BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Feb 07, 2019 • 08:00 am ET


BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE) Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript


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Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the BCE Q4 2018 Results and 2019 guidance Conference Call. I would now like to turn the meeting over to Mr. Thane Fotopoulos. Please go ahead, Mr. Fotopoulos.

Thane Fotopoulos

Thank you, Valerie. Good morning to everyone. With me here this morning are George Cope, BEC's President and Chief Executive Office, as well as Glen LeBlanc, our Chief Financial Officer.

As a reminder, our Q4 results package 2019 financial guidance targets, another disclosure documents, including today's slide presentation are available on BCE's investor relations webpage. However, before we get started, I want to draw your attention to the Safe Harbor statement on Slide 2. Information and its presentation and remarks made by the speakers today will contain statements about expected future events and financial results that are forward-looking, and therefore subject to risks and uncertainties. Additional information on such risks and assumptions, please consult BCE's Safe Harbour Notice concerning forward-looking statements, dated February 7, 2019, that is filed with both the Canadian Securities Commissions and with the SEC and which is also available on our website.

These forward-looking statements represent our expectations as of today and therefore are subject to change. We disclaim any obligation to update forward-looking statements except as required by law.

So with that done, over to George.

George Alexander Cope

Great. Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us. I will just start on the presentation, give you quick overview, and then turn it over to Glen.

Certainly, we ended the year on a positive note with all three of our operating segments reporting revenue growth and importantly EBITDA growth across the three groups. From the wireline perspective, a 2.4% revenue growth being our strongest organic revenue growth in over 10 years; they're driving a 1.3% wireline EBITDA growth and a growth in market share of Internet and IPTV combined with net adds up 11% year-over-year.

On the wireless (ph) side, that was a balanced quarter with 143,000, total postpaid and prepaid net adds, generating the revenue and EBITDA growth we reported this morning. I think one of the highlights of the quarter on top of the Wireline revenue growth was the media's financial performance up 1.9% revenue and adjusted EBITDA growth of 2.9 and generating free cash flow growth in the quarter.

Turn to the next page, just stepping back and looking at the year. You know, I think it was a very positive year from a broadband perspective for the company. Approximately, 700,000, subscribers added during the year, up 32% year-over-year; excellent wireless growth with 480,000 net adds, up 44% year-over-year; of course, a large part of that driven through the change in direction or trajectory of our prepaid business from negative to positive with the launch of the Lucky brand.

And the fiber rollout continues to benefit us with 219,000 Internet and IPTV net adds in the year, up approximately 12% and about 233,000 additional customers now on our fiber footprint, up 40%. So some -- obviously, strong growth numbers for the