It gives me great pleasure to report on SNC-Lavalin’s continued upward momentum throughout 2016. The best evidence of this momentum is the company’s improved financial and operational performance. We clearly have the right management team executing the right strategy, actively overseen by a renewed and energized Board of Directors.
Last year, clients once again selected us to deliver large-scale mandates worldwide. We continued to earn their trust by successfully completing multi-year milestone projects. We also divested non-core assets to concentrate on promising areas in line with our business strategy and competitive differentiators.
Our commitment to being an exemplary corporate citizen and global Canadian champion with a world-class ethics and compliance performance is unwavering. In addition to promptly dismissing all individuals implicated in past issues, we’ve placed a new leader in every position on the Executive Committee team over the last four years.
In 2016, we also took steps to reach a comprehensive, final and fair settlement at the Canadian and Quebec levels. At a time when other countries are assisting their national champions in competing at home and abroad, we encourage Canada to help level the international playing field for its own champions. This means adopting mechanisms used in other countries to allow companies that fuel national economies to continue winning at home and globally while they resolve past issues.
Your Board applauds and embraces SNC-Lavalin’s new Diversity & Inclusion Program. We welcomed Catherine J. Hughes, former Executive Vice-President at Nexen Inc., to the Board in November 2016. Three exceptional individuals will also stand for election at this year’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders. They are: Benita M. Warmbold, retiring Senior Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer at Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB); Isabelle Courville, Chair of the Laurentian Bank of Canada; and The Honorable Kevin G. Lynch, P.C., O.C., Ph.D., LL.D., a distinguished former Government of Canada public servant and current Vice-Chair of BMO Financial Group.
These nominations bring the percentage of female corporate directors to 25%, enabling us to already surpass our 2018 gender diversity target of 20%. After 18 years on the Board, I plan to step down as Chairman at the end of 2017. When I do, the average tenure of directors will be 2.4 years. Only six of the top 100 Canadian companies have average tenures of three years or less1. These changes add fresh energy, knowledge and perspectives to your Board.
I would like to thank our two outgoing directors Chakib Sbiti and Patricia A. Hammick for their tireless commitment and valuable contributions over the past four and ten years respectively.
As Chairman, I am delighted to be part of this Canadian icon that, for decades, has consistently competed globally. When I joined the Board in 1999, SNC-Lavalin’s revenues were $1.3 billion and the stock price was just under $4. Now our revenues are $8.5 billion and the stock price is approximately $55. SNC-Lavalin was then, and still is today, one of Canada’s outstanding international competitors. I am proud that customers, employees, shareholders and communities alike continue to benefit from this resilient company’s solid performance.
1 Canadian Spencer Stuart Board Index 2016
Lawrence N. Stevenson
Chairman of the Board