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Excellent wireless results generate growth in revenue and earnings

Consolidated 2012 guidance for revenue, EBITDA and capital expenditures increased 

 

Vancouver, B.C. – TELUS Corporation’s second quarter 2012 revenue increased four per cent to  $2.7 billion while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased by five percent to $1.0 billion. Earnings per share rose two per cent to $1.01, or six per cent when excluding income tax adjustments and a gain on the TELUS Garden real estate development. This growth was primarily generated by a seven per cent increase in wireless revenue and 13 per cent increase in wireless EBITDA, plus strong revenue growth of 8.5 per cent in wireline data.

 

In the wireless segment, revenue growth was generated by 112,000 postpaid wireless customer additions – up 22 per cent from a year ago - wireless data revenue growth of 27 per cent and continued growth in industry leading wireless average revenue per unit (ARPU) – up 2.4 per cent. Other wireless highlights include strong ongoing smartphone adoption and achieving the best churn rate in over five years.

 

Highlights in the wireline segment include the addition of 43,000 new TV customers and 20,000 high-speed Internet subscribers this quarter. TELUS’ total TV subscriber base of 595,000 is up 48 per cent from a year ago. These increases helped generate wireline data revenue growth of 8.5 per cent, which more than offset continued local and long-distance legacy revenue declines to generate a one per cent increase in total wireline revenue.  EBITDA declined six per cent, primarily reflecting the loss of higher margin legacy services.

 

Free cash flow of $284 million remained stable over the same period a year ago as higher adjusted EBITDA and lower interest expense and income taxes were offset by higher capital expenditures as TELUS invests in expanding its new LTE wireless network and building two Internet Data Centres. Free cash flow for the first half of 2012 was $642 million, up 43 per cent from a year ago.

 

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

 

C$ and  in millions, except per share amounts

 

3 months ended

June 30

 

Per cent

 

(unaudited)

 

2012

 

2011

 

change 

 

Operating  revenues

 

2,665

 

2,554

 

4.3

 

Operating expenses  before depreciation & amortization

 

1,667

 

1,604

 

3.9

 

EBITDA(1)

 

998

 

950

 

5.1

 

Adjusted  EBITDA(1)(2)

 

990

 

950

 

4.2

 

Net income(3)(4)

 

328

 

324

 

1.2

 

Earnings  per share (EPS), basic(3)(4)

 

1.01

 

0.99

 

2.0

 

Capital  expenditures

 

548

 

456

 

20.2

 

Free cash  flow(5)

 

284

 

286

 

(0.7)

 

Total  customer connections(6)

 

12.84

 

12.43

 

3.3

 

 

 

 

(1)      See Section 11.1 in the 2012 second quarter Management’s discussion and analysis.

(2)      Adjusted EBITDA for the second quarter of 2012 excludes a $9 million pre-tax gain on land contributed to the TELUS Garden residential real estate project, and equity losses of $1 million in the second quarter for the residential real estate partnership.

(3)      Net income and EPS for the second quarter of 2012 includes the after-tax gain and equity losses related to the TELUS Garden residential real estate project totaling $7 million or 2 cents per share.

(4)      Net income and EPS for the second quarter of 2012 include unfavourable income tax-related adjustments of $11 million or 3 cents per share due primarily to adjustments arising from legislated income tax changes. This contrasted with favourable income tax-related adjustments of $11 million or 3 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.

(5)      For definition, see Section 11.2 in 2012 second 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 “Our second quarter results continue to demonstrate that our focus on investing in our broadband data networks and services, whilst providing a differentiated customer experience, continues to pay off in the competitive Canadian marketplace. This is evidenced by a combined 63,000 new TV and Internet customers, 48 per cent growth in the TELUS TV subscriber base, 112,000 additional wireless postpaid customers up by 22 per cent, industry leading monthly revenue per customer of more than $60 per month and 27 per cent wireless data revenue growth. In addition, our low rate of wireless disconnections, called churn and a key measure of customer loyalty, is an industry leading 1.39 per cent for our postpaid and prepaid customers combined and is our best result in over five years. These results demonstrate the significant success of our highly engaged team driving our top priority of putting customers first. We are also intent on advancing still further our long-standing corporate priority of making disciplined investments to improve operating efficiency.”

 

Robert McFarlane, TELUS Executive Vice-President and CFO, said “The overall strong results we’ve produced in the second quarter and through the first half of 2012 demonstrate that the capital investment program, notably including our significant investments in construction of our new LTE wireless network and Internet data centres to support attractive future organic growth opportunities in wireless and cloud computing, is the right strategy for TELUS. Consistent with our positive year-to-date results and our latest and generally favourable outlook for the balance of the year, we are increasing our 2012 consolidated annual guidance for revenue, EBITDA and capital expenditures. As well, we continue to focus on efficiency, particularly in the legacy areas of our wireline business, which was reflected in our May announcement to double our estimate of 2012 restructuring expenses to $50 million.”

 

Guidance for 2012

 

The 2012 consolidated annual targets have been adjusted upwards. The consolidated revenue guidance range has been increased by $50 million due to an increase in the wireline revenue range. The consolidated EBITDA range has increased and narrowed - up by $50 million on the top end due to a $100 million increase in the wireless EBITDA range partly offset by a $50 million decrease at the top of the wireline range. The bottom end of the consolidated EBITDA range is up $100 million due to the increase in the wireless range and no change to the bottom end of the wireline range. The approximate guidance for capital expenditures has been increased by five per cent or $100 million. See section 9 of the second quarter 2012 MD&A for full details and expected growth rates.

 

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 the potential for a future share consolidation proposal and restrictions on non-Canadian ownership of TELUS Common shares, 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 and second 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.

 

OPERATING HIGHLIGHTS 

 

TELUS wireless

  • External wireless revenues increased by $95 million or 7.1 per cent to $1.43 billion in the second quarter of 2012, compared to the same period a year ago. This growth was driven by continued subscriber and ARPU growth.
  • Data revenue increased by $110 million or 27 per cent to $512 million this quarter and now represents 39 per cent of network revenue, up from 33 per cent of network revenue one year ago. Data ARPU increased by $4.07 or 21 per cent to $23.32. These increases were due to continued strong adoption of smartphones and related data plans, increased use of mobile Internet devices and tablets, increased revenues from pay-per-use text messaging, as well as higher roaming volumes.
  • Blended ARPU increased by $1.41 or 2.4 per cent to $60.29 as 21 per cent data ARPU growth more than offset a moderating 6.7 per cent voice ARPU decline. This is the seventh consecutive quarter of year-over-year blended ARPU growth producing an industry leading ARPU result.
  • Blended monthly subscriber churn decreased 28 basis points year-over-year to 1.39 per cent - the lowest level in five years - reflecting the successful customer first marketing and service approach, effective investments in retention and lower churn on smartphones. Postpaid churn was 1.00 per cent, down 34 basis points from a year ago.
  • Wireless net additions of 86,000 were lower by 8.5 per cent year-over-year and included the addition of 112,000 postpaid subscribers and a loss of 26,000 lower-ARPU prepaid subscribers. Postpaid net additions were up 22 per cent from a year ago.
  • Total wireless subscribers were up 4.9 per cent from a year ago to 7.45 million and the proportion of high-value postpaid subscribers increased by 2.3 points to 84.7 per cent. Smartphone subscribers now represent 59 per cent of the total postpaid subscriber base of 6.3 million as compared to 42 per cent a year ago.
  • Wireless EBITDA of $636 million increased $71 million or 13 per cent due to strong revenue growth and effective cost control. The margin of 44.2 per cent increased by 2.1 points over last year.
  • Simple cash flow (EBITDA less capital expenditures) decreased by $16 million to $442 million in the quarter as EBITDA growth was offset by increased capital spending from the ongoing expansion of TELUS’ new 4G LTE network and to support growth. 

 

TELUS wireline

  • External wireline revenues increased by $16 million or 1.3 per cent to $1.24 billion in the second quarter of 2012, when compared with same period a year ago. This growth was generated by increased data revenues and other income, partially offset by declines in local, long-distance, and voice equipment revenues.
  • Data service and equipment revenues increased by $54 million or 8.5 per cent, due primarily to strong growth in TELUS TV subscriber base combined with rate increases in 2011, and increased growth in Internet and enhanced data services. TELUS TV additions of 43,000 were lower by 3,000 over the same quarter last year, and the total TELUS TV subscriber base of 595,000 increased by 48 per cent or 192,000 from a year ago.
  • High-speed Internet net additions of 20,000 increased by 54 per cent from a year ago and reflect successful promotions and the pull-through effect of Optik TV sales. TELUS’ high-speed subscriber base of 1.28 million is up 6.8% or 81,000 from a year ago.
  • Total network access lines declined 5.3 per cent from a year ago to 3.5 million. Residential lines losses improved sequentially to 36,000 from 47,000 in the first quarter. Residential lines are down 7.6 per cent year-over-year, reflecting ongoing competition and wireless and Internet substitution. Business NAL losses of 14,000 reflect ongoing competition in the small and medium business market, and conversion from legacy voice services to IP services.
  • Wireline EBITDA of $362 million decreased by $23 million or six per cent due to ongoing declines in higher margin legacy voice services that were not fully offset by growth in lower margin data services. The underlying adjusted EBITDA margin was 27.8 per cent, down 2.7 points from last year. Simple cash flow (Adjusted EBITDA less capital expenditures) declined by $36 million to zero in the quarter due to lower EBITDA and slightly higher capital spending from Internet Data Centre construction.

 

CORPORATE AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENTS

 

The Honourable John Manley, P.C., O.C., joins TELUS Board of Directors

TELUS is pleased to announce that the Honourable John Manley, P.C., O.C., has been appointed to the TELUS Board of Directors.  This appointment furthers the Company’s ongoing program to recruit high-calibre individuals that strengthen the Board through a wide range of experience from all parts of Canada.  During his distinguished career, Mr. Manley has served as Deputy Prime Minister and held numerous senior portfolios in the Canadian federal government, including the ministries of Finance, Industry and Foreign Affairs.  In addition to his current role as President and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, he serves on the boards of several publicly traded companies and is active in the not-for-profit sector sharing TELUS’ philanthropic commitment – we give where we live.  Mr. Manley will serve on the Audit Committee of the Board, drawing on his breadth of experience in both the private and public sectors and his extensive understanding of Canada’s economy.

 

TELUS responds to foreign ownership allegations

In July, TELUS responded to the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) about the misleading allegations by Globalive concerning TELUS’ foreign ownership levels. TELUS’ called on the CRTC to dismiss the complaint. The response highlighted that its long-established systems to monitor and control foreign ownership of its voting shares have kept the company compliant with Canada’s foreign ownership restrictions for telecommunications companies. The company reported that as of June 29, 32.59 per cent of TELUS’ voting shares were held by non-Canadians, below the federal limit of 33.3 per cent. This includes the holdings of New York based hedge fund Mason Capital, which recently reported it held a 19.98 per cent ownership stake of TELUS common shares.

 

 

Mason Capital had recently made foreign ownership allegations public that were very similar to Globalive’s. Globalive and Mason both used reports from Broadridge Financial Solutions as the basis for their allegations. Broadridge reports use geographical and mailing information to provide companies a snapshot of where their investors are based, but do not filter out short trading and other factors that can result in shares being counted more than once. As a result, the Broadridge reports counted 214 million TELUS voting shares, yet the company has only 175 million such shares. Broadridge confirmed to TELUS its reports did not accurately portray TELUS foreign ownership, and should not be used for that purpose

 

TELUS’ processes to control foreign ownership levels are administered through its third party transfer agent, Computershare, which processes the applications from non-Canadians interested in purchasing TELUS shares, maintains TELUS’ shareholder registry, and obtains investor residency declarations from participating institutions.

 

TELUS launches Samsung Galaxy SIII and other cool devices

During the second quarter, TELUS continued to offer customers a choice of the latest devices including the iconic and popular Samsung Galaxy SIII. The new Galaxy SIII allows customers to experience the new incredible speeds of the 4G LTE network and introduces a new concept in mobile usability enabling users to communicate and share their experiences naturally and instantly.

 

In the quarter, TELUS also launched all three HTC One devices, making the company the only carrier in North America to carry the HTC One X, One V and One S. TELUS also introduced the Nokia Lumia 610, a perfect introduction-level Windows phone for a younger audience featuring instant access to social networks with the touch of a button; and the new entry point Samsung Galaxy Ace Q that makes staying connected to your social circle a breeze.

 

Optik TV evolves with exciting new apps and enhancements

In July, TELUS launched Multi-View on Optik TV allowing customers to keep up with all the action and watch up to four channels at once on the same screen. With Multi-View, one channel is displayed in the main window with audio, at the same time as three other programs are displayed in smaller windows. The app is easy to use, allows an Optik customer to quickly toggle between shows and allows customers to choose new shows to add to personal themed lists of favourite programming such as Sports, Kids, News, or Movies.

 

TELUS has also launched The Weather Network app on Optik TV, making it easier for users to check the weather conditions for any city at any time. Customers can view both short and long term weather forecasts, weather alerts and keep up with current weather conditions for up to 10 cities. You can even track the pollen forecast during hay fever season, or check ski conditions for select mountains. Multi-View and The Weather Network apps are available to all Optik TV customers at no additional charge. However, a subscription to Optik High Speed is required to make use of the Weather app.

 

Also in July, Video on Demand for Optik TV was upgraded with a new look. The new On Demand experience is not only more visually compelling, but has additional functionality to help Optik TV customers browse and select what they want to watch.

 

TELUS breaks ground on advanced Internet Data Centre in Kamloops

In June, TELUS broke ground on the construction of its Kamloops Internet Data Centre. Once complete in July 2013, the facility will draw upon green hydro power, natural cooling and other technology to be one of the most environmentally sustainable, secure and reliable operations of its kind in the world. The site will use up to 80 per cent less power than a typical data centre of its size and is designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standard. The new facility will be a cornerstone of TELUS' next-generation cloud computing solutions, giving clients a competitive edge by allowing them to focus on their core business knowing their data is effectively stored in one of the greenest and most secure data centres anywhere. It will be a sister facility to the gold LEED-designed data centre TELUS is building in Rimouski, and one of 10 data centres TELUS operates in Canada.

 

TELUS powers the Wi-Xi squad in Montreal

In July, TELUS announced that a Wi-Xi squad will hit the streets of Montreal. The squad is visiting various popular public places throughout the summer to give Montrealers free access to TELUS’ powerful 4G LTE network. The BIXI bike, decked out in TELUS colours, is transformed into a Wi-Fi access point thanks to a 4G LTE modem, the TELUS Wi-Xi, which is linked to a battery that is recharged by pedal power. TELUS’ innovation exploits the power of the Internet to offer the best technological customer solutions on the city streets as TELUS Wi-Xi allows up to 10 users per bike to connect to TELUS’ 4G LTE network.

 

TELUS moving ahead with three hybrid wireless sites in Vancouver’s West End

The Vancouver Park Board approved TELUS’ proposal to build three combined electric vehicle charging stations and low-profile TELUS wireless sites in Vancouver’s West End – the first project of its kind in the world, as far as the partners involved are aware. The three sites – a partnership between TELUS, the City of Vancouver and the Park Board – will provide electric vehicle charging sites and critical wireless capacity along the busy English Bay corridor in an attractive package complete with electric vehicle parking stalls and a bench for passers-by and people charging their cars. TELUS is investing approximately $1 million to build the sites, and expects to have the first one online in late 2012.

 

TELUS opens new concept stores to serve Toronto, Victoria and Saskatoon businesses

TELUS recently announced the official opening of its newest Business Stores in Toronto, Victoria and Saskatoon. The new stores are designed to meet the specific needs of small to medium sized businesses and enable an enhanced customer experience. This is accomplished through highly interactive and innovative technologies, as well as increased opportunities for one-on-one learning and engagement with specialized TELUS business communications experts.

 

Brookfield LePage Johnson Controls partners with TELUS Sourcing Solutions

In June, Brookfield LePage Johnson Controls (BLJC) announced a new $250,000 partnership with TELUS Sourcing Solutions to introduce automated performance management technology allowing BLJC’s 1,500 team members and managers to measure performance and development against clear annual goals. The TELUS Enterprise Performance Management solution enhances team member performance by aligning individual career goals to organizational objectives, increasing overall productivity and improving team member engagement. TELUS is a leading provider of cost-effective and innovative Human Resources and Talent Management solutions with demonstrated core competency in delivering this suite of services in the public and private sector.

 

TELUS Health supports expansion of Newfoundland and Labrador e-health records

In May, TELUS Health and Financial Solutions announced it had signed an agreement with the Newfoundland & Labrador Centre for Health Information (NLCHI) to support the next phase in the province’s deployment of an interoperable Electronic Health Record (iEHR), enabling clinicians across the province to access critical health information. This new agreement draws extensively on TELUS’ technology to deploy the Pharmacy Network, a project which delivered a core component of an EHR with the Health Information Access Layer (HIAL). Designed and created by TELUS Health to meet Canada Health Infoway specifications, the HIAL manages interactions between clinical systems (pharmacy management systems, hospital information system, physician EMRs, etc.), provincial repositories (drug, lab, shared health records, etc.) and provincial registries (client, provider, location and user). In addition to providing the first version of the HIAL contained within the Pharmacy Network, TELUS Health also provided the provincial Drug Information System, a medication management portal and data warehouse used to connect Pharmacy Network user pharmacies.

 

TELUS earns contract extension with Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

TELUS Health Solutions announced a two-year extension to its agreement with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for the operation of the Health Network System (HNS). HNS provides computerized claim adjudication, pharmacy payment, and several batch and administrative support applications to the Ontario Public Drug Program (OPDP). Pharmacies submit drug benefit claims electronically and the HNS validates eligibility, provides drug utilization review information messages, authorizes payment and calculates the government share of eligible prescription costs. TELUS Health’s management, operation and maintenance of electronic processing systems and technology support services enable the processing of drug claims under the OPDP. Under this extension, approximately 125 million Ontario Drug Benefit claims will be adjudicated and paid annually at TELUS’ advanced data facilities in Ontario.

 

TELUS to invest $1.3 million in health technology research with University of Alberta

In May, TELUS announced it signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine to provide funding support for the newly created Consumer Health Technology Innovation Living Laboratory Community program. TELUS will provide $1.3 million over the next three years to carry out research with the University on the application of emerging technologies to improve patient care within the community. Alberta is at the forefront of healthcare transformation and TELUS is continuing to build on that momentum by working with the University of Alberta to establish this national centre of excellence for consumer health technology, which will further showcase Alberta’s leadership in healthcare innovation.

 

TELUS Annual Report wins Gold Quill awards

TELUS’ 2010 Annual Report was awarded the International Association of Business Communicators’ (IABC) Gold Quill Award for excellence in the publication category and earned a spot on the Best of the Best list. Judges commended TELUS for its exceptional project execution, creativity and focus on the audience saying, “TELUS took a typically boring, required report and presented it in a fashion that is interesting to the audience, while still reporting what it needed to.” Entries for the 2012 Gold Quill Awards came from all over the world representing various industries and organizations.

 

TELUS celebrates its 85th anniversary in Quebec

In June, François Côté, President of TELUS Québec and TELUS Health Solutions, and Rimouski Mayor Éric Forest joined TELUS team members and retirees in Rimouski to celebrate the company’s 85th anniversary in Quebec. To mark this anniversary, TELUS launched, in partnership with La Presse and Le Soleil, a new contest recognizing the dedication of 30 community leaders across the province called The TELUS Community Excellence Awards. Candidates will be selected by the Association of Fundraising Professionals as well as the Association des professionnels en gestion philanthropique and winners will be rewarded with free advertising in La Presse and Le Soleil.

 

Seventh annual TELUS Day of Giving held across Canada

On May 26, more than 12,000 TELUS team members and retirees across Canada took part in the seventh annual TELUS Day of Giving. Team members, retirees, friends and family from coast-to-coast volunteered in support of hundreds of local activities to make positive, heartfelt and lasting connections within their communities on this very special day. The TELUS team made a difference by volunteering at children’s hospitals, by feeding the homeless, by sorting thousands of pounds of food bank donations, and by completing ecological face lifts at city parks, to name just a few activities. Nearly 300 activities were held in communities across Canada. Since its inception in 2006, TELUS Day of Giving has mobilized 52,000 team members, retirees, family and friends to volunteer at 1,250 TELUS-organized activities benefiting the communities where we live, work and serve.

 

Canadians participate in TELUS Walks to Cure Diabetes

TELUS is pleased to serve as the title sponsor of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s (JDRF) signature, nation-wide fundraising event, the TELUS Walk to Cure Diabetes. The TELUS Walk raises money for JDRF to continue funding critical research to find a cure for diabetes and its complications. Research helps develop advanced treatments to improve the lives of people living with type 1 diabetes. By year end, the TELUS Walk to Cure Diabetes will have occurred in 70 communities across Canada. The majority of the Walks took place on June 10. TELUS and our team members have contributed more than $5.7 million to JDRF since 2000.

 

Dividend Declaration

The Board of Directors has declared 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 October 1, 2012 to holders of record at the close of business on September 10, 2012.

 

This third quarter dividend represents a six cent or 10.9 per cent increase from the 55 cent third quarter dividend paid in October 2011.

 

- 30 -

 

Media relations:

Shawn Hall

(604) 619-7913

shawn.hall@telus.com 

 

Investor relations:

Robert Mitchell

(647) 837-1606

ir@telus.com

 

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' second quarter conference call is scheduled for August 3, 2012 at 9 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 August 3 until September 2 (1-855-201-2300), reservation 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.

 

About TELUS

TELUS (TSX: T, T.A; NYSE: TU) is a leading national telecommunications company in Canada, with $10.6 billion of annual revenue and 12.8 million customer connections including 7.4 million wireless subscribers, 3.5 million wireline network access lines, 1.3 million Internet subscribers and 595,000 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.