Canadian cableco Cogeco reports that its number of basic cable TV customers decreased by 28,000 year-on-year to 835,000 at the end of its fiscal year on 31 August 2013 – a faster decline than the 15,000 net TV customers it lost in fiscal 2012. However, the operator’s cable broadband subscriber base continued to climb, adding a net 21,000 new internet users in the twelve-month period to reach 661,000 (although slower growth than in the previous year when it added 35,000 new broadband lines). Cable fixed telephony users also continued rising, by a net 12,500 in twelve months to 484,000, but this rate was significantly slower than fiscal 2012’s net adds of 53,000. Cogeco said that TV customer net losses are mainly due to the promotional offers of competitors combined with the company ‘tightening customer credit controls’, while internet and telephony net additions continue to stem from the enhancement of its product offering and the impact of its bundled offer – ‘Cogeco Complete Connection’ – of TV, internet and telephony, alongside promotional activities. Furthermore, as at 31 August 2013, 68% of Cogeco’s cable service users subscribed to two or more of its services (up from 65% in August 2012); 37% subscribed to triple-play (up from 36% in 2012), 31% double-play (up from 29% in 2012) and 32% single-play (down from 36% in 2012). Total revenue generating units (RGUs) increased by a net 5,000 in the fiscal year to 1.980 million.
Cogeco’s Canadian revenues increased by 3.2% in the year ended August 2013, reaching CAD1.226 billion (USD1.172 billion), up from CAD1.189 billion the previous year, primarily as a result of tariff increases implemented in June-July 2012 in Quebec and Ontario and the full year impact of the higher volume of customers signed up in fiscal 2012. Annual EBITDA grew by 6.5% to CAD611 million, up from CAD574 million, pushing up the EBITDA margin by 1.5 percentage points to 49.8%.