Shaw Communications, Inc. (NYSE:SJR) Q1 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Jan 13, 2020 • 10:00 am ET

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Shaw Communications, Inc. (NYSE:SJR) Q1 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Thank you for standing by. Welcome to Shaw Communications' First Quarter 2020 Conference Call and Webcast. Today's call will be hosted by Mr. Brad Shaw, CEO of Shaw Communications. At this time, all participants are in listen-only mode and the conference is being recorded. Following the presentation, there will be a question-and-answer session. [Operator Instructions]

Before we begin, management would like to remind listeners that comments made during today's call will include forward-looking information, and there are risks that actual results could differ materially. Please refer to the Company's publicly filed documents for more details on assumptions and risks.

Mr. Shaw, I will now turn the call over to you.

Executive
Bradley Shaw

Thank you, operator. Good morning and happy new year, everyone. With me today are members of our senior management team, including Jay Mehr, Trevor English, and Paul McAleese.

As we embark on another year, the execution of our overall strategy remains the focus. We have delivered another quarter of stable Wireline results and we continue to grow our Wireless and Shaw Business divisions. We have also commenced some of our previously announced capital return initiatives as our consolidated Q1 results are in line with our expectations, including significant free cash flow in the quarter.

In Wireless, we delivered both robust subscriber growth and strong financial results. We added almost 67,000 postpaid customers during a quarter when the pricing environment was extremely aggressive, as it has been since incumbents' launch of the unlimited plans last summer. The intensity of this dynamic drove both our gross additions and churn up over the prior year, though, overall, we continue to be pleased with the quality and quantity of our subscriber growth, including increased ABPU and ARPU of both 4.1% -- 4.5% and 1% year-over-year, respectively, driving wireless service revenue and EBITDA growth in the quarter.

In Q1, we also began successfully renewing subscribers from our initial December 2017 iPhone cohort. Despite these customers graduating during a period of intense promotional activity, we are pleased with the early results of our renewal programs. We continue to invest in improving our network for the benefit of our Wireless customers. The deployment of 700 megahertz spectrum is substantially complete in Western Canada, and we plan to be fully deployed in the East by the end of fiscal 2020.

Within our consumer operations, we are steadily growing broadband RGUs and we are delivering a better customer experience. In late October, we launched Shaw BlueCurve Total, which bundles our fastest Internet speeds and IP video with a straightforward approach to rich content at an all-in price point that is attractive to the traditional or family-orientated consumer segments. This clearly had an impact of our subscribers in the quarter as the pace of video losses slowed considerably to our best result in over two years.

As our IPTV availability continues to grow, now at close to 80%, so too does the number of customers choosing to self-install, which has increased to 48% in the quarter. Our premium Shaw BlueCurve services