Shaw announces second quarter with continued subscriber growth, solid financial results and updated guidance
April 11, 2008
Calgary, Alberta (April 11, 2008) — Shaw Communications Inc. today announced results for the second quarter ended February 29, 2008. Consolidated service revenue for the quarter and year-to-date periods of $763 million and $1.51 billion, respectively, improved 11% over the comparable periods last year. Total service operating income before amortization1 of $350 million and $683 million was up 15% and 13%, respectively, over the comparable periods. Funds flow from operations2 increased to $304 million and $591 million for the three and six month periods, respectively, compared to $252 million and $496 million in the same periods last year.
"The quarter produced solid financial results and subscriber gains" commented Jim Shaw, Chief Executive Officer. "Increased revenue and improved service operating income before amortization reflect the underlying strength of the business and the continued focus on managing our assets to deliver long-term sustainable growth in a competitive market."
Basic cable subscribers increased during the quarter by 6,524 to 2,241,503, Digital and Internet customers grew by 48,006 to 850,642 and 31,517 to 1,517,992, respectively, and Digital Phone lines were up 56,536 to 492,232. DTH increased 4,977 customers to 886,106.
Jim Shaw continued: "Quarterly subscriber gains in Digital Phone and Digital were the strongest additions we have had, exceeding last quarter's record gains. We also achieved several milestones, reaching 1,500,000 internet customers in the quarter, and most recently, surpassing 500,000 Digital Phone lines."
Free cash flow1 for the quarter was $138 million bringing the year-to-date amount to $228 million. This compares to $100 million and $176 million for the same periods last year, an improvement of $38 million and $52 million, respectively. The growth in free cash flow was achieved through higher service operating income before amortization and after increased capital investment.
Net income of $299 million or $0.69 per share for the second quarter ended February 29, 2008 compared to $80 million or $0.18 per share for the same quarter last year. Net income for the first six months of the year was $411 million or $0.95 per share compared to $161 million and $0.37 per share last year. The current and comparable three and six month periods included nonoperating items which are more fully detailed in Management's Discussions and Analysis (MD&A). The current periods included a tax recovery of approximately $188 million related to reductions in enacted income tax rates. Excluding the non-operating items, net income for the current three and six month periods would have been $113 million and $210 million compared to $79 million and $160 million in the same periods last year.
Cable service revenue increased 13% on a quarterly and year-to-date basis to $582 million and $1.15 billion, respectively. The improvement was primarily driven by customer growth and rate increases. Service operating income before amortization increased 16% to $284 million for the quarter and was up over 15% on a year-to-date basis to $557 million.
Satellite division service revenue was $181 million and $360 million for the three and six month periods, respectively, up 6% and 5% over the comparable periods last year. The improvement was primarily due to rate increases and customer growth. Service operating income before amortization for the three month period increased 12% to $66 million and the year-to-date was up 4% to $126 million.
In November 2007, Shaw received approval from the TSX to renew its normal course issuer bid for a further one year period authorizing Shaw to purchase up to 35,600,000 Class B Non-Voting Shares. In the current quarter, the Company repurchased 1,722,800 Class B Non-Voting Shares for $32.0 million.
On January 30, 2008 the Company redeemed of all of its outstanding $100 million 8.54% Series B Canadian Originated Preferred Securities.
Mr. Shaw said, "As previously announced, we have submitted an application for the upcoming Auction of Spectrum Licenses for advanced wireless services and plan to bid on licenses as we deem appropriate. The purchase of such licenses will be funded by the Company's free cash flow and, as may be required, the existing bank credit facility."
In closing, Mr. Shaw summarized: "Our results in the first half of the year put us well on track to achieve our previous free cash flow guidance of $450 million. We anticipate that our solid performance will continue through the remainder of the fiscal year and expect our service operating income before amortization to grow in an approximate range of 13% - 15%. This is up from our previous forecast of 10% – 12% growth. Capital expenditures are now expected to exceed $700 million as we plan to accelerate certain major facilities projects."
The accompanying Management's Discussion and Analysis forms part of this news release and the "Caution Concerning Forward Looking Statements" applies to all forward-looking statements made in this news release.
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Shaw Investor Relations
1 See definitions and discussion under Key Performance Drivers in MD&A.
2 Funds flow from operations is before changes in non-cash working capital balances related to operations as presented in the unaudited interim Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows.
3 See reconciliation of Net Income in Consolidated Overview in MD&A
Shaw Communications Inc. is a diversified communications company whose core business is providing broadband cable television, High-Speed Internet, Digital Phone, telecommunications services (through Shaw Business Solutions) and satellite direct-to-home services (through Star Choice). The Company serves over 3.3 million customers, including 1.5 million Internet and 500,000 residential Digital Phone customers, through a reliable and extensive network, which comprises over 600,000 kilometres of fibre. 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, NYSE – SJR).
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Shaw Communications Inc.
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