Canadian Manufacturing

WSP Global CEO to sell one-third of shares

Pierre Shoiry sold the shares for "financial diversification and estate planning"

MONTREAL—WSP Global says its chief executive plans to sell one-third of his holdings in the engineering consulting company as its shares hover around an all-time high.

Pierre Shoiry, who owns 901,812 shares in the Montreal-based firm, plans to sell a portion over the next year for “financial diversification and estate planning purposes.”

His shares were worth more than $40 million at Aug. 5’s closing trading price of $44.47.

WSP also announced that its net profit attributable to shareholders surged to $95.4 million in the second quarter of its fiscal year, up from $24.3 million a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, adjusted profits for the period ended June 27 reached $45.8 million or 51 cents per diluted share, compared to $26.3 million or 43 cents per share in the prior year.

Net revenues more than doubled to $1.089 billion from $513.1 million.

WSP was expected to earn 47 cents per share in adjusted profits on $1.091 billion of revenues, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

The results were largely aided by acquisitions, with weakness in Western Canada partially offset by growth in Ontario and Quebec.

Growth from its existing operations in Canada was down 6.1 per cent in the quarter, despite an eight per cent increase in Central Canada.

Shoiry told analysts he expects the company will continue to suffer over the coming quarters amid ongoing weak conditions in Canada’s oil and gas sector.

“I think it could decline some more until we get a trough in Western Canada and I don’t think that we’re quite there yet but hopefully other sectors in other geographies will be able to compensate,” he said during a conference call with analysts and investors.

Despite the uncertain economic environment and challenges in Western Canada, analyst Maxim Sytchev of Dundee Securities said WSP is one of the few Canadian industrial companies that is shielded by 79 per cent of its revenues being generated internationally and only 10 per cent in energy and mining.

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