's estimated that about a third of their customers use cash as a form of payment in their retailers' stores. Our 2.4 solution is designed to fill this void.

Slide 21 is focused on our 2.1 and our 2.4 solutions in the strategy we just discussed. With 2.1, customers can use our mobile, cloud-based app and portal to register deposits and make change orders. They then deposit cash directly into one of our tech-enabled in-store devices, reducing the time, cost, and risk related to walking deposits to the bank or interacting with an armored car employee. Brink's provides advanced credit on cash deposits with the next day -- the next day regardless of who the retailers' banking partner is and allowing customers to access cash quickly, just like debit and credit cards.

Because Brink's monitors the retailers -- the retail customers' devices in real time, we can plan fewer trips to the store to empty that device without disrupting the store or the employees and their customers. All of these services are included in a single monthly subscription. To date, we've launched 2.1 solutions in four countries and sold about 3,200 subscriptions. While rollout has been slower by the -- slowed by the pandemic, the initial feedback from customers has been very positive. In the U.S., over 550 customers are using our 2.1 service, including seven Target retailers that have large store networks and are currently either under-vended or completely unvended.

These are strategic account targets that have been historically underserved by the industry, walking their deposits to the bank at great risk. These accounts also typically deposit their cash at several different banks around their network, a huge source of labor cost and potentially bank fees. With 2.1, we can ensure that all deposits are settled in the customers' bank of choice. On the lower portion of the slide, we show Strategy 2.4, which will take our 2.1 digital cash management solution to the next level by integrating our cash management services with existing debit and credit solutions to provide a seamless experience for retailers from receipt to settlement to reconciliation and billing. 2.4 will offer a single solution that handles all forms of payments with full visibility and transparency of cash movement from a single provider. With 2.4 and 2.1, retailers can finally make cash as easy and convenient as credit cards and debit cards.

I'll now close with slide 22. Even during a global pandemic, we managed in 2020 to essentially preserve our pre-pandemic levels of operating profit, EBITDA, and margin rates, while also accelerating our profitability, as demonstrated in the fourth quarter for stronger post-pandemic results, and we expect substantial improvement in 2021 with strong increases in revenue, operating profit margins, EBITDA, and EPS. And remember, our guidance only includes minimal benefits related to our Strategy 2.0 initiatives, while including the cost of development and rollout.

In summary, I'm now more confident than ever that Brink's will emerge from the current crisis as a stronger company with substantial core cash business and profit growth opportunities plus new strategic opportunities as well. This confidence is supported by a proven global management team, a strong balance sheet, ample liquidity, our expected global -- our expanded global footprint, our realigned cost structure, and a compelling strategic plan to expand our presence in the cash ecosystem with digital solutions.

With that, I'll now turn it back to Drew and open up for questions.

Questions and Answers:


[Operator Instructions] The first question comes from Tobey Sommer of Truist Securities. Please go ahead.

Tobey Sommer -- Truist Securities, Inc. -- Analyst

Thank you. I was wondering if you could give us some color on progress in Brink's Completes? And maybe as part of your answer, could you delineate it between new customers and potential migrations from the CompuSafe toward the Brink's Complete? Thank you.

Douglas A. Pertz -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Tobey, and good morning. Thanks for your question. As we laid out, you can see that there's a substantial number of customers over 500, 550, I think we said on the chart, and that as well as a target number of pilot customers or customers that are these large opportunity customers. Our strategy is to go after both existing CIT customers and convert to what we think is better value for them and, frankly, for us down the road as well as we've suggested with the benefits. And that's why you see such a high number of customers.

In other words, we think 500-plus customers, 550 customers is a fair number of customers, which means it's converting existing customers over. So one of our targets is to convert CIT, and the second big focus is to be able to prove to, with pilots, customers that either are relatively unvended, in other words, only have a small portion of their total cash management needs serviced today by us or the industry or totally unvended and walk everything to the bank -- their cash to the bank. And that's represented by those seven-plus large strategic accounts that, in general, have more than 1,000-plus locations each and are now in the process of just starting to roll out test cases with them.

So that's our real focus. And as I said, it's been slowed a little bit by the pandemic, which is unfortunate, but we're now starting to see the focus on both of those things that we think will give us a base going forward.

Tobey Sommer -- Truist Securities, Inc. -- Analyst

And as a follow-up, if could I ask, how the development is internally of the appropriate sales channels that you feel you will need to sell the product into new and existing customers? Thanks.

Douglas A. Pertz -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, that's where part of the difference is between 2.1 and 2.4. 2.1 is primarily selling it through existing sales channels. In other words, the way that we go to market today is our 2.1 Brink's Complete strategy. We'll be looking at expanding those as part of the 2.4 strategy, expanding those go-to-market strategies and, therefore, the channels as part of our next level of rolling that out. Our biggest and our first focus has been to, again, go to existing CIT customers, existing customers that we service or are serviced by our competition today as well as the underserved targets that we are focusing on. So you'll see more of that, Tobey, as we go throughout the latter part of this year, and we've given a glimpse of that with the 2.4.

Tobey Sommer -- Truist Securities, Inc. -- Analyst

Appreciate it.

Douglas A. Pertz -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Tobey


The next question comes from Sam England of Berenberg. Please go ahead.

Sam England -- Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co. KG -- Analyst

Hi, guys. Thanks for taking the questions. And the first one, you're guiding toward another sort of 100 basis points or so improvement in the operating margin in 2021. I just wondered how much of that is expected to be driven by operating leverage on revenue recovery versus some further restructuring and cost saving.

Douglas A. Pertz -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, if you take a look, Sam, at our guidance and the range of the revenue, you can see that our margin percentage at the various revenue levels goes up, right. And that's really the leverage. So at the lower end of the range, we're talking about 10.6% or so. At the midpoint, we're talking -- I'm sorry, at 11%, excuse me, and at the midpoint, 11.5%. So you can see the leverage as it goes back up. When you get to, approximately, just a little over 100% of 2019, we're talking about a 12%-plus margin. And that's what the 150 basis points, 140-plus basis points higher than the 2019 base.

So it's a combination of both improved margin -- step-change improvement in the margin percentage along the curve plus the L or the leverage on top of that. So we expect both. Not all revenue recovery is the same. FX will not present, if it's a recovery just because of FX rate changes, which -- this is a constant currency guidance, that's not the same as organic. Organic flow-through gives us the best improvement in leverage in margins. So we expect both, and that's where we are showing it in our numbers. Be glad to talk a bit more about that in detail.

Sam England -- Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co. KG -- Analyst

Okay, great. Thanks. And then one sort of longer-term question as well. Can you talk a bit about the opportunity to roll out the strategy initiatives across the acquired G4S businesses now that you've had a bit of a better chance to take a closer look at those acquisitions? And are there any surprises arising from now you've completed those deals and had a better look at the businesses?

Douglas A. Pertz -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. I think, Tobey, there's -- we've been -- excuse me, Sam, we've been pleasantly surprised about the strength of the management teams, the desire to be focused primarily on the cash business, which we clearly are, and the excitement around that in helping develop strategies that will be helping to roll out our new strategies and provide a better solution for customers going forward. So I think we've got a great platform. The addition of 14 new locations -- new markets, 17 in total, but we had some overlap in those on top of those that we already had, means that there's 50-plus new markets that we can roll this out as we start gaining steam in terms of that rollout process.

So I think it's very good. And I think what you saw during this year, even during the pandemic, that the G4S management team similar to the, if you will, legacy Brink's teams, were very focused on our key priorities. The primary one of those was obviously making sure that our employees are safe and healthy. But our third priority was to assure that we were stronger on the other side through the restructurings, the sustainable fixed cost reductions, which gave us a very strong third and fourth quarter. Fourth quarter results are a good example of that. And it was very encouraging to see the G4S teams really jump on board that as well, willing to do restructurings, willing to assure that we're focused for that in the future, and that bodes well for a combined business. It's not going to be a G4S or Brink's in the future. It's going to be combined very strong.

Sam England -- Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co. KG -- Analyst

Okay, great. Thanks very much, guys. I'll hop back.

Douglas A. Pertz -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Sam. Yeah.


[Operator Instructions] The next question comes from Jeff Kessler of Imperial Capital. Please go ahead.

Jeffrey Kessler -- Imperial Capital LLC -- Analyst

Thank you, and congrats on the quarter and also the guidance looks good. The increase -- the recently increasing prices in diamonds and silver, I'm wondering if that has had any effect yet on your high-end worldwide global business?

Douglas A. Pertz -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, Jeff, I don't really know precisely about whether we can tie it to that. But I think what we will see this year, the depressed business or the lower business that we saw, particularly in the diamond jewelry business on a global basis during the pandemic has started to come back, and I think will come back pretty nicely in 2021 and especially in the second half of next year. We saw a very strong business in certain key precious metals, particularly gold, last year that will continue, we think, at least for the first part of this year, depending on where the ups and downs of the business are. So that should be good.

We think that actually, the shipment of cash slowed down some last year externally outside of the U.S. As we reported, there's significant increase in cash in circulation in the U.S., but actually shipments externally outside the U.S. internationally were down some. We think that will start to pick up yet again as well. So I think there's going to be a combination of things. And I think what you're seeing and suggesting that's one indication that our diamond and jewelry and part of the other precious metals business other than just gold will continue to pick up this year, and we'll see, I think, strong improvement in demand in those portions of our BGS business and our combined now [Phonetic] business that is a very strong global business.

Jeffrey Kessler -- Imperial Capital LLC -- Analyst

Okay. Secondly, it's interesting that you're looking at your competition, who did not have as good a fourth quarter performance as you, nor have talked about 2021 in as bright a terms as you. And looking out at what they might want to get their hands on, they've announced either this morning or yesterday afternoon, basically, the closing of the election, so to speak, of the G4S acquisition by Allied Universal. And Allied Universal is primarily a -- it's a guard and somewhat of -- with some electronic security attached to it, but it has no real DNA in cash management. That cash management business or cash recycling business is still there. I'm not saying that you're going -- you should go out and get it. But obviously, you may have some competition who would want that business. Or have you thought about strategically what you would want to do or would not -- or would not want to do as they begin to integrate -- they begin to -- Allied begins to integrate that the G4S business into their own business?

Douglas A. Pertz -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, I think, Jeff, a couple things on that. We actually didn't say anything in our prepared remarks or in our script or on our slides about competition. So I'm not sure we were comparing -- those are your comparisons.

Jeffrey Kessler -- Imperial Capital LLC -- Analyst

Those are all -- that's me.

Douglas A. Pertz -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Okay. So I just want to be clear on that. We're not comparing what we're doing or how we're going. We are very comfortable and excited about the future based on the cost reductions we've made. And we do think we had a great third quarter, fourth quarter, and that fourth quarter gives us the basis for a step change in our cost structure that we think is sustainable going forward. And we think on top of that, we'll continue to improve, like we said in our Wider and Deeper with additional cost reductions going forward on top of that. And we'll continue to get the leverage, as we talked about earlier with Sam and the other question, with leverage as revenue recovers to the 2019 levels and beyond.

Now with that said, part of our 2.0 strategy layering on top of this that heavily is not in our numbers is around some of the things that you're now talking about. We have a plan part of what we call 2.2 is related to recyclers and the larger how do we manage the complete managed services solution for enterprisewide customers that have a lot of cash going through big-box stores and so forth. And so that is part of our strategy. We're going to be looking at both organic and external ways to do that as we always do. There are several pieces that are left in the G4S group that are cash related, including the U.K. cash business, South African cash business, as well as the retail cash solutions business in the U.S. And we'll be taking a look at that and seeing what the -- what might be appropriate if something becomes available. But we certainly have a strategy on that, which is part of our 2.0, and we're going to continue to drive that just as we're doing with our 2.3 strategy as well.

Jeffrey Kessler -- Imperial Capital LLC -- Analyst

All right, great. Thank you very much.

Douglas A. Pertz -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you. Thanks, Jeff.


[Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 61 minutes

Call participants:

Ed Cunningham -- Vice President, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications

Douglas A. Pertz -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Ronald J. Domanico -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Tobey Sommer -- Truist Securities, Inc. -- Analyst

Sam England -- Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co. KG -- Analyst

Jeffrey Kessler -- Imperial Capital LLC -- Analyst

More BCO analysis

All earnings call transcripts

AlphaStreet Logo

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

The Brink's Company Stock Quote
The Brink's Company
$59.01 (2.84%) $1.63

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 06/25/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.