Montréal (Québec) – Quebecor Inc. (“Quebecor” or the “Corporation”) today reported its consolidated financial results for the second quarter of 2017. Quebecor consolidates the financial results of its Quebecor Media Inc. (“Quebecor Media”) subsidiary. On July 6, 2017, Quebecor Media repurchased for cancellation 541,899 of its Common Shares held by CDP Capital d’Amérique Investissement inc. (“CDP Capital”), a subsidiary of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. Upon completion of the transaction, the Corporation’s interest in Quebecor Media increased from 81.07% to 81.53%.
Second quarter 2017
- Revenues: $1.03 billion in the second quarter of 2017, up $39.6 million (4.0%) from the same period of 2016.
- Adjusted operating income: $395.3 million, up $35.0 million (9.7%), the largest quarterly year-over-year increase in almost five years.
- Net income attributable to shareholders: $132.4 million ($1.09 per basic share) in the second quarter of 2017, compared with $9.8 million ($0.08 per basic share) in the same period of 2016, an increase of $122.6 million ($1.01 per basic share), including the favourable impact of an $87.8 million gain on the sale of a spectrum licence.
- Adjusted income from continuing operating activities: $83.2 million ($0.69 per basic share) in the second quarter of 2017, compared with $69.9 million ($0.57 per basic share) in the same period of 2016, an increase of $13.3 million ($0.12 per basic share) or 19.0%.
- The Telecommunications segment grew its revenues by $39.7 million (5.1%) and its adjusted operating income by $26.3 million (7.3%) in the second quarter of 2017.
- In the second quarter of 2017, Videotron Ltd. (“Videotron”) significantly increased its revenues from mobile telephony ($26.8 million or 21.8%), Internet access ($13.9 million or 5.7%), business solutions ($4.6 million or 17.1%) and the Club illico over‑the‑top video service (“Club illico”) ($2.4 million or 32.4%).
- Videotron’s average monthly revenue per user (“ARPU”) was up $10.27 (7.2%) from $143.01 in the second quarter of 2016 to $153.28 in the second quarter of 2017.
- Subscriber connections to the mobile telephony service increased by 32,400 (3.5%) and subscriptions to Club illico by 13,100 (4.0%) in the second quarter of 2017.
- On June 20, 2017, Videotron sold its Advanced Wireless Services (AWS-1) spectrum licence in the Metropolitan Toronto area to Rogers Communications Canada Inc. (“Rogers”) for a cash consideration of $184.2 million. The sale was recognized in the second quarter of 2017.
- On July 24, 2017, Videotron sold seven 2500 MHz and 700 MHZ wireless spectrum licences outside Québec to Shaw Communications Inc. for a cash consideration of $430.0 million. The sale will be recognized in the third quarter of 2017.
- The Media segment grew its adjusted operating income by $8.4 million (121.7%) in the second quarter of 2017, mainly as a result of higher advertising and subscription revenues at its broadcasting business.
Driven once again by the excellent performance of its Telecommunications segment but also by a marked improvement in the operating profitability of the Media segment, Quebecor generated significant increases in adjusted operating income and adjusted income from continuing operating activities in the second quarter of 2017.
Videotron closed two major transactions relating to mobile telephony in recent months, Mr. Péladeau noted.
It sold its AWS‑1 spectrum licence in the Metropolitan Toronto area and seven 2500 MHz and 700 MHz spectrum licences outside Québec, generating cash inflows of $614.2 million and total gains on disposal of assets of $330.8 million, of which $243.0 million will be recognized in the third quarter of 2017. Having sold those assets, Videotron intends to continue its investments; its plans include expanding and densifying its 4G network, eventual roll-out of a 5G network, and upgrading its IP wireline network. Those investments will cement Videotron’s competitive posture in the wireless and wireline markets in Québec and Eastern Ontario. Videotron continues to stand out in the mobile telephony market. According to the latest annual report from J.D. Power Canada, Videotron had the best-quality wireless network in eastern Canada for the third consecutive year.
Quebecor’s Telecommunications segment posted another solid performance, commented Manon Brouillette, President and Chief Executive Officer of Videotron.
It grew its adjusted operating income by 7.3%, the largest quarterly increase in the past 15 quarters. Videotron’s revenue generating units¹ increased by 147,400 (2.6%) during the 12-month period ended June 30, 2017, including an increase of 124,400 subscriber connections (15.0%) to the mobile telephony service. Despite the fact that some customers temporarily interrupt their service during the traditional moving season in Québec, the number of revenue-generating units held steady in the second quarter of 2017, compared with a 16,900-unit drop in the same quarter of 2016. These results were accompanied by a notable improvement in the mobile service’s ARPU to $53.32 in the second quarter of 2017, up 5.6% from the same time last year.
Our Club illico service also posted large gains, increasing its subscriber base by 71,300 (26.8%) in the last 12 months to a total of 337,600 at the end of the second quarter of 2017, attesting to the enthusiastic consumer response to Club illico’s diverse, high-quality offerings. Business solutions again made a positive contribution to the revenue increase as a result of our strategic acquisitions and our forward-looking investments of recent years in this high-growth-potential market, Ms. Brouillette added.
In the Media segment, the broadcasting business was responsible for the 121.7% increase in the segment’s adjusted operating income, contributing a $7.5 million favourable variance compared with the second quarter of 2016, observed Julie Tremblay, President and Chief Executive Officer of Quebecor’s Media Group.
The positive results reflect the impact of higher advertising revenues at the TVA Sports specialty service and at TVA Network, combined with higher subscription revenues at TVA Sports. TVA Network and TVA Sports posted year-over-year growth in advertising revenues for the third and fourth consecutive quarters respectively. The numbers show the positive impact of our programming strategy, the value of our content and the effectiveness of our multiplatform offerings. It is noteworthy that in the spring of 2017, TVA Sports posted the best Québec ratings since 2008 for the Stanley Cup finals, which were carried by a rival network from 2008 to 2014, attracting an average total audience of 962,000 viewers and a 36.6% market share.
In our film production and audiovisual services business, revenues and adjusted operating income were up because of higher volume generated by major new productions. In our magazine publishing business, we are maintaining cost-control discipline: the segment reported stable adjusted operating income in the second quarter of 2017 despite lower revenues, Julie Tremblay concluded.
On the financial front, Quebecor Media repurchased a portion of CDP Capital’s interest in its share capital on July 6, 2017.
It remains our goal to make Quebecor the sole shareholder in Quebecor Media when we complete the share repurchase process begun in 2012, said Jean‑François Pruneau, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Quebecor.
Thanks to its solid business plan and the beneficial impact of its investments in lines of business with high growth and profitability potential, the Corporation remains in an excellent position to create shareholder value concluded Pierre Karl Péladeau.
1 The sum of subscriptions to the cable television, cable Internet access and Club illico services, plus subscriber connections to the cable and mobile telephony services.
For more details and to consult definitions of "adjusted operating income", "adjusted income from continuing operating activities" and "average monthly revenue per user", please refer to the attached PDF file for the complete version of the press release.
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Quebecor Inc. and Quebecor Media Inc.
Vice President, Public Affairs
Quebecor Media Inc.