CWC publishes third quarter trading update

11 Feb 2015

Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) recorded group revenue of USD444 million in the third quarter of its 2015 fiscal year, representing year-on-year growth of 5%, or 2% on a like-for-like basis (i.e. at constant currency and excluding Panama’s Sonitel).

With turnover from mobile services accounting for 53% of the group total in the three months ended 31 December 2014, mobile revenues were up 4% year-on-year, driven by growth in the Caribbean and Panama, with its LIME unit seeing a 10% annual increase, while Cable & Wireless Panama saw a 4% rise. By comparison, broadband and TV revenue was flat against the third quarter of its previous fiscal year, and though fixed voice revenue performance was said to have continued its positive trend, it too was flat against the prior year, as lower subscriber numbers were offset by higher ARPU due to ‘steady growth in interconnect revenue as well as customers upgrading to enhanced packages’. Managed Services revenue was strengthened by the acquisition of Sonitel in Panama.

Commenting on the quarterly performance, CWC chief executive Phil Bentley noted: ‘In the third quarter we have continued to build momentum through our investment-led Project Marlin and we are continuing to deliver top line growth. Investments in our mobile networks have improved coverage and reliability and we saw mobile data grow a further 23% with traffic carried on our networks increasing by over 35%. Fibre investments have focussed on our Caribbean markets and are key to generating growth in the Broadband & TV segments.’

Meanwhile, with regards to CWC’s previously announced acquisition of privately-owned, Barbados-based telecoms provider Columbus International in November 2014, the company confirmed it has since raised gross proceeds of USD180 million from the placing of new shares and USD690 million from new loans to finance the purchase. Further, it noted that it has obtained CWC bondholder consent to facilitate the financing of the acquisition and obtained CWC shareholder approval for the deal, while a number of regulatory consents, including the necessary approvals for the acquisition in Jamaica, have also been forthcoming. CWC said it expects to complete the acquisition by the end of March 2015.