Montréal, Québec – Quebecor Inc. (“Quebecor” or “the Corporation”) today reported its consolidated financial results for the first quarter of 2016 and announced a 29% increase in its quarterly dividend. Quebecor consolidates the financial results of its Quebecor Media Inc. (“Quebecor Media”) subsidiary, in which it holds an 81.1% interest.
First quarter 2016
- Revenues: $975.4 million, up $46.4 million (5.0%).
- Adjusted operating income: $354.7 million, up $15.5 million (4.6%).
- Net income attributable to shareholders: $69.9 million ($0.57 per basic share) in the first quarter of 2016 compared with $29.4 million ($0.24 per basic share) in the same period of 2015, an increase of $40.5 million ($0.33 per basic share).
- Adjusted income from continuing operating activities: $67.7 million ($0.55 per basic share) in the first quarter of 2016, compared with $41.4 million ($0.34 per basic share) in the same period of 2015, an increase of $26.3 million ($0.21 per basic share) or 63.5%.
- Quarterly dividend on the Corporation’s Class A Multiple Voting Shares (“Class A Shares”) and Class B Subordinate Voting Shares (“Class B Shares”) increased 29% from $0.035 to $0.045 per share.
- Telecommunications segment revenues increased by $38.2 million (5.2%) and its adjusted operating income by $15.1 million (4.4%) in the first quarter of 2016.
- Revenues of Videotron Ltd. (“Videotron”) increased significantly in the first quarter of 2016 compared with the same period of 2015, led by mobile telephony ($27.0 million or 30.2%), Internet access ($18.1 million or 8.1%), business solutions ($9.0 million or 54.2%) and the Club illico over-the-top video service (“Club illico”) ($2.3 million or 42.6%).
- Videotron’s average monthly revenue per user (“ARPU”) increased by $9.41 (7.1%) from $131.96 in the first quarter of 2015 to $141.37 in the first quarter of 2016.
- Net increase of 17,800 revenue-generating units1 (0.3%) in the first quarter of 2016, including 27,100 connections to the mobile telephony service, 9,900 subscriptions to the cable Internet access service and 7,700 memberships in Club illico.
All of our segments posted higher revenues in the first quarter of 2016,” noted Pierre Dion, President and CEO of Quebecor. “The significant growth in our business volume was driven by the success of Videotron’s service offerings, the diversification of the Media segment’s revenue streams and development of the concert management and production business. Quebecor’s adjusted operating income increased by $15.5 million (4.6%), propelled once again by the excellent performance of the Telecommunications segment. We are confident that the opportunities created by the long-term evolution of the wireless industry will enable us to maintain sustained growth in our mobile telephony services.
Videotron’s high-growth-potential products and services, particularly mobile telephony, Internet access, business solutions and Club illico, contributed to its higher numbers again, commented Manon Brouillette, President and CEO of Videotron. “Videotron increased its revenue‑generating units by 158,100 (2.9%) during the 12-month period ended March 31, 2016, including an increase of 133,600 (20.2%) connections to the mobile telephony service. The net increaseof 27,100 connections in the first quarter of 2016 was more than that of any of the incumbent operators in Canada. The mobile telephony service’s ARPU was $49.66 in the first quarter of 2016, a 7.9% year-over-year increase. Finally, our Business Solutions segment continued making a positive contribution to our results with a 24.1% increase in revenues over the past 12 months and the uptrend is expected to hold as we continue implementing our development plan for Fibrenoire inc. and 4Degrees Colocation Inc.
“In addition to being ranked the most respected telecommunications company in Québec for the 11th consecutive year, Videotron became the most influential Québec-based brand in Québec across all industries according to the latest Ipsos-Infopresse survey. This is telling evidence of the important role we play in our customers’ daily lives, a result of our unflagging efforts to offer all our customers the best possible experience and state-of-the-art technology. We are enormously proud of these high distinctions, which we owe to our employees.
We continue developing our Club illico service. At the beginning of April 2016, NBCUniversal Television & New Media Distribution Canada and Quebecor Content signed an agreement which will give Club illico members access to some of the most popular new releases from one of the world’s largest content producers and distributors. As of the end of the first quarter of 2016, Club illico had 265,200 members, a 12‑month increase of 78,400 (42.0%), concluded Manon Brouillette.
In our Media segment, revenues from the film production and audiovisual services of Mels Studios and Postproduction G.P. rose 52%, generating a $2.1 million improvement in adjusted operating income, observed Julie Tremblay, President and CEO of Media Group. “Our broadcasting operations were also highly successful. For example, in season 4 of La Voix, the weekly gala drew an average audience of 2.6 million viewers according to Numeris and an average market share of 58%. Traffic on the lavoix.ca site increased considerably and the number of viewings grew by 54%. The show logged 1.8 million downloads on illico Digital TV. All these numbers confirm the effectiveness of Quebecor Media’s cross-platform convergence strategy.
According to Vividata survey data for the full year of 2015, Le Journal de Montréal, Le Journal de Québec and the free daily 24 heures remain Québec’s news leaders with more than 4.0 million readers per week across all platforms, continued Julie Tremblay. “TVA Group Inc. strengthened its leading position in the Canadian magazine industry with 9.0 million readers per issue on all platforms for all of its magazines combined. In April 2016, we released the Molto app, a digital newsstand which lets users read all our magazines on their tablet or smartphone. Our Goji talent collective, launched in September 2015 to provide a springboard for the best YouTube content creators and support their brand development efforts, attracted attention when Noémie Lacerte won the Numix award for YouTuber of the Year on May 6, 2016.”
In the Sports and Entertainment segment, Event Management Gestev Inc. (“Gestev”) announced the creation of Gestev Spectacles, which leverages Gestev’s 25 years of experience in event organization and powerful brand to establish itself as a major player in showbiz and entertainment. All shows and events produced by Quebecor will now bear the Gestev logo. After only eight months of operation, more than a million guests have already attended sporting events and performances at the Videotron Centre.
As announced in the first quarter of 2015, the Board of Directors of Quebecor will henceforth review its dividend payment policy annually. In view of the Corporation’s financial profile, which remains healthy, and its capacity to generate cash flows, the Board has approved another increase in the quarterly dividend on Class A and Class B shares, from $0.035 to $0.045.
We remain very upbeat about the Corporation’s ability to generate growing cash flows, stated Jean-François Pruneau, Senior Vice President and CFO of Quebecor. “Thanks to sound balance sheet management, we are in a position to increase distributions to our shareholders.”
Quebecor recorded solid consolidated financial results again in the first quarter of 2016, Pierre Dion concluded.
The Corporation remains well positioned to achieve its profitability, business development and shareholder value-maximization objectives.
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 operations" 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.