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Tele Columbus makes progress according to plan and confirms full-year guidance

DGAP-News: Tele Columbus AG / Key word(s): Quarterly / Interim Statement/9 Month figures

29.11.2018 / 07:27
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.


PRESS RELEASE
 

Publication of third quarter and nine months results 2018
 

Tele Columbus makes progress according to plan and confirms full-year guidance
 

- Q3 revenues increased by 3.6% yoy to EUR 127.7m (pro-forma IFRS 15: EUR 127.8m, up 3.7% yoy)

- Q3 Normalised EBITDA decreased by 14.1% yoy to EUR 58.6m (pro-forma IFRS 15: EUR 58.8m, down 13.9% yoy)

- Q3 Reported EBITDA increased by 1.6% yoy to EUR 49.9m (pro-forma IFRS 15: EUR 50.1m, up 1.9% yoy)

- Net income amounted to EUR 5.6m in Q3, up by EUR 3.6m yoy

- Management confirms full-year 2018 guidance
 

Berlin, 29 November 2018. Tele Columbus AG (ISIN: DE000TCAG172, WKN: TCAG17, "Tele Columbus", "Company" or "the Group"), Germany's third largest cable operator, today published its results for the third quarter and nine months of fiscal year 2018.

The first nine months of 2018 were marked by several system integration projects for Tele Columbus. Since the end of June all customer data is consolidated on one single CRM platform representing a milestone for the Group. As scheduled, the Company successfully merged its various accounting platforms into one single ERP system by the end of September.

As announced along the publication of the Company's half-year results in August, Tele Columbus harmonised its recognition policies for Group-wide KPIs (ie Homes Connected and RGUs) across the three standalone entities in order to provide more transparency going forward. This measure has become effective per 1 July.

Kicking-off in July, Tele Columbus is successively switching off all analogue signals across its network with a focus on Bavaria, Bremen and Saxony in 2018. By mid-November more than 600 thousand homes connected have been digitalized across our footprint. The project will run into 2019 with the goal to free-up capacity in the networks, which will be used for additional HD content and IP services.

Over the course of the third quarter Tele Columbus laid the basis for its marketing offensive which kicked-off in early October. The extensive sales push is centered on innovative products rounding up the tariff portfolio as well as the relaunch of
advanceTV ahead of the relevant year-end season.

As previously communicated, Tele Columbus secured an additional EUR 75 million term loan in early October. The facility has a five year tenor initially with a margin of Euribor plus 425bps. The Company used part of the proceeds to repay the drawn portion of its existing revolving credit facility ("RCF"), with the remaining proceeds increasing the Company's financial flexibility and enabling it to take better advantage of the attractive investment and growth opportunities in the German market.
 

Operational Development

Tele Columbus is on track to meet management's full year 2018 targets following the publication of today's third quarter results. Revenues in the period increased by 3.6% year on year to EUR 127.7 million (pro-forma IFRS 15: EUR 127.8 million, up 3.7% year on year). This stems from strongly growing B2B revenues thanks to robust demand for our products and services as well as increased construction revenues from the Company's infrastructure business.

Normalised EBITDA in the third quarter of 2018 decreased by 14.1% year on year to EUR 58.6 million (pro-forma IFRS 15: EUR 58.8 million, down 13.9% year on year) as a result of fewer high-margin TV and IP revenues in combination with an increased cost base (eg customer service, marketing, leased lines for B2B and personnel costs).

Following management's continued progress with the overall integration project, expenses for non-recurring items in the third quarter of 2018 more than halved year on year to EUR 8.7 million. As a result, Tele Columbus' Reported EBITDA increased by 1.6% year on year to EUR 49.9 million (pro-forma IFRS 15: EUR 50.1 million, up 1.9% year on year).

Net income in the third quarter of 2018 amounted to EUR 5.6 million compared to EUR 2.0 million in the comparable period for 2017. This mainly relates to a tax effect from the revaluation of tax deferrals regarding the tax losses carried forward.

In order to deliver a superior product experience, Tele Columbus increased its investments over the first nine months to EUR 124.2 million respectively to EUR 47.0 million in the third quarter of 2018. In particular, the Company is further investing into fiber infrastructure to better serve its housing industry, B2C and B2B customers. As a result of these investments Tele Columbus' two-way upgraded homes connected increased by another 10 thousand over the course of the period and reached 2,287 thousand by the end of September. Against this backdrop the Company continued to increase its addressable market for IP-based products in its overall footprint.
 

Guidance

Management confirms its full-year 2018 targets as communicated in August:

- Stable homes connected (pro-forma for KPI adjustment)

- Stable revenues year on year

- Normalised EBITDA of at least EUR 235 million

- Maximum capex of EUR 150 million

As previously communicated, management will provide an update on the growth plan for the Company in early 2019.

As of 30 September 2018, the Group reported approximately 3.3 million homes connected which is a stable sequential development pro-forma for the KPI adjustment. The number of homes connected and upgraded for two-way communication on own network increased by 10 thousand sequentially to 2,287 thousand in the third quarter 2018 which represents a ratio of 68.5% (pro-forma for KPI adjustment). Moreover, by the end of September the Company served 2,305 thousand unique subscribers which translates into 2,278 thousand CATV RGUs (pro-forma: 24 thousand less quarter on quarter), 553 thousand Premium TV RGUs (pro-forma: 6 thousand less quarter on quarter), 571 thousand Internet RGUs (24.5% penetration) and 448 thousand Telephony RGUs (pro-forma: 8 thousand less quarter on quarter).
 

Upcoming events

End of March 2019: Release of Q4 and full-year results for fiscal year 2018

 

Summary table (under IFRS 15)

mEUR Q3 2017 Q3 2018 yoy % 9M 2017 9M 2018 yoy %
Revenues 123.3 127.7 3.6 368.6 367.8 (0.2)
             
Normalised EBITDA 68.3 58.6 (14.1) 191.8 176.6 (7.9)
Normalised EBITDA margin, % 55.4 45.9 (9.5)ppt 52.0 48.0 (4.0)ppt
Reported EBITDA 49.1 49.9 1.6 156.0 142.6 (8.5)
Capex 22.2 47.0 111.7 68.8 124.2 80.5
Capex / Revenues, % 18.0 36.8 18.8ppt 18.7 33.7 15.0ppt
             
             
RGU as per end of period (in '000)1
 
           
CATV 2,380 2,278   2,380 2,278  
CATV (pro-forma KPI adjustment)* n/a 2,284   n/a 2,284  
Internet2 564 571   564 571  
Telephony3 545 448   545 448  
Telephony (pro-forma KPI adjustment)* n/a 531   n/a 531  
PremiumTV 432 553   432 553  
PremiumTV (pro-forma KPI adjustment)* n/a 413   n/a 413  
 

1) RGUs as of Q3 2018 reflect the KPI adjustment
2) Internet RGUs include individually-billed B2C, B2B and 83k bulk RGUs
3) Telephony RGUs include individually-billed B2C, B2B and 83k bulk RGUs
*) Ceteris paribus for any inter-quarterly developments
 

About us

The SDAX-listed Tele Columbus AG serves 3.3 million homes connected thereby being Germany's third-largest cable network operator. Its brand PŸUR stands for simplicity, performance and fairness in relation to TV and telecommunication products. Via its state-of-the-art fibre network PŸUR offers high-speed broadband internet including fixed-line telephony as well as more than 250 TV channels on a digital entertainment platform which combines linear TV with streaming services. To its housing association partners PŸUR offers flexible models of cooperation and state-of-the-art services such as telemetric and tenant portals. As a full-service partner for municipalities and regional utilities Tele Columbus Group is actively supporting the fibre-based broadband internet expansion in Germany. For its business customers the Group offers carrier services and corporate solutions via its fibre network. Besides its headquarter in Berlin the Company has locations in Hamburg, Leipzig, Ratingen and Unterföhring/Munich. Since January 2015 Tele Columbus AG is traded on the regulated market (Prime Standard) of the Frankfurt Stock exchange and since June 2015 listed in the SDAX.
 

Disclaimer

This release may contain forward-looking statements. These statements reflect the Company's current knowledge and expectations and projections about future events. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks, uncertainties and assumptions may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. In light of these risks and uncertainties, the forward-looking events and circumstances discussed in this release may not occur and actual results could differ materially from those anticipated or implied in the forward-looking statements. Accordingly, investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this document.

This release contains references to certain non-GAAP financial measures, such as Normalized EBITDA and Capex, and operating measures, such as RGUs, ARPU, and Unique Subscribers calculations. These non-GAAP financial and operating measures should not be viewed in isolation as alternatives to measures of the Company's financial condition, results of operations or cash flows as presented in accordance with IFRS. The non-GAAP financial and operating measures used by the Company may differ from, and not be comparable to, similarly titled measures used by other companies.

All information contained in this release has been carefully prepared. However, no reliance may be placed for any purposes whatsoever on the information contained in this document or on its completeness. No representation or warranty, express or implied, is given by or on behalf of the Company or any of its directors, officers or employees or any other person as to the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained in this document and no liability whatsoever is accepted by the Company or any of its directors, officers or employees nor any other person for any loss howsoever arising, directly or indirectly, from any use of such information or opinions or otherwise arising in connection therewith. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any information contained in this release, including forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.




Contact:
Silke Bernhardt
Director Corporate Communications
Phone +49 (30) 3388 4177
Fax +49 (30) 3388 9 1999
presse@telecolumbus.de
www.telecolumbus.com


29.11.2018 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

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Language: English
Company: Tele Columbus AG
Kaiserin-Augusta-Allee 108
10553 Berlin
Germany
Phone: +49 (0)30 3388 4177
Fax: +49 (0)30 3388 9 1999
E-mail: silke.bernhardt@pyur.com
Internet: www.telecolumbus.com
ISIN: DE000TCAG172
WKN: TCAG17
Indices: SDAX
Listed: Regulated Market in Frankfurt (Prime Standard); Regulated Unofficial Market in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Tradegate Exchange


 
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