Shaw Announces Second Quarter Results
Consumer division’s best quarterly subscriber performance in 5 years
Company announces leadership transition and integration plans at Freedom Mobile
April 12, 2017
Calgary, Alberta (April 12, 2017) — Shaw Communications Inc. today announced consolidated financial and operating results for the quarter ended February 28, 2017. Revenue from continuing operations for the quarter of $1.3 billion increased by 13.3% over the comparable period. Operating income before restructuring costs and amortization1 for the quarter of $540 million improved 7.6% over the comparable period. Excluding the results of the Wireless division, acquired on March 1, 2016, revenue for the quarter from the combined Consumer, Business Network Services and Business Infrastructure Services divisions was up 1.1% and operating income before restructuring costs and amortization for the quarter increased 1.8% over the comparable period.
Chief Executive Officer, Brad Shaw said, “The strength of our wireline service, particularly our attractive Internet offering, is reflected in our Consumer division’s improved subscriber results. When combining our Internet offer with the new BlueSky TV experience, as well as our expanding wireless offering from Freedom Mobile, we are poised to create new value for our customers. Our strong quarterly financial and operating performance shows the resolve of our employees to deliver on Shaw’s long-term key strategic initiatives and their focus on providing exceptional customer experiences.”
Subscriber trends continued to improve this quarter. Consumer revenue generating units (“RGUs”) in the second quarter declined by just over 5,000, a significant improvement as compared to approximately 41,000 RGU losses in the second quarter of fiscal 2016. This quarter’s Consumer RGU result represents the division’s best since the second quarter of fiscal 2012. This trend of year-over-year improvement continues to be driven by strong Internet subscriber growth linked to the WideOpen Internet 150 value offering and by notable reductions in cable video and phone RGU losses attributed to strong bundle and value plan offerings.
The Company also reported significant improvements in Wireless postpaid and prepaid subscribers, adding over 33,000 RGUs as compared to nearly 10,000 RGUs gained in the first quarter of fiscal 2017. The growth demonstrates that Freedom Mobile’s value proposition is resonating with value-conscious Canadians.
Operating income before restructuring costs and amortization for the three and six month periods of $540 million and $1.08 billion, respectively, compared to $502 million and $1.01 billion in fiscal 2016. The increase is attributed primarily to the added Wireless division, but also reflects growth in each of the Business Network Services and Business Infrastructure Services divisions.
The increase in free cash flow for the quarter was largely due to the higher operating income before restructuring costs and amortization, dividends received from our investment in Corus and lower cash taxes. These improvements were partially offset by the loss of free cash flow generated by the former Media division which was sold on April 1, 2016 and by higher planned capital expenditures from continuing operations including the addition of capital expenditures in the Wireless division.
Net income from continuing operations for the current quarter of $147 million increased $31 million relative to $116 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2016 mainly due to the addition of the Wireless division and equity income from our investment in Corus in the current year and non-operating costs incurred in the prior year.
“We are pleased with the flexibility, cost efficiency and speed advantage that our broadband network strategy continues to deliver. The progress of our DOCSIS 3.1 upgrade is targeted for completion as planned by the end of fiscal 2017. Shaw’s network strength continues to support the success of WideOpen Internet 150, the fastest widely available Internet speed provided in nearly every neighborhood across our wireline footprint. The combination of this exceptional service with the tremendous value and pricing stability offered through our value plans are providing a positive impact on customer retention,” commented Mr. Shaw.
Mr. Shaw added, “With BlueSky TV now available everywhere we offer cable video, we are thrilled to introduce to Western Canadians a revolutionary TV experience made possible by our strategic partnership with Comcast. The BlueSky TV experience is more than just a new guide and set-top-box, it is an elegant system that listens, learns and curates content to provide an exceptional viewing experience. We are optimistic that BlueSky TV combined with WideOpen 150 and flexible TV packages will provide a compelling reason for consumers to stay and switch to Shaw.”
Freedom Mobile leadership transition and integration
Following a successful year of leading the transition of Freedom Mobile and laying the important groundwork for integrating the companies, Alek Krstajic has announced he will be stepping down as CEO, Freedom Mobile.
“We thank Alek Krstajic for his leadership over this past year,” Mr. Shaw said. “During that time, Alek was instrumental in activating Freedom’s LTE-Advanced network and in providing customers with the best value and an enhanced connectivity experience. With Alek’s departure, we are pleased to welcome Paul McAleese as Chief Operating Officer, Freedom Mobile, who will guide the division’s operations and continued growth. Paul has more than two decades of experience in mobile communications in the U.S., U.K., and Canada and is a proven wireless industry veteran. We look forward to his leadership in driving Freedom Mobile’s continued success and his contributions as a member of our senior management team.”
The integration of Freedom Mobile will enhance the development of Shaw as a world-class connectivity provider
“Our senior management team and all of our employees deserve tremendous credit for our successful pivot to becoming an enhanced connectivity company,” Mr. Shaw said. “As we continue the transition through our strategic plan, we will take bolder steps to unlock the power of a combined Shaw and Freedom Mobile to deliver greater value to customers and shareholders.”
Mr. Shaw concluded, “In what has been a remarkably fast-paced and dynamic year of innovation, change and growth, we are excited by the potential reflected in the results we have seen so far across our entire business. Most importantly, we are encouraged by the commitment and inspiration that all of our employees have shown to execute on our longer term strategic initiatives and to serve our customers.”
Shaw Communications Inc. is an enhanced connectivity provider. Our Consumer division serves consumers with broadband Internet, Shaw Go WiFi, video and digital phone. Our Wireless division provides wireless voice and data services through an expanding and improving mobile wireless network infrastructure. The Business Network Services division provides business customers with Internet, data, WiFi, telephony, video and fleet tracking services. The Business Infrastructure Services division, through ViaWest, provides hybrid IT solutions including colocation, cloud computing and security and compliance for North American enterprises.
Shaw is traded on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges and is included in the S&P/TSX 60 Index (Symbol: TSX - SJR.B, SJR.PR.A, SJR.PR.B, NYSE – SJR, and TSXV – SJR.A). For more information, please visit www.shaw.ca.
The accompanying Management’s Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”) forms part of this news release and the “Caution concerning forward-looking statements” applies to all the forward-looking statements made in this news release.
For more information, please contact:
Shaw Investor Relations