Cogeco Communications Releases Its Results For the First Quarter of Fiscal 2019

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MONTRÉAL, Jan. 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Cogeco Communications Inc. (TSX: CCA) (“Cogeco Communications” or the “Corporation”) announced its financial results for the first quarter ended November 30, 2018, in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”).

For the first quarter of fiscal 2019:

• Revenue increased by 16.3% to reach $643.3 million mainly driven by growth of 61.5% in the American broadband services segment, partly offset by decreases of 1.4% in the Canadian broadband services segment and 3.2% in the Business information and communications technology ("Business ICT") services segment. On a constant currency basis, revenue increased by 14.2%, mainly explained as follows:

• Adjusted EBITDA increased by 15.7% to reach $285.5 million. On a constant currency basis, adjusted EBITDA increased by 13.8%, mainly as a result of the following:

• Profit for the period amounted to $75.2 million, of which $70.2 million, or $1.42 per share, was attributable to owners of the Corporation compared to $76.4 million, or $1.55 per share, in the comparable period of fiscal 2018 resulting mainly from the increases in depreciation and amortization, financial expense and integration, restructuring and acquisition costs, partly offset by the improvement of adjusted EBITDA and the decrease in income taxes;

• Free cash flow increased by 11.2% to reach $113.9 million. On a constant currency basis, free cash flow increased by 10.5% as a result of the improvement in adjusted EBITDA and a decrease in current income taxes expense, partly offset by the increases in financial expense, acquisitions of property, plant and equipment and integration, restructuring and acquisition costs;

• Cash flow from operating activities reached $107.7 million compared to $5.4 million for the same period of the prior year mainly due to the improvement in adjusted EBITDA and the decrease in income taxes paid, partly offset by the increase in financial expense paid;

• At its January 10, 2019 meeting, the Board of Directors of Cogeco Communications declared a quarterly eligible dividend of $0.525 compared to $0.475 per share in the comparable quarter of fiscal 2018;

• On December 6, 2018, Cogeco Communications confirmed that it has elected to not participate in the auction process for licenses in the 600 MHz spectrum band that will take place in 2019. The structure of the auction based on large geographic areas makes the acquisition of such spectrum uneconomical. This decision is consistent with the Corporation's continued commitment to pursue opportunities to enter the wireless market in a disciplined and thoughtful manner. Following the acquisition of spectrum licenses in fiscal 2018, Cogeco Communications is committed to continue exploring various business models in order to launch a profitable wireless service;

• On December 4, 2018, the Corporation extended its $800 million Term Revolving Facility maturity date by an additional year until January 24, 2024; and

• On October 3, 2018, the Corporation's subsidiary, Atlantic Broadband, completed the acquisition of the south Florida fibre network previously owned by FiberLight, LLC which provides high-performance metro and long-haul fibre transport services. The closing of this deal marks the addition of 350 route miles to Atlantic Broadband’s existing south Florida footprint.

“Overall results for the first quarter are in line with our 2019 financial guidance,” declared Philippe Jetté, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cogeco Communications Inc. “At Cogeco Connexion, the stabilization phase related to the implementation of a new advanced customer management system extended into the first quarter as anticipated. I am confident that as of today these issues are mostly behind us and that operations in our Canadian broadband services segment are now running as expected.”

“In our American broadband services segment, we are pleased to report continued solid organic growth,” stated Mr. Jetté. “The acquisition of FiberLight’s south Florida fibre network has more than doubled Atlantic Broadband’s fibre footprint in the region, further expanding our presence in this strategic growth market.”

“Results in our Business ICT services segment reflect the continued increase in competition and pricing pressures in this market,” concluded Mr. Jetté. “Cogeco Peer 1 continues to focus on priorities such as driving efficiencies, offering a relevant suite of solutions and providing expert service to our customers.”

Cogeco Communications Inc. is a communications corporation. It is the 8 largest cable operator in North America, operating in Canada under the Cogeco Connexion name in Québec and Ontario, and along the East Coast of the United States under the Atlantic Broadband brand (in 11 states from Maine to Florida). Cogeco Communications Inc. provides residential and business customers with Internet, video and telephony services through its two-way broadband fibre networks. Through its subsidiary Cogeco Peer 1, Cogeco Communications Inc. provides business customers with a suite of information technology services (colocation, network connectivity, hosting, cloud and managed services), by way of its 16 data centres, extensive FastFiber Network and more than 50 points of presence in North America and Europe. Cogeco Communications Inc.’s subordinate voting shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: CCA).

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Globe Newswire: 00:45 GMT Friday 11th January 2019

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