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Welbilt, inc (WBT)
Q2 2021 Earnings Call
Aug 3, 2021, 10:00 a.m. ET


  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:


Good day, and thank you for standing by, and welcome to the Welbilt, Inc. 2021 Q2 Earnings Call. [Operator Instructions]

I would now like to hand the conference over to your speaker today, Richard Sheffer. Please go ahead.

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Richard Sheffer -- Vice President of Investor Relations and Risk Management and Treasurer

Good morning, and welcome to Welbilt's 2021 Second Quarter Earnings Call and Webcast. Joining me on the call today is Bill Johnson, our President and Chief Executive Officer; and Marty Agard, our Chief Financial Officer. Before we begin our discussion, please refer to our safe harbor statement on slide two of the presentation slides and in our earnings release, both of which can be found in the Investor Relations section of our website, www.welbilt.com. Any statements in this call regarding our business that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements and our future results could differ materially from any expressed or implied projections or forward-looking statements made today.

Our actual results may be affected by many important factors, including risks and uncertainties identified in our press release and in our SEC filings. We do not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement whether as a result of new information, future events or other circumstances. Today's presentation and discussion will include both GAAP and non-GAAP measures. Please refer to our earnings release for our non-GAAP reconciliations and other important information regarding the use of non-GAAP financial measures. Please note that we will only be providing prepared comments on today's call and will not be conducting a question-and-answer session.

Now I'd like to turn the call over to Bill.

William C. Johnson -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Rick, and good morning. I will start with simply saying I'm excited about the pending Ali Group transaction. But beyond that, we won't address it today as we continue to run our businesses independently. Beginning on slide three of our presentation, our net sales increased 92% year-over-year in the second quarter with organic net sales increasing 85.8%. And we have now lapped the most disruptive quarter during the pandemic. While it is exciting to be talking to you about growth, it's important to note that our sales are still behind the prepandemic levels of 2019. With sales growing year-over-year, we delivered an adjusted operating EBITDA margin of 18.6%, which is a 900 basis point increase from last year's second quarter. Adjusted diluted net earnings per share was $0.22 compared to a loss of $0.07 in last year's second quarter. Along with the increased margin and earnings per share, our second quarter free cash flow was $31.9 million, making us free cash flow positive year-to-date. On slide four, sales in the Americas increased 87.4% in the quarter from the prior year with organic net sales increasing 85.3%. Volumes are recovering in the Americas but aren't back to prepandemic levels yet when you compare 2021 to 2019. Americas are also benefiting more from a strong pricing environment than either EMEA or APAC. Sales to QSRs increased year-over-year in the second quarter driven primarily by an increase in nonrepeating large chain rollout sales.

We saw rollouts across our ovens, grills and hot holding cabinets with multiple chain operators. In the general market, sales to dealers and buying groups increased in the quarter across most of our brands. Finally, KitchenCare aftermarket sales increased again this quarter as more professional kitchens are open and equipment utilization is increasing, driving demand for service. Looking at EMEA on slide five. Sales increased 134.1% with organic net sales up 110.9%. In total dollars, EMEA surpassed 2019 but that was, in a large part, due to the significant foreign currency tailwind. Actual volumes still has to improve more before the region has fully recovered. However, we are pleased to see EMEA take a step forward with reopening many more professional kitchens this quarter. Large chain sales increased in the region as these operators are beginning to invest and they execute their expansion plans. General market grew as local dine-out restrictions ease, allowing more restaurants to reopen, which spurred new equipment sales with these operators. The easing of these restrictions also helped drive KitchenCare aftermarket sales growth during the quarter. On slide six, sales in APAC increased 64.6% with organic net sales up 57.9%. Sales growth was led by China and Australia again this quarter as those countries were fully recovered from the pandemic. More encouraging was that Southeast Asia returned to growth in the quarter with only one country, Thailand, still down year-over-year. While improved, Southeast Asia remains weaker than the rest of the region and is continuing to dampen our overall growth in APAC.

Moving to slide seven. The progress we have made on our transformation program once again positively impacted our results this quarter. We delivered a little over $3 million of in-period savings in the second quarter, all from productivity improvement, which is a $13-million run rate. Absent material cost inflation, we would have delivered in-period savings of approximately $7.5 million and increased our run rate to approximately $30 million, so we can still see the program's progress. Looking at various initiatives, our procurement team has implemented many new agreements with current and new suppliers and has continued to work on implementing their remaining opportunities presented by RFQ responses, most of which are now going through the product qualification and testing process. We continue to see savings from our procurement activities ramp up in the quarter, but when netted against commodity inflation, we ended up with a material cost headwind in the quarter. We're continuing to develop our own site-led value analysis, value engineering or VAVE initiatives. The RFQ process didn't provide the right solution for our businesses. These VAVE initiatives have identified additional savings opportunities to supplement the RFQ process. Due to the ongoing supply chain disruption that we have been experiencing in the last couple of quarters, we've had to rebalance some of our resources from these procurement initiatives to help in the search for new suppliers for critical composites and, in some cases, help our suppliers find sources for components they need to manufacture their parts for us. Shifted resources combined with inflationary pressures are extending the time lines for us to achieve the original savings target, but we remain confident that we will complete our procurement activities and deliver these savings. Until we see these inflationary pressures begin to abate, we remain committed to offsetting these pressures.

The savings we are now generating and through the price increases that we implemented earlier in the year, we'll implement over the remainder of 2021. We have continued to make progress at the seven North American manufacturing plants that are currently part of the transformation program and have seen productivity gains emerge in not only these sites but in most of our sites globally as we are deploying our lessons learned broadly to accelerate improvements. Some of these productivity gains have been substantial despite dealing with lower volumes and inconsistent production shifts that work against us in some facilities. These productivity gains have led to leaner operations and a smaller workforce, while recent volume improvements have resulted in our rehiring of some production staff and anticipate remaining below prior headcount levels and we continue to increase our productivity levels. We've taken delivery in the fall of some new fabrication equipment and these investments will contribute more as they are fully integrated. We are working on two additional plant consolidations currently.

One is in Shreveport, Louisiana, where we have two plants that support our Frymaster and Merco businesses. We're in the process of consolidating one of those plants into the other one but have delayed the final closing into next year so we can meet our current high demand. We've also initiated the consolidation of a manufacturing plant in the EMEA region and expect to complete this by the end of 2021. With our current supply chain challenges and rebalancing of resources, we now expect to complete all the planned execution actions that will drive the transformation savings in 2022. Incremental spending on the program has largely concluded, and we now expect the full transformation program expenses to be less than $75 million. Since we've already incurred $71 million of these costs, there should only be small additional cost over the balance of the program.

With that, I'll turn the call over to Marty.

Martin D. Agard -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Bill, and good morning, everyone. I'm going to start with slide eight and the discussion of our adjusted operating EBITDA margin results. The broad game here is we are pleased to see our executional progress being able to widely cover the gradually changing pandemic-related volume headwinds and more recent commodity and logistics inflationary headwinds. At 18.6% EBITDA margin, we are 900 basis points ahead of Q2 last year and 290 basis points ahead sequentially of this year's first quarter. This progress is not just from procurement or productivity elements of our transformation program, although they certainly contribute, but broadly, our execution on pricing, warranted improvement, SG&A reductions and more. So we recognize that we're not where we want to be yet and remain resolute in driving additional margin improvement. So working from slide eight specifically, volume would be measured at the gross profit level and is netted against the impact of net pricing, drove an increase of 1,200 basis points in the second quarter. This reflects the 86% increase in organic sales versus prior year, enhanced by positive net pricing as we had a partial quarter benefit from the general market list price increase that went into effect at the end of the first quarter along with the KitchenCare aftermarket and regional price increases that went into effect earlier in the first quarter. We implemented additional price increases later in the second quarter on a few brands and more already in the third quarter on additional brands that will provide increasing offsets to the inflationary pressure we saw as we move through the second half of 2021. Material costs, including tariffs, were a 150 basis point margin headwind this quarter compared to the prior year.

This is a reflection of the inflationary pressures from rising commodity, which is component and logistics cost we included in the quarter and some delayed impact from the earlier inflation that came off the balance sheet and through the P&L. These inflationary impacts more than offset the savings we delivered from our transformation program and procurement activities. We expect these inflationary headwinds to be present and likely move this into the next few quarters. But despite that, we believe that the positive impact from rising production volumes, our transformation program efforts and our recent price increases will be effective in expanding our margins over the balance of 2021. Other manufacturing expenses, mainly labor, overhead and warranty, were a 340 basis point positive contributor to margin this quarter. The productivity improvements we've made in our plants provided real operating leverage as production volumes improved broadly across our business this quarter. We've worked to minimize the headcount brought back into our plants and are holding on to the productivity gains we have made. We're expanding the transformation program related to labor strategies across our plants in 2021, expect volume and supply chain headwinds to ease over time, still expect gains from recent and pending equipment upgrades, and we are executing the two facility consolidations Bill mentioned.

The organization is focused on clear initiatives toward our margin goal, and we are encouraged by the organization's continued interest. SG&A on an adjusted basis was a 530 basis point headwind this quarter. Like our actions within the manufacturing footprint over a year ago, we also took aggressive action to contain SG&A spending as the pandemic impacts emerged in March 2020. Many of those actions are continuing to contribute as SG&A categories were flat and will increase well below the growth rate we had in sales this quarter. The primary drivers of the higher SG&A costs this quarter were compensation expense and commissions, reflecting both the higher incentives being earned this year and the nonrecurrence of some of the measures taken in last year's second quarter in response to the impact from the pandemic. As a reminder, if you're reading the face of the income statement, SG&A includes the transformation program investments and transaction costs that are excluded from our adjusted operating EBITDA. You can track the specifics through the non-GAAP reconciliation schedules in our earnings release. Finally, the weaker dollar provided a larger-than-normal benefit to our margin this quarter. Moving to slide nine. Free cash flow was a positive $32 million source of cash in the quarter. As a reminder, our free cash flow is seasonal with the fourth quarter impacted by our paying customer rebates and annual incentive compensation, building an inventory and just seasonally lower volumes. Our performance in this year's second quarter brings us to positive free cash flow generation year-to-date and marks the first time in several years that we have been year-to-date free cash flow positive in the first half.

Working capital was the use of cash in the quarter with higher receivables at quarter end due to sales growth and an increase in inventory as we are securing incremental supply of critical components to minimize supply disruption. For the quarter, capital spending was $5.2 million, roughly flat with last year's Q2. We continue to expect capex in 2021 to be more similar to 2019 spending levels with investments planned for equipment upgrades, facility investments, new product innovation and IT initiatives. Moving on to liquidity, which we define as cash and short-term investments plus availability on our revolver. We ended the second quarter with $392 million of total liquidity, an increase of approximately $39 million from Q1 and well ahead of where we were at the end of Q2 2019 and 2020. In summary, we are very pleased with our free cash flow and liquidity performance. Cash and cash equivalents plus restricted cash increased by $14 million during the quarter while our overall debt balance decreased by $25 million, which combine to account for the $39 million increase in liquidity this quarter. We are well within the limits of our leverage ratio covenant that came back in effect at the end of Q2. We needed to be less than 7.75 times levered at quarter end as measured by our credit agreement definitions.

And you can see on the slide, we finished the quarter at 5.2 times. We expect this metric to continue to improve and quickly during the second half of 2021 as our EBITDA increases versus last year, and we generate positive free cash flow. We expect to be in compliance with our covenants with sufficient headwind through 2021. Finally, I'll offer a few updated thoughts on 2021. First, we are reiterating the 2021 net sales and adjusted operating EBITDA forecast that we issued in a Form 8-K in early July. We continue to believe that 2021 will show double-digit full year growth compared to 2020 but that we won't be back to 2019 or prepandemic levels in 2021. With regards to our EBITDA margin, we expect to deliver meaningful expansion from 2020 and believe our 2021 full year margin will be in line with 2019. We expect continued inflationary pressures to be increasingly offset by the price increases we implemented in Q1 and the additional increases we've implemented recently to ensure we come out ahead in the coming quarters in the balancing of pricing and inflation. We are confident the transformation program is on track to deliver our market objectives in the quarters ahead when both our transformation actions are mature and the market has recovered. That concludes my comments. As Rich mentioned at the beginning of the call, we will not be conducting a question-and-answer session today.

With that, I'll turn the call back over to Bill for his closing remarks.

William C. Johnson -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Marty. Before we end today's call, I want to reiterate my continued belief that Welbilt is a stronger company that is structurally leaner and more efficient than we were at the beginning of the pandemic or when we began our transformation program in May 2019. We will continue to focus on opportunities where we can use our innovation and digital leadership to help our customers succeed and grow. We will continue to leverage our culture of innovation and customer service to win the battle for brand preference. We will deliver improved margins and much improved free cash flow as we increasingly overcome inflationary pressures that have limited our visible improvement this year.

This concludes today's 2021 second earnings call. Thanks again for joining us this morning, and have a great day.


[Operator Closing Remarks]

Questions and Answers:

Duration: 18 minutes

Call participants:

Richard Sheffer -- Vice President of Investor Relations and Risk Management and Treasurer

William C. Johnson -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Martin D. Agard -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

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