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SIR Royalty Income Fund Reports 2019 Fourth Quarter and Year-End Results

BURLINGTON, ON , March 12, 2020 /CNW/ - SIR Royalty Income Fund (SRV-UN.TO) (the "Fund") today reported its financial results for the fourth quarter ("Q4 2019") and year ended December 31, 2019 ("2019"). Percentage calculations are based on the numbers in the financial statements and may not correspond to rounded figures presented in this release.

2019 Summary

  • On January 1, 2019 , two new restaurants, one Scaddabush Italian Kitchen & Bar® ("Scaddabush") and one Reds® restaurant, were added to the Royalty Pooled Restaurants (the "Royalty Pool").
  • Pooled Revenue was $284.3 million , a decline of 5.3% compared to $300.1 million in the year ended December 31, 2018 ("2018").
  • Royalty income in the SIR Royalty Limited Partnership (the "Partnership") was $17.3 million , a decrease of 3.9% from $18.0 million in 2018.
  • Equity income from the Partnership, which represents the Fund's pro rata share of the residual distributions of the Partnership, was $10.8 million , a decline of 6.2% compared to $11.5 million in 2018.
  • Net earnings for the Fund were $12.6 million , or $1.43 per Fund unit (diluted), compared to $5.1 million , or $0.61 per Fund unit (diluted) in 2018. Net earnings were impacted by IFRS 9, which resulted in an increase in net earnings of $3.0 million for 2019, and a decrease in net earnings of $5.2 million for 2018.
  • Adjusted net earnings(1) were $9.6 million , or $1.15 per Fund unit, compared to $10.3 million , or $1.23 per Fund unit, in 2018.
  • The Royalty Pooled Restaurants had a same store sales ("SSS")(3) decline of 5.3%.
  • Distributable cash(2) totaled $9.7 million , or $1.16 per unit (basic and diluted), and cash distributed to unitholders totaled $10.3 million , representing a payout ratio(2) of 105.9%. The Fund's target payout ratio(2) is 100% per annum. IFRS 9 did not impact Distributable cash(2) and the Fund's payout ratio(2).
  • SIR continued its Jack Astor's ® renovation program, completing renovations at two locations. SIR also completed a major renovation of the Loose Moose® and to its Scaddabush location at Square One shopping centre;
  • SIR substantially completed the system-wide rollout of a refined pizza and pasta program and décor refresh at Scaddabush, with the last location launching the new program in January 2020 ; and
  • SIR opened two new Scaddabush restaurants and one new Duke's Refresher® & Bar.


Q4 2019 Summary

  • Pooled Revenue was $67.5 million , a decline of 7.5% compared to $72.9 million for the three-month period ended December 31, 2018 ("Q4 2018").
  • Royalty income in the Partnership was $4.0 million , a decrease of 7.8% from $4.4 million in Q4 2018.
  • Equity income from the Partnership was $2.5 million , a decline of 8.6% compared to $2.7 million in Q4 2018.
  • Net loss for the Fund was $1.7 million , or $0.21 per Fund unit (basic and diluted), compared to $2.8 million , or $0.33 per Fund unit (basic and diluted) in Q4 2018. Earnings performance in both periods was impacted by IFRS 9, which resulted in a decrease in net earnings of $4.0 million for Q4 2019 and $4.9 million for Q4 2018.
  • Adjusted net earnings(1) were $2.3 million , or $0.27 per Fund unit, compared to $2.2 million , or $0.26 per Fund unit, in Q4 2018.
  • The Royalty Pooled Restaurants had a SSS(3) decline of 6.5%.
  • The Fund Trustees elected to reduce the Fund's monthly cash distributions to unitholders from $0.105 per unit to $0.0875 per unit, effective for the cash distribution paid in November 2019 , in order to align with current and forecast Pooled Revenue levels;
  • Distributable cash(2) totaled $2.3 million , or $0.27 per unit (basic and diluted), and cash distributed to unitholders totaled $2.3 million , representing a payout ratio(2) of 102.3%.
  • SIR permanently closed the Canyon Creek® restaurant in Burlington, Ontario effective October 13, 2019 . A new Scaddabush restaurant was opened at this location on November 19, 2019 .


"We are responding to changes in consumer behaviour that have impacted the full-service restaurant industry, particularly in the GTA and Ontario markets, where the majority of our restaurants are located," said Peter Fowler , CEO of SIR Corp. "We recently completed the rollout of a major update to our Jack Astor's menu, with the introduction of 11 new, globally inspired bowls and salads. This is a direct response to evolving consumer trends towards more health-conscious options with an added boost of internationally inspired flavours. We are also working to expand market share in the growing takeout and delivery segment, through the expansion of our partnerships with delivery service providers and with the introduction of a special take-out kiosk at our Scaddabush in Oakville . We are also rolling out 'Service-Inspired Rewards', a new loyalty program and mobile application to further enhance our guest experience.  We believe these measures will help us capitalize on changing consumer behaviour and grow sales."

"We continue to add high-quality restaurants to the Royalty Pool, with the addition of one Scaddabush restaurant in January 2020 and we expect to add our newest Scaddabush in Burlington , to the Royalty Pool in January 2021 ," said Mr. Fowler. 

Financial Results

($000s except restaurants

and per Unit amounts)

(unaudited)

 

Three-month

 period ended

December 31,

 2019

Three-month

 period ended

December 31,

2018

12-month

period ended

December 31,

2019

12-month

period ended

December 31,

2018






Royalty Pooled Restaurants

58

57

58

57

Pooled Revenue generated by SIR Corp.

67,455

72,936

284,333

300,114






Royalty income to Partnership – 6% of Pooled Revenue

4,047

4,376

17,060

18,007

Make-Whole Payment

-

12

267

12

Total Royalty income to Partnership

4,047

4,388

17,327

18,019

Partnership other income

6

6

24

24

Partnership expenses

(13)

(17)

(79)

(80)

Partnership earnings

4,040

4,377

17,272

17,963

SIR Corp.'s interest  (Class A, B, and C GP Units)

(1,549)

(1,652)

(6,491)

(6,473)






Partnership income allocated to Fund

2,491

2,725

10,781

11,490

Interest income in SIR Loan

-

-

-

-

Change in estimated fair value of the SIR Loan

(6,750)

(5,250)

6,000

(3,500)


(4,259)

(2,525)

16,781

7,990

General & administrative expenses

(128)

(104)

(488)

(443)






Net earnings (loss) before income taxes of the Fund

(4,387)

(2,629)

16,293

7,547

Income tax recovery (expense)

2,648

(124)

(3,649)

(2,432)

Net earnings (loss) for the period

(1,739)

(2,753)

12,644

5,115

Diluted Earnings per Fund Unit

($0.21)

($0.33)

$1.43

$0.61

 

Pooled Revenue in Q4 2019 was $67.5 million , a decline of 7.5% from $72.9 million in Q4 2018, primarily reflecting lower SSS(3). Pooled Revenue in Q4 2019 was also impacted by the permanent closure of three restaurants during 2019: the Jack Astor's locations on John Street and in the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood in downtown Toronto , and the Canyon Creek location in Burlington, Ontario . These restaurants ceased to be part of the Royalty Pool on January 1, 2020.

Net earnings for Q4 2019 were impacted by IFRS 9. Under IFRS 9, the Fund is obligated to recognize the SIR Loan at fair value, with differences between the fair value and the carrying value being recorded in the statement of earnings. This resulted in a non-cash fair value adjustment to the statement of earnings in Q4 2019 that resulted in a decrease in net earnings of $4.0 million . In Q4 2018, the non-cash fair value adjustment to the statement of earnings resulted in a decrease in net earnings of $4.9 million . Accordingly, the Fund's net loss for Q4 2019 was $1.7 million , or $0.21 per Fund unit (basic and diluted), compared to net loss of $2.8 million , or $0.33 per Fund unit (basic and diluted), in Q4 2018. Adjusted net earnings(1) for Q4 2019 were $2.3 million , or $0.27 per Fund unit, compared to $2.2 million , or $0.26 per Fund unit, in Q4 2018.

Distributable Cash(2)
The following table reconciles the relationship between cash provided by operating activities and distributable cash(2)          

(in thousands of dollars except per unit

amounts and payout ratio²)

Three-month

period ended

December 31,

2019

Three-month

period ended

December 31,

2018

12-month

period ended

December 31,

2019

12-month

period ended

December 31,

2018

Cash provided by operating activities

2,441

2,679

10,101

10,015

Add/(deduct): 





Net change in non-cash working capital items

(324)

407

(545)

(283)

Net change in income tax payable

126

(248)

316

360

Net change in distribution receivable from the Partnership

50

(649)

(181)

237

Distributable cash(2)

2,293

2,189

9,691

10,329

Cash distributed for the period

2,345

2,639

10,260

10,093

Surplus (shortfall) of distributable cash(2)

(52)

(450)

(569)

236

Payout ratio(2)

102.3%

120.5%

105.9%

97.7%

Distributable cash(2) per Fund unit (basic and diluted)

$0.27

$0.26

$1.16

$1.23

 

Distributable cash(2) for Q4 2019 totaled $2.3 million , or $0.27 per Fund unit (basic and diluted), and distributions to Unitholders totaled $2.3 million , representing a payout ratio(2) of 102.3%. Distributable cash(2) for Q4 2018 totaled $2.2 million , or $0.26 per Fund unit (basic and diluted), and distributions to Unitholders totaled $2.6 million , representing a payout ratio(2) of 120.5%. The decreased payout ratio(2) in Q4 2019 is primarily attributable to an increase in distributable cash and a decrease in cash distributions paid compared to Q4 2018. The Fund reduced its monthly unitholder distributions from $0.105 per unit to $0.0875 per unit effective for the Fund's monthly cash distribution paid in November 2019 .

The Fund's payout ratio for 2019 was 105.9%, compared to 97.7% in 2018. If the Fund had distributed the reduced monthly distribution of $0.0875 per unit for the full year in 2019, instead of the $0.105 per unit for the months January 2019 through October 2019 and $0.0875 per unit for the months of November and December 2019 , the Fund's payout ratio for 2019 would have been 90.8%. The Trustees of the Fund believe that this demonstrates the sustainability of the Fund's current cash distributions going forward.   

Since the Fund's inception in October 2004 , up to and including Q4 2019, the Fund has generated $118.5 million in cumulative distributable cash(2) and has paid cumulative cash distributions of $118.2 million , representing a cumulative payout ratio(2) (the ratio of cumulative cash distributions paid since inception to cumulative distributable cash(2) generated) of 99.7%.

Same Store Sales(3)   

SSS(3) for Royalty Pooled

Restaurants

Three-month

period ended

December 31,

2019

Three-month

period ended

December 31,

2018

12-month

period ended

December 31,

2019

12-month

period ended

December 31,

2018






Jack Astor's®

(7.9%)

(1.2%)

(6.4%)

2.1%

Scaddabush®

(1.4%)

(1.6%)

(1.3%)

(0.1%)

Canyon Creek®

(8.7%)

(3.5%)

(6.3%)

(2.7%)

Signature Restaurants

(1.4%)

4.2%

(1.0%)

(3.3%)

Overall SSS(3)

(6.5%)

(1.0%)

(5.3%)

1.2%

 

Jack Astor's , which accounted for approximately 67.5% of Pooled Revenue in Q4 2019, had a SSS(3) decline of 7.9% in the quarter. There were no renovations of Jack Astor's restaurants during Q4 2019, compared to two renovations in Q4 2018 ( Mississauga and Toronto, Ontario ). Sales from the two Jack Astor's locations that were permanently closed during 2019, on John Street in downtown Toronto and in the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood of downtown Toronto , were excluded from the calculation of SSS(3) for Q4 2019. Beginning in Q4 2019, SIR's management implemented a number of strategies to address declining food and beverage sales at Jack Astor's resulting from changes in consumer behaviour and changing guest preferences.

Scaddabush had a SSS(3) decline of 1.4% in Q4 2019. Scaddabush SSS(3) performance for Q4 2019 includes seven locations, excluding the location at the CF Sherway Gardens shopping mall in Etobicoke, Ontario , the location in the Mimico neighbourhood of Etobicoke , and the recently opened location in Burlington, Ontario .

Canyon Creek had a decline in SSS(3) of 8.7% in Q4 2019. Sales from the Canyon Creek location in Burlington, Ontario that was permanently closed during Q4 2019 were excluded from the calculation of SSS(3) for Q4 2019. SIR's management continues to evaluate options for the Canyon Creek portfolio to improve performance.

The downtown Toronto Signature Restaurants had a SSS(3) decline of 1.4% in Q4 2019. The Reds location at Yonge and Gerrard in downtown Toronto generated strong sales growth that can be attributed to a change in leadership for the Reds concept, along with management changes at this location. Reds also introduced a new wine program during 2019 that contributed to an increase in beverage sales in Q4 2019. The Signature Restaurants have been impacted by increased local competition in downtown Toronto . The Q4 2019 SSS(3) performance for the Signature Restaurants does not include the new Reds restaurant in Mississauga, Ontario (Reds Square One), which was not included in Pooled Revenue for the entire comparable periods in 2019 and 2018.

Outlook
SIR secured additional long-term financing in 2018 to fund new restaurant developments and renovations to existing restaurants. SIR continues to assess changes in the marketplace, including economic conditions and consumer confidence, and has advised the Fund that it has adopted a more cautious stance toward new restaurant openings.

In support of driving growth in Royalty Pooled Revenue and/or SSS(3):  

  • SIR commenced a comprehensive Jack Astor's renovation program in 2016 and has completed renovations to 21 locations to date. SIR is pleased with the performance of the renovated locations and intends to implement similar renovations at other Jack Astor's in the future.

  • The Scaddabush restaurant in the Mimico neighbourhood of Etobicoke, Ontario was added to the Royalty Pool on January 1, 2020 .

  • The new Scaddabush restaurant in Burlington, Ontario is expected to be added to the Royalty Pool on January 1, 2021 . This restaurant represents SIR's 10th Scaddabush location.


The Canadian full-service category has become increasingly competitive in recent years. While SIR believes it is well positioned to compete in this category, it will continue monitoring the economy and consumer confidence and their effects on the full-service category. SIR's management believes that recent performance in the full-service restaurant industry has been impacted by a shift in consumer behaviour. Consumer spending at full-service restaurants in Ontario , where the majority of SIR's restaurants are located, has been restrained by a number of factors, including: the impact of a minimum wage increase on menu pricing, changes to impaired driving legislation impacting beverage sales, rising costs of living, and high levels of consumer debt. In addition, an increasing number of consumers are choosing to order through meal delivery services instead of in-restaurant dining. Due to the nature of take-out and delivery orders, guests who choose these options are unable to order alcoholic beverages, which has contributed to a decline in beverage sales at SIR restaurants.

According to Restaurants Canada data, real commercial foodservice sales (sales adjusted for estimated menu inflation) in Ontario declined 0.2% in 2018 (despite the generally higher menu prices) and while preliminary data indicates real sales rebounded slightly in 2019, full-service restaurants in Ontario experienced a decline in real sales in December 2019 that was above the national average.

SIR's management continues to focus its strategic efforts on growing SSS(3) and capturing a greater share of the market. Current initiatives include:

  • Introducing new and healthier food options across the SIR brand portfolio;
  • Improving everyday value and the implementation of promotional pricing during off-peak periods;
  • Increasing take-out and delivery sales;
  • Further leveraging system-wide usage of mobile tablets for all servers and hosts to improve sales performance and in-store operating efficiencies, while enhancing the overall guest experience; and
  • The rollout of "Service-Inspired Rewards" – a new loyalty / mobile application.


The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is having a negative impact on global economic activity and could impact consumer spending in Canada , including restaurant sales. Further, due to cautionary measures and public health recommendations on social distancing, public meeting places, including restaurants and other hospitality-related venues, could experience a significant near-term decline in customer visits.

The Fund's audited consolidated Financial Statements and Management Discussion & Analysis ("MD&A"), and the Partnership's Financial Statements, for the year ended December 31, 2019 , are available via the SEDAR website at www.sedar.com and SIR's website at www.sircorp.com.

(1)

Adjusted Net Earnings (Loss) is calculated by replacing the change in estimated fair value of the SIR Loan as reported in the statement of earnings with the interest received on the SIR Loan during the period and the corresponding deferred tax expense or recovery from the net earnings for the period. Adjusted Earnings per Fund unit represents the portion of net earnings adjusted for the change in estimated fair value of the SIR Loan and the deferred tax expense or recovery for the period allocated to each outstanding Fund unit. Adjusted Net Earnings (Loss) and Adjusted Earnings per Fund unit are non-GAAP financial measures and do not have a standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS. Management believes that in addition to net earnings (loss), Adjusted Net Earnings (Loss) and Adjusted Earnings per Fund unit are useful supplemental measures to evaluate the Fund's performance. The change in estimated fair value of the SIR Loan is a non-cash fair value transaction resulting from IFRS 9 and varies with changes in a discount rate that fluctuates based on current market interest rates adjusted for SIR's credit risk. The replacement of the non-cash change in estimated fair value of the SIR Loan with the interest received, and the corresponding deferred tax amount, eliminates this non-cash impact. Management cautions investors that Adjusted Net Earnings (Loss) should not replace net earnings or loss or cash flows from operating, investing and financing activities (as determined in accordance with IFRS), as an indicator of the Fund's performance. The Fund's method of calculating Adjusted Net Earnings (Loss) may differ from the methods used by other issuers. Please refer to the reconciliations of net earnings (loss) for the period to Adjusted Net Earnings in the Fund's MD&A for the year ended December 31, 2019.



(2)

Distributable cash and payout ratio are non-GAAP financial measures and do not have standardized meanings prescribed by IFRS.  However, the Fund believes that distributable cash and the payout ratio are useful measures as they provide investors with an indication of cash available for distribution.  The Fund's method of calculating distributable cash and the payout ratio may differ from that of other issuers and, accordingly, distributable cash and the payout ratio may not be comparable to measures used by other issuers.  Investors are cautioned that distributable cash and the payout ratio should not be construed as an alternative to the statement of cash flows as a measure of liquidity and cash flows of the Fund. The payout ratio is calculated as cash distributed for the period as a percentage of the distributable cash for the period.  Distributable cash represents the amount of money which the Fund expects to have available for distribution to Unitholders of the Fund, and is calculated as cash provided by operating activities of the Fund, adjusted for the net change in non-cash working capital items including a reserve for income taxes payable and the net change in the distribution receivable from the SIR Royalty Limited Partnership.  For a detailed explanation of how the Fund's distributable cash is calculated, please refer to the Fund's MD&A for the year ended December 31, 2019, which can be accessed via the SEDAR website (www.sedar.com).



(3)

Same store sales ("SSS") and same store sales growth ("SSSG") are non-GAAP financial measures and do not have standardized meanings prescribed by IFRS.  However, the Fund believes that SSS and SSSG are useful measures and provide investors with an indication of the change in year-over-year sales.  The Fund's method of calculating SSS and SSSG may differ from those of other issuers and, accordingly, SSS and SSSG may not be comparable to measures used by other issuers. SSS includes revenue from all SIR Restaurants included in Pooled Revenue except for those locations that were not open for the entire comparable periods in fiscal 2019 and fiscal 2018. SSSG is the percentage increase in SSS over the prior comparable period.


About SIR Corp.
SIR is a privately held Canadian corporation that owns a portfolio of 60 restaurants in Canada. SIR's Concept brands include: Jack Astor's Bar and Grill®, with 38 locations; Scaddabush Italian Kitchen & Bar® with 10 locations; and Canyon Creek®, with five locations. SIR also operates one-of-a-kind "Signature" brands including Reds® Wine Tavern, Reds® Midtown Tavern, Reds® Square One and The Loose Moose®. All trademarks related to the Concept and Signature brands noted above are used by SIR under a License and Royalty Agreement with SIR Royalty Limited Partnership in consideration for a Royalty, payable by SIR to the Partnership, equal to six percent of the revenue of the 56 restaurants currently included in the Royalty Pool. SIR also owns two Duke's Refresher® & Bar locations in downtown Toronto, and one seasonal Signature restaurant, Abbey's Bakehouse®, which are currently not in consideration to be part of the Royalty Pool. For more information on SIR Corp. or the SIR Royalty Income Fund, please visit www.sircorp.com.

About SIR Royalty Income Fund
The Fund is a trust governed by the laws of the province of Ontario that receives distribution income from its investment in the SIR Royalty Limited Partnership and interest income from the SIR Loan. The Fund intends to pay distributions to unitholders on a monthly basis.

Caution concerning forward-looking statements
Certain statements contained in this report, or incorporated herein by reference, including the information set forth as to the future financial or operating performance of the Fund or SIR, that are not current or historical factual statements may constitute forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws ("forward-looking statements"). Statements concerning the objectives, goals, strategies, intentions, plans, beliefs, expectations and estimates, and the business, operations, financial performance and condition of the Fund, the SIR Holdings Trust (the "Trust"), the Partnership, SIR, the SIR Restaurants or industry results, are forward-looking statements. The words "may", "will", "would", "should", "expect", "believe", "plan", "anticipate", "intend", "estimate" and other similar terminology and the negative of such expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Fund, the Trust, the Partnership, SIR, the SIR Restaurants or industry results, to differ materially from the anticipated results, performance, achievements or developments expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These statements reflect Management's current expectations, estimates and projections regarding future events and operating performance and speak only as of the date of this document. Readers should not place undue importance on forward-looking statements and should not rely upon this information as of any other date. Risks related to forward-looking statements include, among other things, challenges presented by a number of factors, including: market conditions at the time of this filing; competition; changes in demographic trends; weather; changing consumer preferences and discretionary spending patterns; changes in consumer confidence; changes in national and local business and economic conditions; changes in foreign exchange; changes in availability of credit; legal proceedings and challenges to intellectual property rights; dependence of the Fund on the financial condition of SIR; legislation and governmental regulation, including the cost and/or availability of labour as it relates to changes in minimum wage rates or other changes to labour legislation; regulations (including those regarding employees, food safety, tobacco, cannabis and alcohol); accounting policies and practices; and the results of operations and financial condition of SIR. The foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. Many of these issues can affect the Fund's or SIR's actual results and could cause their actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements made by, or on behalf of, the Fund or SIR.  There can be no assurance that SIR will remain compliant in the future with all of its financial covenants under the Credit Agreement and imposed by the lender. Given these uncertainties, readers are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and should not place undue reliance on them. The Fund and SIR expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to publicly disclose or release any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on Management's current plans, estimates, projections, beliefs and opinions, and the Fund and SIR do not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements should assumptions related to these plans, estimates, projections, beliefs and opinions change, except as expressly required by applicable securities laws.

In formulating the forward-looking statements contained herein, Management has assumed that business and economic conditions affecting SIR's restaurants and the Fund will continue substantially in the ordinary course, including without limitation with respect to general industry conditions, competition, delivery and takeout services, general levels of economic activity (including in downtown Toronto ), regulations (including those regarding employees, food safety, tobacco, cannabis, and alcohol), weather, taxes, foreign exchange rates and interest rates, that there will be no pandemics or other material outbreaks of disease or safety issues affecting humans or animals or food products, and that there will be no unplanned material changes in its facilities, equipment, customer and employee relations, or credit arrangements. Recent changes in employment law, including announced increases in minimum wages, are factored into management's assumptions. These assumptions, although considered reasonable by Management at the time of preparation, may prove to be incorrect.  In particular, Management has assumed that the tax effects on distributions will remain consistent with current regulations or pronouncements, and also in estimating the revenue for new restaurants, Management has assumed that they will operate consistent with other similar SIR restaurants and has assumed that SIR will remain compliant in the future with all of its financial covenants under the Credit Agreement and imposed by the lender. For more information concerning the Fund's risks and uncertainties, please refer to the March 12, 2020 Annual Information Form, for the period ended December 31, 2019 , which is available under the Fund's profile at www.sedar.com. All of the forward-looking statements made herein are qualified by these cautionary statements and other cautionary statements or factors contained herein, and there can be no assurance that the actual results or developments will be realized or, even if substantially realized, that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on, the Fund or SIR.

SOURCE SIR Royalty Income Fund


Cision

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