Strong wireless and data results drive earnings growth
Free cash flow up 23 per cent
Quarterly dividend increased to 64 cents per share - up 10.3% from a year ago
CEO to take salary in TELUS shares for fourth consecutive year
Vancouver, B.C. – TELUS Corporation’s third quarter 2012 revenue increased six per cent to $2. 8 billion, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased by five per cent to $1.0 billion. Earnings per share rose eight per cent to $1.08.
TELUS’ growth was primarily generated by a seven per cent increase in wireless revenue and a 12 per cent increase in wireless EBITDA, resulting from a 23 per cent increase in data revenue due to continued smartphone adoption. Wireline revenue growth of four per cent was generated by a 14 per cent increase in data revenue driven by strong TV and high-speed Internet growth.
TELUS’ total customer base of 13 million grew with the addition this quarter of 116,000 new postpaid wireless customers, 42,000 new TV subscribers and 26,000 high-speed Internet customers, partially offset by a moderating network access line loss of 39,000. TELUS’ total wireless subscriber base of 7.6 million is up five per cent year over year and the average revenue per unit increased by 1.5 per cent. The TELUS TV subscriber base of 637,000 is up 41 per cent from a year ago, while high-speed Internet customers are up seven per cent to surpass 1.3 million.
Free cash flow in the third quarter increased 23 per cent from a year ago to $426 million primarily due to higher EBITDA.
Annual guidance for 2012, which was last adjusted in August, has been reaffirmed.
C$ and in millions, except per share amounts
3 months ended
Operating expenses before depreciation & amortization
Earnings per share (EPS), basic(2)
Free cash flow(3)
Total customer connections(4)
(1) See Section 11.1 in the 2012 third quarter Management’s discussion and analysis.
(2) Net income and EPS for the third quarter of 2012 included favourable income tax-related adjustments of $3 million or one cent per share.
(3) For definition, see Section 11.2 in 2012 third quarter Management’s discussion and analysis.
(4) Sum of wireless subscribers, network access lines, total Internet subscribers, and TELUS TV subscribers (IPTV and satellite TV).
“Our long-standing strategy to invest in broadband wireless and wireline data technology, services and applications within our core businesses coupled with a focus on putting customers first has resulted in strong quarterly operational and financial growth,” said Darren Entwistle, TELUS President and CEO. “We attracted 116,000 new postpaid wireless customers, 42,000 new TV customers, and 26,000 new high-speed Internet customers and encouragingly we saw those customers continuing to stay with us longer, as evidenced by our industry leading 1.44 per cent wireless churn rate. This strong performance translated this quarter into double-digit data revenue growth, eight per cent earnings per share growth and 23 per cent free cash flow growth.”
“I am pleased that our winning strategy and continued strong operational execution is enabling us to again increase the quarterly share dividend, consistent with our dividend growth model that we announced last year,” Mr. Entwistle added. “We are increasing TELUS’ dividend by 3 cents to 64 cents a quarter, or $2.56 annually, a 10.3 per cent increase from a year ago. We look forward to continuing to deliver strong operational and financial results to support the realisation of our dividend growth ambitions through our 2013 commitment and beyond.”
“I would like to take this opportunity to extend my deep gratitude to Bob McFarlane for his enormous commitment and extraordinary contributions to TELUS. After an outstanding 12 year career at our company as CFO, Bob has decided to retire at the end of the year and devote more time to his family and community endeavours,” said Mr. Entwistle. “Bob’s distinguished leadership of TELUS’ finance team has yielded a legacy that includes setting rigorous financial policies, achieving a stellar track record of disclosure transparency and helping TELUS consistently deliver on our public commitments to the investment community. His efforts, alongside those of his colleagues across TELUS, have contributed greatly to our company’s business success, globally leading shareholder value creation amongst our peers and industry leading balance sheet. Bob and our TELUS team have received countless Canadian and global awards for excellence in corporate disclosure, sustainability reporting, risk management and investor relations. Bob was named CFO of the Year by Canadian Business magazine, and he was honoured with the prestigious Queen’s University Kathleen Beaumont Hill Award for outstanding service and advocacy that have contributed to the country’s prosperity and growth in business, education and community development. I greatly appreciate Bob’s many years of support and his commitment to ensuring a smooth transition to his highly capable successor, John Gossling, who joins TELUS with a wealth of experience in the communications and broadcasting industries.”
Mr. Entwistle confirmed today that for the fourth consecutive year he intends to take the entirety of his 2013 annual cash salary compensation in TELUS common shares.
Robert McFarlane, TELUS Executive Vice-President and CFO, said, “TELUS has a strong financial position as reflected by the combination of continued good earnings and cash flow growth along with a 1.7 times net debt to EBITDA ratio, which is well within our policy range and represents the best such credit metric in the Canadian media and telecom industry. This positions TELUS favourably for continued advantaged access to the capital markets and to be in a strong position for future wireless spectrum auctions, as well as for continued dividend growth, and builds on our track record of balancing the interests of debt and equity investors.”
This news release contains statements about expected future events and financial and operating performance of TELUS that are forward-looking. By their nature, forward-looking statements require the Company to make assumptions and predictions and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. There is significant risk that the forward-looking statements will not prove to be accurate. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a number of factors could cause actual future performance and events to differ materially from that expressed in the forward-looking statements. Accordingly this news release is subject to the disclaimer and qualified by the assumptions (including assumptions for 2012 annual guidance), qualifications and risk factors (including the potential for a future non-voting to common share exchange proposal on a one-for-one basis, semi-annual dividend increases to 2013 and CEO three year goals for EPS and free cash flow growth to 2013 excluding spectrum costs) referred to in the 2012 Information Circular, Management’s discussion and analysis (MD&A) in the 2011 annual report, and in the 2012 first, second, and third quarter reports. Except as required by law, TELUS disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements, and reserves the right to change, at any time at its sole discretion, its current practice of updating annual targets and guidance.
CORPORATE AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENTS
Bob McFarlane, EVP and CFO, retiring at year’s end after outstanding career
Bob McFarlane, executive vice-president and chief financial officer is retiring effective at the end of the year after an extraordinarily successful 12 years at TELUS. Bob will hand over responsibilities to John Gossling effective January 1 after a transition period.
Bob began his career at TELUS as part of the Clearnet acquisition in August 2000, a historic milestone in the expansion of our national growth strategy focused on wireless and data. He was soon after appointed CFO of TELUS based on his strong knowledge of the business, deep understanding of the financial markets and proven track record for raising capital.
Bob has been instrumental in helping to answer numerous and unprecedented challenges presented by the equity and credit markets over the past dozen years such that TELUS has always had access to long term financing to fund its prescient growth investments in broadband wireless and wireline technology.
Indicative of his capabilities and excellent work ethic, Bob’s responsibilities while encompassing all the traditional Finance functions, were extended in later years to include Corporate Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions, TELUS Ventures and Government & Regulatory Affairs.
Bob’s contributions alongside the efforts of his colleagues across TELUS’ leadership team have helped elevate TELUS’ brand and reputation to the highest levels in Canada and globally. In the area of corporate and financial disclosure, TELUS has been ranked number one in Canada for four of the last five years by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. Our annual report has been recognized as the best in the world, and TELUS was the only company globally to be ranked in the top 10 for eight consecutive years. Additionally, TELUS has won numerous awards for its comprehensive social responsibility reporting including 12 consecutive years of recognition on the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability Indices.
Bob will be retiring from TELUS with a wonderful legacy of making exceptional contributions that have benefited TELUS’ shareholders, customers, team and the communities in which we live, work and serve.
“Bob’s distinguished contributions in combination with those of his colleagues across TELUS’ leadership team have delivered world-leading shareholder value creation through price appreciation and dividend growth,” Mr. Entwistle concluded.
Experienced communications industry CFO, John Gossling joining TELUS executive team
After an extensive executive search, John Gossling was chosen to join TELUS’ leadership team as our next executive vice president and chief financial officer. He starts on November 12th and will work closely with retiring EVP and CFO, Bob McFarlane, until the end of 2012 to ensure an effective transition with respect to the leadership of the TELUS Finance team.
John is a highly talented and proven finance executive with extensive experience in the communications industry. From 2008 to 2011, he was the CFO of CTVglobemedia, leading all financial activities for the company. John helped drive dramatically improved financial performance at CTVglobemedia prior to the sale of the company to BCE.
From 2000 to 2008, John held senior leadership roles with the Rogers Communications organization, including CFO at Rogers Wireless. In this role, John led all financial activities for the company. As a member of the Rogers Wireless senior management team, John was a key player in the turnaround of the company’s operating performance and was a lead executive on the acquisition of Microcell Telecommunications.
John is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario (FCA). He and his family will be relocating to Vancouver.
TELUS shareholders vote decisively to approve 1:1 share exchange proposal
At a joint shareholder meeting on October 17th, TELUS announced that shareholders voted strongly in favour of its proposal to exchange the company’s non-voting shares for common shares on a one-for-one basis. Mason Capital’s four resolutions proposing alternate share exchange ratios were also voted on at the meeting and did not pass.
Once final votes were tallied, 81.1 per cent of total shares voted were in favour of TELUS’ share exchange proposal. Of the 128.8 million common shares voted, 62.9 per cent were in favour, and 99.5 per cent of the 127.7 million non-voting shares voted were in favour. Excluding Mason Capital’s most recently reported voting stake, 84.4 per cent of common shares voted were in favour. The voting results easily exceeded the approval thresholds for the proposal to pass, specifically a simple majority of common shares voted and two-thirds of non-voting shares voted. Voting participation by shareholders was high at 73.6 per cent of the common shares outstanding and 84.6 per cent of the non-voting shares outstanding.
The hearing before the Supreme Court of British Columbia to hear Mason Capital’s appeals and TELUS’ final order application under a plan of arrangement to approve the share exchange began on November 7th. In order for the share exchange to be effective, the Court will have to approve the Company’s application for a final order and dismiss all current and further possible appeals. It is currently estimated that the share exchange would not be effective until late November at the earliest.
TELUS’ 4G LTE wireless network continues to grow
In the third quarter, TELUS launched its LTE network in more than 50 new communities across the country and now covers more than 60 per cent of the Canadian population. Newly launched communities include:
TELUS launches iPhone 5
TELUS launched iPhone 5 to customers in Canada beginning on September 21. iPhone 5 is the thinnest and lightest iPhone ever, completely redesigned to feature a stunning new 4-inch Retina display; an Apple-designed A6 chip for blazing fast performance; and ultrafast wireless technology—all while delivering even better battery life. iPhone 5 comes with iOS 6, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system with over 200 new features including: Shared Photo Streams, Facebook integration, all-new Maps app, Passbook organization and even more Siri features and languages. iPhone 5 customers can connect to TELUS' fast 4G LTE, HSPA+ and DC-HSPA+ networks with Wideband Audio.
TELUS eliminates activation fees for new and renewing customers
As part of the company’s commitment to putting customers first and being fair and transparent, TELUS announced that it will no longer charge a $35 activation fee for new customers or a $25 equipment exchange fee for renewing customers who purchase a new device. TELUS is the first of the established wireless brands to eliminate activation fees as part of the Company’s ongoing efforts to make the customer experience clear and simple. In addition, starting November 1, 2012, TELUS announced it will begin charging $10 for SIM cards to cover the product cost that was previously included in their renewal and activation fees.
TELUS launches Optik Smart Remote
In October, TELUS launched the Optik Smart Remote app, an innovative way to surf TV and more using your mobile or tablet device. This app enables customers to surf through all their content choices on their phone or tablet instead of the traditional guide on the TV. Customers can spend less time channel surfing by using guide filters to show only what they are looking to find. By linking the mobile device with the digital set top box, they can use swipes to change the channel. Customers can also navigate the interactive program guide on their mobile device without interrupting a show and, retrieve more program related information from sources like Internet Movie Database (IMDb), Wikipedia and YouTube.
TELUS also added 10 new HD channels to its lineup during the quarter. Optik TV offers more than 550 channels, including more than 135 in HD, which TV customers can get all their HD channels for no extra charge.
TELUS Health eClaims continues to drive efficiencies in claims and benefits management
In the third quarter, TELUS Health launched its nationwide eClaims service for extended healthcare providers and extended its partnerships with Sun Life and Desjardins to now offer TELUS Health eClaims web portal service to their members across Canada. In addition, TELUS Health entered into an agreement with Standard Life to integrate the TELUS Health’s eClaims service into its advanced TELUS Health Multi-Benefit Claims Management (MBCM) platform, which will help reduce out-of pocket expenses for plan members, decrease time spent processing insurance paperwork for care providers and streamline the reimbursement process.
TELUS Health launches Emergency Profile
TELUS Health recently created an Emergency Profile feature within TELUS Health Space online portal. Emergency Profile is a free resource that helps prepare families for an emergency quickly and easily and makes it easy to access and share important health information with family members and others. Consumers can sign up for an Emergency Profile by visiting myhealthreference.com. Emergency profile is built on TELUS Health Space, a secure platform certified by Canada Health Infoway to store, organize and share health information.
In September, TELUS Health unveiled the new TELUSHealth.com, an online hub to help bring customers smart healthcare solutions that turn information into better health outcomes to help improve the effectiveness of the country’s healthcare system.
TELUS Health acquires KinLogix, Quebec’s fastest-growing cloud-based EMR provider
In October, TELUS acquired KinLogix, Quebec’s fastest-growing cloud-based Electronic Medical Record (EMR) provider. This is TELUS’ second EMR company acquisition this year, following B.C.-based Wolf Medical Systems. These strategic acquisitions extend TELUS Health’ reach to physicians and strengthen its leadership in the EMR market to further its efforts to accelerate the adoption of EMR solutions across Canada. With these investments, TELUS is delivering on its national strategy and commitment to the physician EMR market so the company can continue to improve Canada’s health system and deliver better health outcomes for patients.
Generation INC., powered by TELUS: Season 3
The business TV show Generation INC., powered by TELUS, has started its third season. The show features 12 local businesses from the province of Québec who are visited by multidisciplinary experts who help them reach their full potential through innovative advice, know-how and technological tools. The Generation INC. movement has created much enthusiasm amongst the small and medium business market such that more than 500 local business owners submitted an application to be part of the show and for a chance to benefit from the advice of the experts.
Toronto glass company wins The Challenge from TELUS and The Globe and Mail
In September, TELUS and The Globe and Mail named Toronto-based glass company Glassopolis the winner of The Challenge contest and awarded the company a $100,000 small business grant to purchase new machinery and expand production across North America.
This second annual contest invited Canadian small business owners to present their biggest business challenge for the opportunity to win a $100,000 grant from TELUS. Entrepreneurs across Canada were invited to submit their entries to be judged by a panel that included entrepreneurs and small business experts.
TELUS executive vice-president Josh Blair recognized as Breakaway Leader
In September, Josh Blair, TELUS executive vice-president of Human Resources, was recognized as one of the Top 10 Breakaway Leaders in the world at the Evanta Global HR Leadership Summit in Denver, Colorado. The awards honoured international leaders who are changing the face of their industry and inspiring a legacy of excellence through ingenuity and dedication. Notably, TELUS is one of only two Canadian companies represented on the Top 10 Breakaway Leaders list.
TELUS’ annual report ranked one of best in world
The TELUS 2011 annual report has been ranked the 14th best in the world across all industries and was the top-ranked Canadian company, according to this year's Annual Report on Annual Reports 2012. To develop the ranking, judges evaluated 500 annual reports shortlisted from a wider selection of publicly listed corporations. The comprehensive survey looks at 10 key evaluation criteria: packaging, highlights, strategy, business, financials, investors, governance, accounting, responsibility and communication. The judges gave the TELUS 2011 annual report an ‘A’ rating and cited it as an example of excellence in four areas (executive message, financial review and analysis, goals-targets-outlook, and risk factors and management). To put this accomplishment in perspective, only 19 Canadian companies made the top 300 and only two other Canadian companies made the top 50.
TELUS Celebration of Giving events laud local charities
This fall, TELUS celebrated local charities as it announced how much it is giving this year toward local community initiatives through TELUS Community Boards and other initiatives in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. The TELUS Celebration of Giving is an annual event that brings together professionals and volunteers from the community sector. During this special day, TELUS recognizes the generosity and dedicated work of all those who make a difference in their community. In 2012, TELUS and its team expect to give $8 million to Vancouver-area organizations, $4.5 million to local community initiatives in Edmonton, $5.5 million to Greater Toronto-area charities and community organizations, $1.4 million to Ottawa-based charities, and $3 million to local charities in Montreal. In addition, funds are given to numerous local community initiatives in other regions across Canada.
TELUS Community Excellence Awards in Quebec
In October, TELUS honoured three outstanding community leaders in the Greater Montreal region. The top three winners of the TELUS Community Excellence Awards are Manon Barbeau, co-founder, executive director and artistic director of Wapikoni mobile; Ugo Dionne, co-founder of Bénévoles d’affaires; and Bernard Lamarre, chairman of the board, École Polytechnique. This important honour was part of the TELUS Celebration of Giving in Montreal. Part of TELUS Quebec’s 85th anniversary celebrations, the TELUS Community Excellence Awards publicly recognizes people who stand out because of their generosity, commitment to philanthropy and passion for innovation in three main regions: Montreal, Quebec and East of Quebec. This award was launched with the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Quebec Chapter (AFP) and the Association des professionnels en gestion philanthropique (APGP).
TELUS puts fans in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame with The Fan Cup
In September, TELUS and the Canadian Football League (CFL) announced The Fan Cup presented by TELUS, the first ever trophy honouring the game’s most important player - the fans. Fans will have the opportunity to put their name on a 100th anniversary replica Grey Cup that will sit alongside the greats of the game inside The Canadian Football Hall of Fame. Cast from the copper of Canadian pennies, The Fan Cup will be engraved with the names of thousands of CFL fans from across Canada be a symbol of appreciation for a century of loyal fan support. Fans will create The Fan Cup trophy during The Grey Cup 100 Tour by using a custom-built TELUS Penny Press to make their own 100th Grey Cup Game collectable out of a Canadian penny. A sliver from every penny used to create The Fan Cup presented by TELUS, which will then be etched with all fans’ names.
TELUS expands five-year partnership as National Co-Title sponsor of We Day
TELUS is expanding its partnership with Free the Children, a non-profit organisation that encourages youth to be agents of change and help find solutions for local and global societal problems such as poverty, hunger, bullying and environmental concerns. In addition to its five-year partnership as national co-title sponsor of We Day, a series of inspirational concerts taking place in cities across Canada, TELUS is contributing funds to Free the Children through its Phones for Good campaign. TELUS is also encouraging youth to share examples of their volunteer efforts by writing to the company at telusforweday.com where they can participate in a national video contest. The winner will receive $20,000 to carry out a volunteer activity with a local charity.
TELUS Community Ambassadors donate 9,600 backpacks across Canada
This year, Community Ambassadors across Canada assembled 9,600 “Kits for Kids”, backpacks filled with basic school supplies for less fortunate children. A challenge many families face in the fall is affording school supplies. TELUS and its Ambassadors recognize the importance of having these supplies to a young person’s confidence and ability to get off to a successful start at school. Since 2007, the Ambassadors have given out nearly 60,000 Kits for Kids.
Dividend Declaration – Increase to 64 cents per quarter – up 10.3 per cent year-over-year
The Board of Directors has declared a quarterly dividend increase of three cents to sixty-four cents ($0.64) Canadian per share on the issued and outstanding Common shares and sixty-four cents ($0.64) Canadian per share on the issued and outstanding Non-Voting shares of the Company payable on January 2, 2013 to holders of record at the close of business on December 11, 2012.
In the event that the proposed share exchange of Non-Voting Shares to Common Shares on a one-for-one basis receives all requisite approvals and is effective prior to the dividend record date of December 11, 2012, holders of record on such date who previously held Non-Voting Shares would hold Common Shares and would therefore receive the same dividend as all other holders of Common Shares.
This new quarterly dividend represents the second increase this year and the fourth of six planned under TELUS’ plan for semi-annual dividend increases of circa 10 per cent through to 2013. The dividend is a three cent or 4.9 per cent increase from the $0.61 quarterly dividends paid on July 3 and October 1, 2012 and a six cent or 10.3 per cent increase from the $0.58 quarterly dividends paid on January 3 and April 2, 2012, which is consistent with TELUS’ dividend growth model. Dividend decisions will continue to be subject to the Board’s assessment and determination of the Company’s financial situation and outlook on a quarterly basis.
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Access to Quarterly results information
Interested investors, the media and others may review this quarterly earnings news release, management’s discussion and analysis, quarterly results slides, audio and transcript of investor webcast call, supplementary financial information and our full 2011 annual report on our website at telus.com/investors.
TELUS' third quarter conference call is scheduled for November 9, 2012 at 11 a.m. ET and will feature a presentation followed by a question and answer period with analysts. Interested parties can access the webcast at: telus.com/investors. A telephone playback will be available on November 9 until December 9 (1-855-201-2300), reservation no. 859140#, access code no. 30599). An archive of the webcast will also be available at: telus.com/investors and a transcript will be posted on the website within several business days.
TELUS (TSX: T, T.A; NYSE: TU) is a leading national telecommunications company in Canada, with $10.8 billion of annual revenue and 13.0 million customer connections including 7.6 million wireless subscribers, 3.4 million wireline network access lines, 1.3 million Internet subscribers and more than 635,000 TELUS TV customers. Led since 2000 by President and CEO, Darren Entwistle, TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services including wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment and video.
In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed more than $260 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered 4.2 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Fourteen TELUS Community Boards lead TELUS’ local philanthropic initiatives. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition.
For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com.