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| Press Release

Colliers International reports strong fourth quarter and full year results

Operating highlights:

  Three months ended Twelve months ended
  December 31 December 31
(in millions of US$, except EPS)2017 2016 2017 2016
             
Revenues$734.2 $576.0 $2,275.4 $1,896.7
Adjusted EBITDA (note 1) 101.1  90.4  242.3  203.1
Adjusted EPS (note 2) 1.41  1.22  3.11  2.44
             
GAAP operating earnings 84.0  76.1  166.8  146.2
GAAP EPS 0.86  1.14  1.25  1.75
            

TORONTO, Feb. 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Colliers International Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CIGI) (TSX:CIGI) today announced fourth quarter and full year operating and financial results for the year ended December 31, 2017. All amounts are in US dollars.

For the quarter ended December 31, 2017, revenues were $734.2 million, a 27% increase (25% in local currency) relative to the comparable prior year period, adjusted EBITDA (note 1) was $101.1 million, up 12% (10% in local currency) and adjusted EPS (note 2) was $1.41, up 16% versus the prior year period. Fourth quarter adjusted EPS would have been approximately $0.03 lower excluding foreign exchange impacts. GAAP operating earnings were $84.0 million, relative to $76.1 million in the prior year period. GAAP EPS was $0.86 per share, relative to $1.14 per share in the prior year period, and included a one-time charge of $13.3 million ($0.34 per share) to re-measure US deferred income tax assets at lower corporate tax rates upon the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in the United States. Fourth quarter GAAP EPS would have been approximately $0.03 lower excluding changes in foreign exchange rates.

For the year ended December 31, 2017, revenues were $2.28 billion, a 20% increase (19% in local currency) relative to the comparable prior year period, adjusted EBITDA was $242.3 million, up 19% (18% in local currency) and adjusted EPS was $3.11, up 27% versus the prior year period. Full year adjusted EPS would have been approximately $0.03 lower excluding foreign exchange impacts. GAAP operating earnings were $166.8 million, relative to $146.2 million in the prior year period. GAAP EPS was $1.25 per share, compared to $1.75 per share in the prior year, with the current year impacted by (i) a significant increase in the non-controlling interest redemption increment related to the quarterly non-cash balance sheet revaluation of non-controlling interests and (ii) the re-measurement of US deferred income tax assets as noted above. Full year GAAP EPS would have been approximately $0.03 lower excluding changes in foreign exchange rates.

“Colliers generated strong results for the fourth quarter and full year across our all major markets through a combination of acquisitions and solid internal growth,” said Jay S. Hennick, Chairman and CEO of Colliers International. “Client demand and skilful execution drove revenues to record levels, while our leadership team continued to successfully expand and diversify our global platform. With a strong balance sheet providing ample capacity to fund our continued growth, prudent investments in technology to add value to clients and better enable our professionals to execute, a significant acquisition in the Nordics to start the year and a stable outlook for 2018, we remain on-track to achieving our ambitious five-year growth plan to double our size by the year 2020,” he concluded.

About Colliers International Group Inc.
Colliers International Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CIGI) (TSX:CIGI) is an industry-leading real estate services company with a global brand operating in 69 countries and a workforce of more than 12,000 skilled professionals serving clients in the world’s most important markets. Colliers is the fastest-growing publicly listed global real estate services company, with 2017 corporate revenues of $2.3 billion ($2.7 billion including affiliates). With an enterprising culture and significant employee ownership and control, Colliers professionals provide a full range of services to real estate occupiers, owners and investors worldwide. Services include strategic advice and execution for property sales, leasing and finance; global corporate solutions; property, facility and project management; workplace solutions; appraisal, valuation and tax consulting; customized research; and thought leadership consulting.

Colliers professionals think differently, share great ideas and offer thoughtful and innovative advice that help clients accelerate their success. Colliers has been ranked among the top 100 global outsourcing firms by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals for 12 consecutive years, more than any other real estate services firm. Colliers has also been ranked the number one property manager in the world by Commercial Property Executive for two years in a row.

For the latest news from Colliers, visit Colliers.com or follow us on Twitter: @Colliers and LinkedIn.

Consolidated Revenues

   Three months ended   Twelve months ended  
 (in thousands of US$) December 31GrowthGrowth December 31GrowthGrowth
 (LC = local currency) 2017 2016in US$ %in LC % 2017 2016in US$ %in LC %
                  
 Outsourcing & Advisory$234,852 $198,00719%15% $793,650 $717,85711%10%
 Lease Brokerage 256,592  191,69034%32%  755,851  604,33925%24%
 Sales Brokerage 242,802  186,33130%28%  725,861  574,52826%25%
                  
 Total revenues $734,246 $576,02827%25% $2,275,362 $1,896,72420%19%
                      

Consolidated revenues for the fourth quarter grew 25% on a local currency basis, with all service lines contributing to growth. Consolidated internal revenues measured in local currencies were up 13% (note 3), led by very strong Lease Brokerage activity in the Americas region and a significant rebound in Sales Brokerage revenues in the EMEA region relative to unusually low activity levels in the prior year quarter in the aftermath of the June 2016 “Brexit” vote.

For the year ended December 31, 2017, consolidated revenues grew 19% on a local currency basis, led by strong growth in both Lease Brokerage and Sales Brokerage, predominately in the Americas. Internal revenue growth in local currencies was 7%, with the balance from acquisitions completed during the past year.

Segmented Fourth Quarter Results
Americas region revenues totalled $402.8 million for the fourth quarter compared to $291.3 million in the prior year quarter, which represented a 37% increase on a local currency basis. Recent acquisitions contributed 21% to growth and internal growth in local currencies was 16%. Internal growth was generated from very strong Lease Brokerage activity, particularly in the US. Adjusted EBITDA was $40.0 million, versus $34.1 million the prior year quarter, with margin impacted by (i) ongoing investments in people to strengthen operations and add service line capabilities and (ii) greater contribution to revenues from lower margin operations in the US. GAAP operating earnings were $33.7 million, relative to $29.4 million in the prior year quarter.

EMEA region revenues totalled $183.8 million for the fourth quarter compared to $152.2 million in the prior year quarter, which equated to a 15% increase on a local currency basis. Internal growth was 11%, while acquisitions contributed 4% growth. Internal growth was driven by Sales Brokerage activity during the quarter, particularly in the UK. Adjusted EBITDA was $37.2 million, up 7% from $34.9 million, with margin impacted by additional investment in people and performance-based incentive compensation. GAAP operating earnings were $31.1 million, up from $28.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Asia Pacific region revenues totalled $147.0 million for the fourth quarter compared to $132.2 million in the prior year quarter, which represented a 9% increase on a local currency basis. Internal revenue growth was 8% and a recent acquisition contributed 1%. Adjusted EBITDA was $28.7 million, up 17% from $24.5 million. GAAP operating earnings were $26.8 million, up from $22.9 million in the prior year quarter.

Global corporate costs as reported in Adjusted EBITDA were $4.8 million in the fourth quarter, relative to $3.1 million in the prior year period, with the increase attributable to higher performance-based management incentive compensation accruals. The GAAP operating loss was $7.6 million, relative to $5.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Segmented Full Year Results
The Americas region’s revenues totalled $1.31 billion for the full year compared to $1.02 billion in the prior year, which equated to a 28% increase on a local currency basis. Revenue growth was comprised of 20% growth from acquisitions and 8% internal growth. Internal growth for the year was evenly weighted among all three services lines. Adjusted EBITDA was $122.5 million, up 15% from $106.7 million in the prior year, with the growth rate impacted by (i) investments in people to strengthen operations and add service line capabilities as well as (ii) greater revenue contribution from lower margin operations in the US. GAAP operating earnings were $86.7 million, versus $85.3 million in 2016, with growth largely offset by acquisition-related items and amortization of intangible assets related to recent acquisitions.

EMEA region revenues totalled $521.3 million for the year compared to $474.9 million in the prior year, which equated to a 9% increase on a local currency basis. Revenue growth was comprised of 6% from acquisitions and 3% internal growth. Internal growth was concentrated in Sales Brokerage, primarily in the UK. Adjusted EBITDA was $69.4 million, versus $55.9 million in the prior year, an increase of 24%. GAAP operating earnings were $47.9 million, up from $34.3 million in 2016.

Asia Pacific region revenues totalled $441.5 million for the year compared to $399.4 million in the prior year, which equated to a 9% increase on a local currency basis, almost entirely from internal growth across all three service lines. Adjusted EBITDA was $62.0 million, up from $51.4 million in the prior year, an increase of 20%. GAAP operating earnings were $55.7 million, up from $45.6 million in the prior year.

Global corporate costs as reported in Adjusted EBITDA were $11.6 million for the year, versus $11.0 million in the prior year, with the increase attributable to higher performance-based compensation accruals. The GAAP operating loss for the year was $23.5 million versus a loss of $19.0 million in 2016, with the current year’s result impacted by acquisition-related items and restructuring costs.

Impact of US Tax Reform
On December 22, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was enacted in the United States (“US Tax Reform”), lowering US corporate income tax rates as of January 1, 2018. The impact of US Tax Reform on Colliers is a one-time increase in income tax expense of $13.3 million ($0.34 per common share) for the year ended December 31, 2017 due to the re-measurement of US deferred income tax assets at lower enacted corporate tax rates for 2018 and beyond. The Company believes that presenting its results excluding the 2017 impact of US Tax Reform is meaningful as excluding this non-recurring, non-cash item increases the comparability of period-to-period results (see notes 1 and 2 below).

US Tax Reform is expected to favourably impact the Company’s consolidated income tax rate going forward. For 2018, assuming a consistent geographical mix of earnings, a consolidated income tax rate of 30-32% is expected.

Conference Call
Colliers will be holding a conference call on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time to discuss the quarter’s results. The call, as well as a supplemental slide presentation, will be simultaneously web cast and can be accessed live or after the call at www.colliers.com in the “Shareholders / Newsroom” section.

Forward-looking Statements
This press release includes or may include forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include the Company’s financial performance outlook and statements regarding goals, beliefs, strategies, objectives, plans or current expectations. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements contemplated in the forward-looking statements. Such factors include: economic conditions, especially as they relate to commercial and consumer credit conditions and consumer spending, particularly in regions where our business may be concentrated; commercial real estate property values, vacancy rates and general conditions of financial liquidity for real estate transactions; trends in pricing and risk assumption for commercial real estate services; the effect of significant movements in average cap rates across different property types; a reduction by companies in their reliance on outsourcing for their commercial real estate needs, which would affect revenues and operating performance; competition in the markets served by the Company; the ability to attract new clients and to retain major clients and renew related contracts; the ability to retain and incentivize producers; increases in wage and benefit costs; the effects of changes in interest rates on the cost of borrowing; unexpected increases in operating costs, such as insurance, workers’ compensation and health care; changes in the frequency or severity of insurance incidents relative to historical experience; the effects of changes in foreign exchange rates in relation to the US dollar on the Company’s Canadian dollar, Australian dollar, UK pound and Euro denominated revenues and expenses; the impact of political events including elections, referenda, trade policy changes, immigration policy changes, hostilities and terrorism on the Company’s operations; the ability to identify and make acquisitions at reasonable prices and successfully integrate acquired operations; the ability to execute on, and adapt to, information technology strategies and trends; the ability to comply with laws and regulations related to our global operations, including real estate licensure, labour and employment laws and regulations, as well as the anti-corruption laws and trade sanctions; political conditions, including political instability and any outbreak or escalation of terrorism or hostilities and the impact thereof on our business; and changes in government laws and policies at the federal, state/provincial or local level that may adversely impact the business.

Additional information and risk factors are identified in the Company’s other periodic filings with Canadian and US securities regulators (which factors are adopted herein and a copy of which can be obtained at www.sedar.com). Forward looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date hereof and are subject to change. All forward-looking statements in this press release are qualified by these cautionary statements. Except as required by applicable law, Colliers undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Summary financial information is provided in this press release. This press release should be read in conjunction with the Company's annual consolidated financial statements and MD&A to be made available at www.sedar.com.

Notes

1. Reconciliation of net earnings to adjusted EBITDA:

Adjusted EBITDA is defined as net earnings, adjusted to exclude: (i) income tax; (ii) other expense (income); (iii) interest expense; (iv) depreciation and amortization; (v) acquisition-related items (including transaction costs, contingent acquisition consideration fair value adjustments and contingent acquisition consideration-related compensation expense); (vi) restructuring costs and (vii) stock-based compensation expense. We use adjusted EBITDA to evaluate our own operating performance and our ability to service debt, as well as an integral part of our planning and reporting systems. Additionally, we use this measure in conjunction with discounted cash flow models to determine the Company’s overall enterprise valuation and to evaluate acquisition targets. We present adjusted EBITDA as a supplemental measure because we believe such measure is useful to investors as a reasonable indicator of operating performance because of the low capital intensity of the Company’s service operations. We believe this measure is a financial metric used by many investors to compare companies, especially in the services industry. This measure is not a recognized measure of financial performance under GAAP in the United States, and should not be considered as a substitute for operating earnings, net earnings or cash flow from operating activities, as determined in accordance with GAAP. Our method of calculating adjusted EBITDA may differ from other issuers and accordingly, this measure may not be comparable to measures used by other issuers. A reconciliation of net earnings to adjusted EBITDA appears below.

  Three months ended Twelve months ended
(in thousands of US$)December 31 December 31
  2017 2016  2017  2016 
             
Net earnings$42,788 $50,320  $92,132  $91,571 
Income tax 37,106  23,691   63,300   47,829 
Other income, net 1,868  (233)  (500)  (2,417)
Interest expense, net 2,188  2,277   11,895   9,190 
Operating earnings 83,950  76,055   166,827   146,173 
Depreciation and amortization 13,610  11,886   52,992   44,924 
Acquisition-related items 1,260  1,162   14,927   3,559 
Restructuring costs 1,300  547   3,104   5,127 
Stock-based compensation expense 1,013  790   4,425   3,279 
Adjusted EBITDA$101,133 $90,440  $242,275  $203,062 
               

2. Reconciliation of net earnings and diluted net earnings per common share to adjusted net earnings and adjusted EPS:

Adjusted EPS is defined as diluted net earnings per share, adjusted for the effect, after income tax, of: (i) the non-controlling interest redemption increment; (ii) income tax expense on enactment of US Tax Reform; (iii) amortization expense related to intangible assets recognized in connection with acquisitions; (iv) acquisition-related items; (v) restructuring costs and (vi) stock-based compensation expense. We believe this measure is useful to investors because it provides a supplemental way to understand the underlying operating performance of the Company and enhances the comparability of operating results from period to period. Adjusted EPS is not a recognized measure of financial performance under GAAP, and should not be considered as a substitute for diluted net earnings per share from continuing operations, as determined in accordance with GAAP. Our method of calculating this non-GAAP measure may differ from other issuers and, accordingly, this measure may not be comparable to measures used by other issuers. A reconciliation of net earnings to adjusted net earnings and of diluted net earnings per share to adjusted EPS appears below.

  Three months ended Twelve months ended
(in thousands of US$)December 31 December 31
  2017  2016  2017  2016 
             
Net earnings$42,788  $50,320  $92,132  $91,571 
Non-controlling interest share of earnings (7,772)  (8,826)  (20,236)  (20,085)
Income tax expense on enactment of US Tax Reform 13,325   -   13,325   - 
Amortization of intangible assets 6,511   5,674   26,658   21,293 
Acquisition-related items 1,260   1,162   14,927   3,559 
Stock-based compensation expense 1,013   790   4,425   3,279 
Restructuring costs 1,300   547   3,104   5,127 
Income tax on adjustments (2,298)  (1,846)  (8,820)  (8,202)
Non-controlling interest on adjustments (582)  (514)  (3,359)  (1,846)
Adjusted net earnings$55,545  $47,307  $122,156  $94,696 


  Three months ended Twelve months ended
(in US$)December 31 December 31
  2017 2016  2017 2016
             
Diluted net earnings per common share$0.86 $1.14  $1.25 $1.75
Non-controlling interest redemption increment 0.02  (0.07)  0.58  0.09
Income tax expense on enactment of US Tax Reform 0.34  -   0.34  -
Amortization of intangible assets, net of tax 0.11  0.09   0.43  0.35
Acquisition-related items 0.03  0.03   0.34  0.08
Restructuring costs, net of tax 0.02  0.01   0.06  0.09
Stock-based compensation expense, net of tax 0.03  0.02   0.11  0.08
Adjusted EPS$1.41 $1.22  $3.11 $2.44
             

3. Local currency revenue growth rate and internal revenue growth rate measures

Percentage revenue variances presented on a local currency basis are calculated by translating the current period results of our non-US dollar denominated operations to US dollars using the foreign currency exchange rates from the periods against which the current period results are being compared. Percentage revenue variances presented on an internal growth basis are calculated assuming acquired entities were owned for the entire current period as well as the entire prior period. Revenue from acquired entities is estimated based on the operating performance of each acquired entity for the year prior to the acquisition date. We believe that these revenue growth rate methodologies provide a framework for assessing the Company’s performance and operations excluding the effects of foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations and acquisitions. Since these revenue growth rate measures are not calculated under GAAP, they may not be comparable to similar measures used by other issuers.

 
COLLIERS INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC.
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Earnings
(in thousands of US$, except per share amounts)
     Three months  Twelve months
     ended December 31  ended December 31
(unaudited)  2017  2016   2017   2016 
               
Revenues $734,245 $576,028  $2,275,362  $1,896,724 
               
Cost of revenues  462,221  346,865   1,427,281   1,179,773 
Selling, general and administrative expenses  173,204  140,060   613,335   522,295 
Depreciation   7,099  6,212   26,334   23,631 
Amortization of intangible assets  6,511  5,674   26,658   21,293 
Acquisition-related items (1)  1,260  1,162   14,927   3,559 
Operating earnings  83,950  76,055   166,827   146,173 
Interest expense, net  2,188  2,277   11,895   9,190 
Other income  1,868  (233)  (500)  (2,417)
Earnings before income tax  79,894  74,011   155,432   139,400 
Income tax (2)  37,106  23,691   63,300   47,829 
Net earnings  42,788  50,320   92,132   91,571 
Non-controlling interest share of earnings  7,772  8,826   20,236   20,085 
Non-controlling interest redemption increment   865  (2,758)  22,583   3,521 
Net earnings attributable to Company  $34,151 $44,252  $49,313  $67,965 
               
Net earnings per common share             
Basic $0.88 $1.15  $1.27  $1.76 
Diluted $0.86 $1.14  $1.25  $1.75 
               
Adjusted EPS (3) $1.41 $1.22  $3.11  $2.44 
               
Weighted average common shares (thousands)            
Basic  38,908  38,631   38,830   38,596 
Diluted  39,494  38,899   39,308   38,868 
                  

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Statements of Earnings
(1) Acquisition-related items include transaction costs, contingent acquisition consideration fair value adjustments and contingent acquisition consideration-related compensation expense.
(2) Income tax expense for the three months and year ended December 31, 2017 includes a $13,325 charge on the re-valuation of US deferred income tax assets in connection with the enactment of US Tax Reform.
(3) See definition and reconciliation above.

      
Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets     
(in thousands of US$)
      
       
(unaudited)December 31, 2017 December 31, 2016
       
Assets     
Cash and cash equivalents$108,523 $113,148
Accounts receivable 383,385  311,020
Prepaids and other assets 109,926  82,154
 Current assets 601,834  506,322
Other non-current assets 65,632  48,860
Fixed assets 83,899  65,274
Deferred income tax 52,394  82,252
Goodwill and intangible assets 638,166  487,563
 Total assets$1,441,925 $1,190,271
       
       
Liabilities and shareholders' equity     
Accounts payable and accrued liabilities$618,613 $483,376
Other current liabilities 51,990  24,890
Long-term debt - current  2,426  1,961
 Current liabilities 673,029  510,227
Long-term debt - non-current  247,467  260,537
Other liabilities 67,904  57,609
Deferred income tax 18,579  14,582
Redeemable non-controlling interests  145,489  134,803
Shareholders' equity 289,457  212,513
 Total liabilities and equity$1,441,925 $1,190,271
       
       
Supplemental balance sheet information     
Total debt$249,893 $262,498
Total debt, net of cash 141,370  149,350
Net debt / pro forma adjusted EBITDA ratio 0.6  0.7


Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows       
(in thousands of US$)
    Three months ended  Twelve months ended
    December 31  December 31
(unaudited)  2017   2016   2017   2016 
              
Cash provided by (used in)            
              
Operating activities            
Net earnings $42,788  $50,321  $92,132  $91,571 
Items not affecting cash:            
 Depreciation and amortization  13,609   11,886   52,992   44,924 
 Deferred income tax  15,584   4,247   19,723   9,998 
 Other   5,774   1,639   32,378   14,880 
    77,755   68,093   197,225   161,373 
              
Net change from assets/liabilities            
 Accounts receivable  (52,314)  (41,873)  (40,045)  (16,737)
 Prepaids and other current assets  (6,071)  (8,959)  (4,712)  (13,469)
 Payables and accruals  132,945   88,490   58,118   23,155 
 Other  (2,065)  2,569   8,751   2,531 
 Contingent acquisition consideration paid  (5,374)  -   (6,487)  (591)
Net cash provided by operating activities  144,876   108,320   212,850   156,262 
              
Investing activities            
Acquisition of businesses, net of cash acquired   (3,509)  (9,741)  (58,674)  (82,073)
Purchases of fixed assets  (10,593)  (8,804)  (39,472)  (25,046)
Other investing activities  (8,311)  (8,287)  (43,101)  (26,570)
Net cash used in investing activities  (22,413)  (26,832)  (141,247)  (133,689)
              
Financing activities            
(Decrease) increase in long-term debt, net  (123,526)  (66,805)  (21,589)  16,953 
Purchases of non-controlling interests, net of sales  (1,822)  (355)  (36,978)  (13,274)
Dividends paid to common shareholders   -   -   (3,875)  (3,471)
Distributions paid to non-controlling interests  (3,291)  (3,106)  (20,797)  (16,495)
Other financing activities  152   639   (694)  1,432 
Net cash used in financing activities  (128,487)  (69,627)  (83,933)  (14,855)
              
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash  4,725   (7,623)  7,705   (10,720)
              
(Decrease) Increase in cash and cash equivalents  (1,299)  4,238   (4,625)  (3,002)
              
Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period  109,822   108,910   113,148   116,150 
              
Cash and cash equivalents, end of period $108,523  $113,148  $108,523  $113,148 


Segmented Results
(in thousands of US dollars)
                
      Asia    
(unaudited)Americas EMEA Pacific Corporate Consolidated
                
Three months ended December 31            
                
2017              
 Revenues$402,834 $183,788 $147,038 $585  $734,245
 Adjusted EBITDA 39,981  37,243  28,661  (4,752)  101,133
 Operating earnings 33,686  31,074  26,791  (7,601)  83,950
                
2016              
 Revenues$291,342 $152,175 $132,182 $329  $576,028
 Adjusted EBITDA 34,132  34,917  24,514  (3,123)  90,440
 Operating earnings 29,408  28,780  22,917  (5,050)  76,055
                
                
      Asia    
  Americas EMEA Pacific Corporate Consolidated
                
Twelve months ended December 31             
                
2017              
 Revenues$1,310,551 $521,284 $441,544 $1,983  $2,275,362
 Adjusted EBITDA 122,463  69,394  61,981  (11,563)  242,275
 Operating earnings 86,741  47,920  55,698  (23,532)  166,827
                
2016              
 Revenues$1,021,317 $474,868 $399,368 $1,171  $1,896,724
 Adjusted EBITDA 106,659  55,924  51,448  (10,969)  203,062
 Operating earnings 85,255  34,275  45,614  (18,971)  146,173
                 

COMPANY CONTACTS:

Jay S. Hennick
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
           
John B. Friedrichsen
Chief Financial Officer

(416) 960-9500

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