Altice Europe N.V. (“Altice Europe”) continues to deliver on its three-pillar strategy: improve customer experience to drive better KPIs, invest in and own best-in-class proprietary fixed and mobile infrastructure and leverage its unique content assets.
• Altice Europe sees the benefits of intensified operational focus and accelerated momentum in Q3 2018.
• In France, we had an exceptional customer acquisition again in the third quarter in France (best quarter since 2005), with more than 1m customers won back year-to-date 2018, equivalent to the number of customers lost over the last 3 years2 since the acquisition of SFR, with consistent improvements in customer service metrics leading to massive churn reduction:
• B2C fixed base grew for the third quarter in a row with +166k net additions of which +52k broadband subs (vs. -75k losses in Q3 2017), including a strong fibre performance (+64k, +45% vs. Q3 2017), having the best mix of fibre/DSL customer base in France (40% of fixed customer on fibre) and a successful OTT launch of Altice content (+114k OTT net adds with RMC Sport); management continues to focus on operational processes, bringing churn to a lower level, while reducing retention cost and increasing its addressable market;
• B2C mobile postpaid base grew by +378k net additions (vs. +16k in Q3 2017, x24), supported by the positive impact of premium content (Champions League), agility to follow promotions from competition with the largest outlet network in France, a better network, further churn reduction and a massive reduction in complaints (-50%);
• In Portugal, we also had an exceptional customer acquisition in the third quarter (best quarter since 2012), gaining market shares against peers in every segment:
• B2C fixed base grew sequentially for the fourth quarter in a row with unique customer net additions in Q3 2018 of +8k (vs. -11k in Q3 2017), while fixed and mobile churn has stabilized at the lowest level ever, on top of improving gross adds trends and ARPU stabilization. Fibre customer net additions were +44k in Q3 2018 (vs. +35k in Q3 2017, +27%), supported by the rapid expansion of our fibre coverage, and mobile postpaid net additions were +37k (+139% vs. Q3 2017); MEO’s network investment and successful convergent strategy is pointing to an inflection in revenue growth.
• The increase in subscribers in France and Portugal will contribute to an improved financial performance in 2019
• Altice Europe revenue on a constant currency (CC) basis declined -4.6% YoY ex-VAT benefit3 or -6.1% reported YoY in Q3 2018.
• Altice Europe Adjusted EBITDA4 on a CC basis declined -6.8% YoY ex-VAT benefit or -10.4% reported YoY in Q3 2018, a margin of 37.8% (-0.9% pts YoY vs. 38.7% in Q3 2017).
1 All financials are shown under IFRS 15 accounting standard. Financials shown above are pro forma defined as results of Altice Europe new perimeter as if the spin-off of Altice USA had occurred on 1/1/17 and excluding the press titles within the AMG France business ("France - Media" segment) sold in 2017 as if the disposals occurred on 1/1/17. Altice USA considered as third-party and not included in group eliminations from 1/1/18. Segments are shown on a pro forma standalone reporting basis, Group figures are shown on a pro forma consolidated basis. Financials include the contribution from Teads from Q3 2017 onwards. In addition, financials for Altice Europe exclude the international wholesale voice business (following closing announced on September 13, 2018) and green.ch AG and Green Datacenter AG in Switzerland (following closing announced on February 12, 2018) from 1/1/17.
2 Fixed broadband, mobile postpaid, 4G Box and OTT subscribers.
3 Excluding benefit of lower VAT for some press/TV bundles implemented in 2016; loss of benefit from March 2018 following VAT law change.
4 See reconciliation of non-GAAP performance measures to operating profit for the nine months period ended on page 20 of this release
• Significant investment in networks, customer premise equipment and innovative new services with total capital expenditure for Altice Europe of €706m in Q3 2018 excluding €1,013m for the Champions League rights in France (vs. €726m in Q3 2017):
o Leading fibre5 operator in France reaching almost 11.9 million homes passed as of Q3 2018 (315k new connections in Q3 2018) and major wins in fibre contracts in the quarter reaching almost 2 million homes to be passed. In mobile, 98% 4G mobile population coverage and extended 4G+ and 4G+++ mobile network, with a proper path to 5G;
o Leading fibre operator in Portugal reaching 4.37 million homes passed as of Q3 2018 (88k added in Q3 2018) and 98.6% 4G mobile population coverage (74.8% 4G+ mobile population coverage).
• Further strengthening of diversified capital structure through successful asset disposals and refinancing activity in Q3 2018:
o Successful closing of the sales of equity stakes in the telecommunication mobile tower businesses in Portugal on September 4th, 2018 and in the Dominican Republic on October 3rd, 2018;
o Successful refinancing at Altice France to redeem in full its $4.0bn 2022 Senior Secured Notes.
• Altice France has reached an agreement with KKR regarding the sale of a 49.99% equity stake in its telecommunication mobile tower business6 with closing expected this quarter.
Patrick Drahi, founder of Altice, said: “Since the beginning of 2018, Altice Europe has continuously overdelivered on its operational turnaround plan, showing strong improvements in subscriber trends whilst signs of stabilization sequentially in ARPU. We consistently demonstrate our ability to win our fair share of net adds. In France, we have won back more than a million customers already since the beginning of this year, i.e. the numbers of customers lost for the last 3 years (2015-2017)7 since the SFR acquisition. Our customers remain our first priority, and we have a unique asset base with expanding premium proprietary infrastructure in both fibre and mobile as well as content assets to further improve their satisfaction. Altice continues to benefit from the best-practices of its different assets worldwide, typically to launch a new box, benefitting from experience in leading market in telecom/contents (USA). We already see a tangible inflection in Portugal, paving the way for a recovery in France, underpinned by our strategy in infrastructure and content. Altice Europe will return to growth in 2019. On top of this commercial momentum, we continue to genuinely strengthen our long-term balance sheet position while crystalizing the underlying value of Altice Europe, notably its infrastructure. We have made further progress on the execution of our non-core asset disposal program and we have new streams of wholesale revenues secured. These are more than good results, with a winning team back in command.”
November 21, 2018: Altice Europe N.V. (Euronext: ATC and ATCB), today announces financial and operating results for the quarter ended September 30, 2018.
FY 2018 Guidance – Reiterated
Under IFRS 15, Altice Europe is expected to generate operating free cash flow8 of between €2.3bn to €2.5bn, excluding the Altice TV segment. Altice France is expected to generate operating free cash flow of between €1.5bn to €1.6bn. Considering its current very strong commercial momentum, Altice France is generating higher acquisition costs and client capex, to the benefit of future growth. As such, it is likely Altice France will end 2018 at the low end of the €1.5bn to €1.6bn guidance range.
Altice Europe reiterates plans to grow revenue, and expand Adjusted EBITDA and cash flow margins, over the medium- to long-term.
5 FTTB and FTTH homes passed.
6 The closing of the transaction (subject to regulatory approvals) is expected to occur in Q4 2018.
7 Fixed broadband, mobile postpaid, 4G Box and OTT subscribers
8 Operating free cash flow (“OpFCF”) defined as Adjusted EBITDA less capex.
Other Significant Events
• On October 31, 2018 – Altice Europe announced the strengthening of its Board of Directors (the “Board”) and the evolution of Group management:
o Malo Corbin was appointed as Altice Europe CFO;
o Dennis Okhuijsen will serve as an advisor to Altice Europe and will be advising on all financing and capital structure activity. Dennis Okhuijsen is also appointed as the representative of A4 S.A, the Vice President of the Board.
o Nicolas Paulmier and Philippe Besnier will be appointed as non-executive directors of the Board by the EGM that will take place on November 20, 2018, increasing the number of non-executive directors to 4 in total.
• On October 3, 2018, Altice Europe announced the group has undertaken a strategic review of its fibre infrastructure to further accelerate its deployment and is exploring several financial partnerships. No final decision with respect to any strategic transaction involving its fibre infrastructure has been taken, and it is yet uncertain that any such transaction will be concluded. If and when there is any reason to do so, further announcements to the market will be made. Even though no final decision has been taken yet, the review of the fibre infrastructure in mid and low dense areas in France is well advance with many offers received from very high quality partners. In parallel, Altice Europe is extending the review to the other countries.
• On October 3, 2018, Altice Europe announced the closing of the transaction to sell 100% in the tower company Teletorres del Caribe, which comprises 1,039 sites formerly operated by its subsidiary Altice Dominicana, to Phoenix Tower International, a portfolio company of Blackstone.
• On September 4, 2018, Altice Europe announced the closing of the transaction to sell 75% in the newly formed tower company “Towers of Portugal”, which comprises 2,961 sites formerly operated by its subsidiary MEO – Serviços de Comunicações Multimédia, S.A., to a Consortium including Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners and Horizon Equity Partners.
• In the spirit of enhanced accountability and transparency, Altice Europe also announced on January 8, 2018, that Altice Europe will reorganize its structure comprising Altice France (including French Overseas Territories), Altice International and a newly formed Altice TV subsidiary. This includes integrating Altice's support services businesses into their respective markets and bundling Altice Europe's premium content activities into one separately funded operating unit with its own P&L. This reorganization of Altice Europe is now complete following the transfer of the French Overseas Territories (FOT) business from Altice International to Altice France closed in October 2018.
Contacts – Altice Europe
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