Shaw Communications, Inc. (NYSE:SJR) Q1 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Jan 13, 2020 • 10:00 am ET
recorded in the quarter. By making these adjustments, our Q1 and ongoing free cash flow will be comparable to historical results. In the quarter, we delivered free cash flow growth of 12% year-over-year to CAD183 million.
As we near the end of VDP, approximately 370 employees exited in the quarter and the program is now 85% complete. We remain focused on the execution of our strategic priorities and we are on track to deliver both the VDP savings in the year and to achieve our stated fiscal 2020 commitment.
Subsequent to quarter end, we were active in the debt capital markets. On December 9, we raised CAD800 million of senior notes, comprised of CAD500 million 10-year notes at 3.3% and CAD300 million of 30-year notes at 4.25%. Following the successful offering, we completed the early redemption of a total of CAD800 million worth of bonds that were maturing in 2020 and 2021. Post our financing activities, our next significant maturity is not until November 2023.
Our balance sheet and liquidity position continues to be strong. However, due to the implementation of IFRS 16 effective September 1, we were required to recognize approximately CAD1.3 billion of lease liabilities on our balance sheet related to existing lease obligations. As a result, we updated our target net debt leverage range by half a turn to 2.5 times to 3 times. And as at the end of Q1, our leverage ratio was 2.5 times, which is at the low end of our revised target range.
We also continue to have a fully undrawn five year CAD1.5 billion committed credit facility. And as part of our capital return initiatives that were announced in conjunction with our Q4 results and F '20 guidance, we've repurchased and canceled approximately CAD25 million worth of Class B shares during the quarter.
Brad, back over to you.
Thank you, Trevor. In summary, we are pleased with our overall performance in the quarter. We continue to make investments in our networks, including preparation for the deployment of 600-megahertz spectrum and small cells for eventual 5G launch. We look forward to more clarity from the regulatory bodies as to how the future of the Canadian facilities-based wireless and wireline landscape will unfold. As our results continue to demonstrate, facilities-based operators provide the most effective, sustainable competition in the market and offer Canadians innovation and real choice for their connectivity services.
Operator, we will now take questions.