Shaw Announces First Quarter Results
Broadband advantage helps drive solid Q1 performance
January 12, 2017
Calgary, Alberta (January 12, 2017) — Shaw Communications Inc. announces consolidated financial and operating results for the quarter ended November 30, 2016. Consolidated revenue from continuing operations for the quarter of $1.3 billion increased by 14.9% over the comparable period. Operating income before restructuring costs and amortization1 for the quarter of $539 million improved 6.1% 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 2.8% and operating income before restructuring costs and amortization for the quarter remained flat over the comparable period.
Chief Executive Officer, Brad Shaw said, “We’ve entered fiscal 2017 with momentum and on track to deliver on our strategic initiatives. Shaw recently announced the completion of key milestones demonstrating our commitment to execute on our video and network technology roadmaps, most notably, the introduction of our next generation video product BlueSky TV and the launch of Freedom Mobile’s LTE-Advanced network. Our solid first quarter results reflect the broadband advantage we’ve created and our disciplined approach to long-term and sustainable growth.”
Net income for the current quarter in the amount of $89 million decreased by $129 million relative to the first quarter of fiscal 2016 mainly due to a non-recurring provision in the amount of $107 million related to the wind down of our investment in shomi. Net income in the quarter also reflects a decrease in income from discontinued operations, net of tax, in the amount of $80 million due to the sale of the former Media division in the third quarter of the prior year which is offset partially by the equity income of $27 million in the quarter from our investment in Corus.
Consolidated free cash flow1 for the quarter of $158 million compared to $173 million in the prior year. The decrease for the quarter was largely due to the loss of free cash flow generated by the former Media division and higher planned capital expenditures from continuing operations driven by the addition of the Wireless division.
In the quarter, we continued our momentum of improving subscriber trends. Consumer revenue generating units (“RGUs”) in the first quarter declined by 29,696, a meaningful improvement over the 43,750 loss in the first quarter of fiscal 2016. This year-over-year improvement was driven by a reduction in cable video and phone RGU losses in addition to strong Internet RGU net gains of 16,669 reflecting a full quarter impact of our WideOpen Internet 150 offering launched in August 2016. The decline in Consumer RGUs was also largely impacted by the anticipated seasonal disconnections of satellite Video subscribers in the amount of 15,704 RGUs.
“We are using our wireline broadband advantage to support WideOpen Internet 150 with the majority of new Internet customers opting for our two-year value plan, underlining the value we are providing with much faster speeds at affordable prices across 95% of our footprint,” said Mr. Shaw. “We continue to enhance our wireline network and are on track to complete our DOCSIS 3.1 upgrade by the end of fiscal 2017.”
In Wireless, we added approximately 9,500 RGUs, a shortfall from the net gains achieved in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. The wireless subscriber results reflect our focus on the launch of Freedom Mobile, the rollout of our LTE-Advanced network and significantly heightened competitive activity in the period.
“We achieved three important milestones in our Wireless division this quarter. First, we launched the new Freedom Mobile brand, anchored by a commitment of trust and transparency for our customers. Second, the rollout of our LTE-Advanced network in the key markets of central Toronto and central Vancouver. Third, the introduction of the Freedom Wi-Fi trial, allowing customers to connect to over 65,000 Shaw Go WiFi hotspots across Alberta and British Columbia,” said Mr. Shaw.
Mr. Shaw added, “Today, we are excited to be the first in Canada to offer a best-in-class TV experience powered by our strategic partnership with Comcast. This next chapter in our video technology roadmap marks an important and exciting milestone in Shaw’s history. Our new X1 TV experience, named BlueSky TV, provides ease-of-use and customization that is unprecedented in Canada. Its innovative voice remote technology provides a whole new way for our customers to quickly and easily discover what they want to watch. We are pleased to offer this leading technology experience to customers in Calgary, with subsequent launches in major cities within our footprint planned throughout fiscal 2017.”
Shaw continues to be disciplined in driving efficiencies throughout the business. In the quarter, we shifted our In-Home Technician team to a hybrid unit-based installation and service technician model, combining a foundation of customer experience with technical skill that will deliver annualized operating cost savings of approximately $16 million. This initiative resulted in a non-recurring restructuring charge of $10 million in the quarter.
Brad Shaw concluded, “In fiscal 2017 we are focused on delivering exceptional customer experiences through the launch of BlueSky TV, Freedom Mobile and continuously building our converged network. We thank our 14,000 employees for their dedication to delivering on Shaw’s key strategic initiatives. This is an exciting time for Shaw as we leverage our broadband advantage and strengthen our wireless network delivering significant value to both our customers and our shareholders.”
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