Revenue and earnings growth generated by continued leading wireless performance
Vancouver, B.C. – TELUS Corporation’s first quarter 2012 revenue was $2.6 billion, an increase of four per cent over last year. The increase was generated by nearly six per cent growth in wireless revenue and two per cent growth in wireline revenue, both driven by strong data growth.
In the wireless segment, the company added 63,000 postpaid wireless customers in the first quarter as strong smartphone adoption resulted in wireless data revenue growth of 36 per cent. Notably, TELUS reported industry leading wireless average revenue per unit (ARPU) and subscriber churn metrics. ARPU increased by 1.7 per cent - the sixth consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth. Blended monthly subscriber churn decreased 15 basis points (bps) year-over-year to 1.55 per cent, reflecting lower churn on smartphones, the success of retention investments and a customer friendly marketing and service orientation. These industry leading metrics contributed to strong 13 per cent growth in wireless EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, and depreciation).
In the wireline segment, TELUS added 44,000 TV customers this quarter to bring its total subscriber base to just over 550,000 - up 54 per cent from year ago. When combined with attracting new high-speed Internet subscribers, the company generated wireline data revenue growth of 13 per cent. However, due to aggressive competitive activity and wireless substitution, access lines losses accelerated and underlying (adjusted) wireline EBITDA was down seven per cent.
Consolidated first quarter EBITDA was up more than two per cent from a year ago and for the first time, surpassed $1.0 billion. Adjusted EBITDA (excluding items detailed in footnote 2) was up more than 4 per cent.
Net income and earnings per share (EPS) for the first quarter were $348 million and $1.07, respectively, representing year-over-year growth of approximately six per cent each.
Free cash flow more than doubled to $358 million this quarter - up by $196 million over the same period a year ago. This was due primarily to lower discretionary contributions made to defined benefit pension plans, lower restructuring payments and higher adjusted EBITDA.
C$ and in millions, except per share amounts
3 months ended
Operating expenses before depreciation & amortization
Earnings per share (EPS), basic(3)(4)
Dividends per share declared for first quarter
Free cash flow(5)
Total customer connections(6)
(1) Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). See Section 11.1 in the 2012 first quarter Management’s discussion and analysis.
(2) Adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter of 2012 excludes a $1 million equity loss for the residential component of the TELUS Garden real estate joint venture, and consistent with methodology last year, adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter of 2011 excludes a $16 million non-cash gain on Transactel (Barbados) Inc.
(3) Net income and EPS for the first quarter of 2012 included favourable income tax-related adjustments of approximately $10 million or 3 cents per share.
(4) Net income and EPS for the first quarter of 2011 includes the after-tax Transactel gain of $12 million or 4 cents per share.
(5) For definition, see Section 11.2 in 2012 first quarter Management’s discussion and analysis.
(6) Sum of wireless subscribers, network access lines, total Internet subscribers, and TELUS TV subscribers (IPTV and satellite TV).
Darren Entwistle, TELUS President and CEO said, “TELUS continues to build upon our company’s operational momentum as we delivered the most TV, high-speed Internet and wireless client net additions, the highest wireless ARPU and the lowest wireless churn amongst our Canadian telco and cableco peer group. This led to strong results, with wireline data revenue growth of 13 per cent and wireless data revenue growth of 36 per cent. Consolidated financial results were driven by outstanding wireless revenue and margin enhancement. This performance is the direct result of TELUS’ investment in our network technology and the commitment to the customer experience displayed by our dedicated team members.”
Mr. Entwistle added, “TELUS’ operational execution and 121 per cent increase in free cash flow is enabling the continued realization of my personal three year goals for EPS and free cash flow growth to 2013, and TELUS’ dividend growth model to 2013. In this regard, we are delivering to shareholders a 10.9 per cent higher dividend compared to a year ago.”
Robert McFarlane, TELUS Executive Vice-President and CFO, said “the first quarter of 2012 represents a better than expected beginning to the year with strong free cash flow generation supporting an even stronger balance sheet. Despite industry leading wireline revenue growth backed by strong operational results from Optik-TV and high-speed Internet, profitability for this segment declined but was consistent with internal plans. We continue to be relentless in identifying opportunities for appropriate cost reduction and based on the increased initiatives in the pipeline, we now expect 2012 restructuring expenses to double to $50 million from the previous estimate. Despite this change, the full year 2012 wireline profitability target range remains achievable and accordingly, we re-affirm our existing full year consolidated annual targets.”
The 2012 consolidated and segmented annual targets have been reaffirmed. See section 9 of the first quarter 2012 MD&A.
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 targets), qualifications and risk factors (including TELUS’ proposed share consolidation and foreign ownership levels, 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 quarter report. 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
TELUS proposal to convert Non-Voting Shares into Common Shares is contested
TELUS announced on February 21, that it was proposing to convert its Non-Voting Shares into Voting Shares to be decided at the May 9, 2012 annual and special meeting of shareholders pursuant to a plan of arrangement. Under the proposal, each Non-Voting Share would be converted into a Common Share on a one-for-one basis if approved by two-thirds of the votes cast by the holders of Common Shares and two-thirds of the votes cast by the holders of Non-Voting Shares, each voting separately. In addition, court approval is required and approvals from the Toronto and New York stock exchanges for the listing of the new Common Shares.
After the announcement, Mason Capital, an event-driven U.S.-based hedge fund rapidly bought approximately 33 million TELUS’ Common Shares while simultaneously selling short an almost equal number of TELUS Non-Voting Shares and Common Shares. Despite Mason only having a net economic interest in the company of 416,000 shares (less than 0.25 per cent), it had control of the votes of almost 19 per cent of the Common Share class. It announced it would vote against the proposal and subsequently issued a dissident proxy circular, which TELUS responded to on April 25 with a second letter and proxy sent to TELUS shareholders.
Independent proxy advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services Inc (ISS) and Glass, Lewis taking into account Mason’s filings and actions both confirmed their recommendations to institutional clients that they vote in favour of the proposed transaction, as recommended to TELUS shareholders by our Board and its financial advisor Scotia Capital in its fairness opinion.
Shareholders were set to decide the matter at TELUS’ meeting of shareholders today. However, on May 8, 2012, the Company announced it was withdrawing the plan of arrangement set out in its 2012 Information Circular, and plans to reintroduce a new proposal in due course.
TELUS poised to gain more ‘followers’ with Twitter on Optik TV
TELUS is giving customers in British Columbia, Alberta and Eastern Quebec something to “Tweet” about with a free Twitter app on its Optik TV service. The app is designed to provide Optik TV viewers with convenient access to Twitter features and content without missing a moment of their favourite TV show. This app introduces a new dimension to TV watching and social media. Users are now able to Tweet what they’re watching and follow what others are saying about their favourite show through ‘TV Tweets’, creating an innovative, new social TV viewing experience. The Twitter app is offered free as part of the Optik TV subscription, uses the standard Optik remote control, and displays view trending topics and Tweets about the show they are watching.
In February, TELUS also launched new innovations that continue to transform the way customers enjoy Optik TV. TELUS Optik TV is the first TV service in the world to offer customers the ability to control both live and recorded TV using hand gestures and voice commands, over an Xbox 360 Kinect. This means Optik TV customers can change channels up or down, mute or unmute the volume, and pause, replay, and fast forward without the remote control.
TELUS’ also launched Optik on the go, which allows Optik TV customers to view a selection of commercial free TV On Demand shows and movies on select smartphones, tablets and laptops anywhere in Canada. Where available, TELUS customers will be able to experience the service on TELUS’ 4G LTE wireless network.
TELUS investing to bring B.C. cutting-edge communications technology
In March, TELUS announced it will invest in advanced technology and state-of-the-art facilities that will expand TELUS’ advanced wireless and wireline broadband networks across the province, and in the construction of TELUS Garden, the most advanced office and residential development in the province’s history. In addition, TELUS will invest in creating one of the world’s greenest intelligent data centres in Kamloops, which will be built to LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design) gold standards. The new data centre will further expand TELUS’ capacity to provide information technology management services to business in Canada and internationally.
TELUS Garden development off to successful start
In early April, TELUS announced TELUS Garden’s 415-unit condo tower had sold out, ahead of the planned formal launch later that month. In addition, 12 of the 21 floors available in the development’s planned office tower have already been pre-leased. The one million square foot development will redevelop almost the entire Vancouver block as home to TELUS’ current national headquarters. The project incorporates a LEED Platinum 24-storey signature office tower that will be home to TELUS’ new headquarters, a 46-storey residential tower built to the LEED Gold standard and retail space along Robson and Georgia Streets.
When completed in 2014, TELUS Garden will use at least 30 per cent less energy than a standard development of its size through the use of innovative technologies and practices. It will transfer excess heat from one building to another as needed, use solar panels to power some infrastructure, and capture rainwater for toilets and garden irrigation. Located near to the Skytrain, there will be facilities for bicycles, and charging stations for electric cars.
TELUS introduces trade-in program for customers’ used device
TELUS is making it easier for customers to get into the latest, wireless devices with the introduction of a trade-in program. In March, TELUS introduced a trade-in program that rewards wireless customers with instant in-store credit for their used device while giving them a chance to dispose of their electronic waste safely and smartly. Customers can trade in a phone, mobile Internet key or mobile Wi-Fi device at any participating TELUS trade-in location and will be offered a credit for the device based on fair market value and device condition. If a device is valued at $0, TELUS will donate $3 to Tree Canada toward the planting of a tree for each recycled unit. TELUS celebrated the launch of its new trade-in program with a limited time offer - until May 21 customers get a $50 bonus credit. Credits may be applied to any new device that is activated or renewed on TELUS service at time of trade.
TELUS launches latest devices and focuses on exceptional in-store experiences
During the first quarter, TELUS continued to offer customers a choice of the latest devices. This included the LG Optimus LTE, Nokia Lumia 800, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Galaxy Note, and Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE. The LG Optimus LTE and Samsung Galaxy Note allows customers to experience the new incredible speed of the 4G LTE network, while the Galaxy Nexus offers the latest version of the Android operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich. The Nokia Lumia 800 represents the best in bold design with its uni-body build and availability in three colours.
TELUS continued its focus on building an exceptional in-store experience for customers by launching Galaxy Headquarters in approximately 350 stores across Canada. This initiative offers a quality in-store experience focused around the Samsung Galaxy device line-up by showcasing these products together in a central location within the store and having knowledgeable sales reps and Learning Centre specialists available to help customers choose the right device.
TELUS Next Generation store opens in Laval Quebec
In April, TELUS inaugurated its first of many Next Generation TELUS stores in Laval, Québec. Located in the Carrefour Laval shopping mall the first Next Generation TELUS store is designed with TELUS’ award-winning national brand that is instantly recognizable due to its consistency. Set up with the latest wireless technologies, the new store is completely interactive and designed to create a multi-sensory experience throughout its dynamic layout. The store is designed to encourage shoppers to fully experience the TELUS brand and our cutting edge technologies in a variety of engaging ways including: live devices, multiple screens and projected images, and a live Twitter feed at the entrance.
TELUS and Vox Mobile launch Managed Mobility Services for enterprise customers
In March, TELUS and Vox Mobile launched a unique suite of end-to-end Managed Mobility Services, the only such offering from an established Canadian wireless carrier, designed specifically for the complex needs of Canadian enterprises. TELUS Managed Mobility Services powered by Vox Mobile is a complete service offering that manages an enterprise’s mobile infrastructure and devices from procurement to payment. The service leverages a growing trend in enterprises to adopt “Bring your Own Device” policies that provide more mobile device choice.
TELUS launches Virtual Private Cloud service for Canadian businesses
In April, TELUS announced the launch of the TELUS AgilIT Virtual Private Cloud, an innovative service that enables businesses to take full control of their cloud computing environment. The first of TELUS’ AgilIT cloud offerings, and unlike other cloud infrastructure services, TELUS’ Virtual Private Cloud service provides organizations of all sizes access to computing resources on-demand with a powerful, full-featured portal that enables 24x7 remote access to view and manage their cloud.
TELUS supports local programs and charities through Optik TV and smartphone sales
From February through April, TELUS announced a number of marketing programs supporting local organizations and charities in communities across Canada through donations from the sale of TELUS Optik TV and smartphones. This is consistent to TELUS' philosophy to “give where we live” while sustaining our business success. Programs include:
In January, TELUS announced it had raised more than $500,000 for Opération Enfant Soleil and L’Association du cancer de l’Est du Québec by donating $100 to the charities for every new customer signing up for TELUS Optik TV in Eastern Quebec and Quebec City region during 2011.
Canadian entrepreneurs invited to share their challenges for a chance to win $100,000
TELUS and The Globe and Mail announced the launch of The Challenge, the second annual contest inviting Canadian small business owners to present their biggest business challenge for the opportunity to win a $100,000 grant from TELUS. Entrepreneurs across Canada are invited to submit entries at Globeandmail.com/thechallenge and will be judged by a panel that includes entrepreneurs and small business experts. The contest closes May 28, 2012.
TELUS and Canadian Youth Business Foundation team-up to support young entrepreneurs
In April, TELUS and the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) announced a milestone campaign that will help young entrepreneurs launch businesses across Canada. TELUS is donating up to $150,000 to CYBF to help seven young entrepreneurs start and succeed in their business venture.
TELUS named one of best employers for new Canadians
For the second straight year, TELUS was named one of the Best Employers for New Canadians in an annual competition that recognizes the nation’s leaders in assisting recent immigrants make the transition to a new workplace and a new life in Canada. TELUS was among 40 organizations chosen this year. Launched in 2007, the competition is managed by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers in partnership with ALLIES, a joint initiative of The Maytree Foundation and the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation
TELUS named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers
For the fourth straight year, TELUS was named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers in an annual competition that recognizes the nation’s leaders in creating diverse and inclusive workplaces. This year’s list pays tribute to 50 organizations in Canada that have developed exceptional diversity initiatives to promote inclusiveness among employee groups such as women, members of visible minorities and Aboriginal peoples. Among the reasons TELUS was selected include: developing and implementing a diversity strategy with the support of the TELUS Diversity and Inclusiveness Council; providing professional development opportunities for thousands of women through Connections – the TELUS women’s network; and Creating Eagles, an Aboriginal team member resource group at TELUS.
TELUS Investor Relations receive awards and Vice President a Lifetime Achievement Award
At the prestigious 15th Annual IR Magazine Canada Awards in Toronto, the TELUS IR team was recognized for the best financial reporting across all industries, best overall investor relations in the telecommunications sector and was ranked fourth best overall in the list of top 50 investor relations programs. In addition, John Wheeler, Vice President, IR, received the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award in Investor Relations.
Charity and first three members of field announced for 2012 TELUS World Skins Game
In April, TELUS announced PGA stars Paul Casey, Anthony Kim and defending champion Jhonattan Vegas as the first three players in the field for the 2012 TELUS World Skins Game as the event comes to Glen Arbour Golf Course in Halifax, Nova Scotia July 29-31. The TELUS World Skins Game is a highlight of the Canadian summer sporting schedule for the country's golf fans, as well as the community that hosts it. Fulfilling its promise to "give where we live," the TELUS World Skins Game has raised more than $10 million since 2001 for a wide variety of important causes across Canada. This year, the event will support the funding of new technology enhancing care at the IWK Health Centre in Nova Scotia.
TELUS announces new chair of the TELUS Montreal Community Board
In April, TELUS announced that Mrs. Claude Benoit accepted the position of chair of the TELUS Montreal Community Board. She will replace Mr. Bernard Lamarre, who has served on the Board since its inception in 2006. Mrs. Benoit will remain as president and CEO of the Old Port of Montreal Corporation, a position she has held for more than a decade. During her time there as vice-president, from 1997 to 2000, she oversaw the development of the Montréal Science Centre. Mrs. Benoit is a member of the Order of Canada and has been awarded the McNeil Medal from the Royal Society of Canada for her significant contributions to the promotion of scientific and technological literacy among students, teachers and the general public.
The Honourable Myra A. Freeman joins the TELUS Atlantic Canada Community Board
In March, TELUS announced the appointment of The Honourable Myra A. Freeman to the TELUS Atlantic Canada Community Board. Mrs. Freeman, is a member of the Order of Canada and served for six years as the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia. Currently, Mrs. Freeman is a national director of the Historica-Dominion Institute of Canada, the RCMP Foundation, the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, the International Women’s Forum of Canada, the Canadian Friends of the Israel Museum, the Frank H. Sobey Awards for Excellence in Business Studies, and the Advisory Board of the Coady International Institute. Recently, she served as Honourary Chair of Mount Saint Vincent University’s Capital Campaign and as advisor on the Legacy Committee of the 2011 Halifax Canada Games. She is also a recipient of several honourary degrees and prestigious awards, including the Woman of Action Humanitarian Award from the Canadian Israel Research Foundation and was recognized as a one of Canada’s 100 Outstanding Women by the Richard Ivey School of Business and the Women’s Executive Network.
Days In Wait launches and $2 million in funding to support David Foster Foundation
In April, the David Foster Foundation and TELUS announced the launch of Days In Wait, an online portal dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of organ donation in Canada. Days In Wait refers to the number of days a donor recipient has been waiting to receive a life-saving organ. This innovative online community at daysinwait.com is a place where people can research information, ask questions and register to be an organ donor. The site will also enable Canadians touched by organ donation to share their stories of hope, support and inspiration. In February 2011, the David Foster Foundation and TELUS embarked on a mission to help bring awareness and education around the critical shortage of organ donors in Canada. The creation of Days In Wait is part of that drive. From 2010 through to the end of 2013, TELUS, its team members and advertising agencies, TAXI and Cossette, will have contributed more than $2 million in support of the David Foster Foundation, including $500,000 from TELUS for the marquee sponsorship of the David Foster Miracle Concert Weekend in Victoria, May 25 to 27.
Dividend Declaration – Increase to 61 cents per quarter - up 10.9 per cent year-over-year
In February, the Board of Directors declared early a quarterly dividend of sixty-one cents ($0.61) Canadian per share on the issued and outstanding Common shares and sixty-one cents ($0.61) Canadian per share on the issued and outstanding Non-Voting shares of the Company payable on July 3, 2012 to holders of record at the close of business on June 8, 2012.
This second quarter dividend represents a 3 cent increase from the prior quarter and a 6 cent or 10.9 per cent increase from the 55 cent second quarter dividend paid in July 2011. This is consistent to the company’s semi-annual dividend growth model announced a year ago.
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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' first quarter conference call is scheduled for May 9, 2012 at 4:30 pm 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 May 9 until June 9 (1-877-353-9587, reservation no.770348#). 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 $10.5 billion of annual revenue and 12.7 million customer connections including 7.4 million wireless subscribers, 3.5 million wireline network access lines and 1.3 million Internet subscribers and more than 550,000 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. Eleven TELUS Community Boards across Canada 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.