TELUS Corporation (NYSE:TU) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Feb 13, 2020 • 12:00 pm ET

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TELUS Corporation (NYSE:TU) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good morning ladies and gentleman, welcome to the TELUS 2019 Q4 Earnings Conference Call.

I would like to introduce your speaker, Mr. Robert Mitchell. Please go ahead.

Executive
Robert Mitchell

Hello everyone. Thank you for joining the call today. The TELUS fourth quarter 2019 results and 2020 targets news release, annual MD&A, financial statements and detailed supplemental investor information are posted on our website at telus.com/investors.

On the call today, we have Darren Entwistle, President and CEO; Jeff Puritt, Executive Vice President and President CEO of TELUS International; Doug French, Executive Vice President and CFO; Francois Gratton, Group President and Chair of TELUS Quebec.

With that, let me direct your attention to slide two. This presentation and answers-to-questions can be forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties and made based on certain assumptions. Accordingly, actual performance could differ from the statements made today, so we ask that you do not place undue reliance upon them. We also disclaim any obligation to update forward-looking statements except as required by law. We are free to the description of risks and uncertainties in our annual 2019 and MD&A filed today.

Now, let me turn the call over to you, Darren, starting on slide three.

Executive
Darren Entwistle

Thanks, Roberto, and good morning, everyone. In 2019, TELUS continued its track record of delivering strong and consistent financial and operating results in both wireless and our wireline business lines, and the trend that the TELUS team has just demonstrated over a longer term continues in terms of the consistency, the excellence and the diversity of our results across both our wireless and wireline business tenets. While 2019 and indeed the fourth quarter were characterized by profitable growth with a thoughtful balance between continuing to meaningfully expand our customer base and enhancing profitability quarter in, quarter out, year in, year out.

The fourth quarter concluded another year of robust client growth where we added a leading 713,000 net customer additions whilst achieving our annual revenue and EBITDA growth targets for now the ninth consecutive year. We've realized this continued performance, thanks to the TELUS team's unwavering dedication to executing effectively on our long-standing growth strategy. Indeed, our team's commitment to providing an industry-best customer experience over a globally leading network enable TELUS to continue our leadership in respect of customer loyalty and retention. In the fourth quarter, consolidated revenue was up an industry-leading 3.3%. Moreover, EBITDA increased an industry-best 5.2%. Our team delivered leading fourth quarter customer growth of 176,000 net additions, reflecting the superiority of our broadband networks and customer service as well as our unmatched portfolio of products and services that are clearly resonating with clients, both existing and new.

Turning now to take a look at our wireless business. Fourth quarter network revenue expanded by 2% and was flat versus Q3, adjusting for the impact of lower wholesale roaming revenue, and it was driven by our consistent focus on profitable, high-quality, smartphone-centric subscriber growth. In respect of wireless EBITDA, TELUS achieved year-over-year growth of almost 5%. Wireless loading