MONTREAL, QUEBEC -- (Marketwire) -- 01/14/13 -- Today, COGECO Inc. (TSX: CGO) ("COGECO" or the "Corporation") announced its financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2013, ended November 30, 2012, in accordance with the International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS").
For the first quarter of fiscal 2013:
-- Revenue increased by 5.9% to reach $366.6 million;-- Operating income before depreciation and amortization increased by 11.6% to $156.6 million when compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2012;-- Profit for the period from continuing operations amounted to $47.1 million in the first quarter when compared to $44.5 million for the same period of the previous fiscal year. Profit progression for the quarter is mostly attributable to the increase in operating income before depreciation and amortization, partly offset by the acquisition costs related to the Atlantic Broadband ("ABB") acquisition and the increase in income taxes in the Cable segment;-- Profit for the period amounted to $47.1 million in the first quarter when compared to $47.9 million for the same period of the previous fiscal year. This variation is mostly attributable to the Cable segment and due to an increase in income taxes, the acquisition costs related to the ABB acquisition and last year's profit from the disposition of the Portuguese subsidiary, Cabovisao - Televisao por Cabo, S.A. ("Cabovisao"), reported as discontinued operations and disposed of on February 29, 2012, partly offset by the improvement in operating income before depreciation and amortization;-- Free cash flow(1)reached $18.6 million for the quarter compared to $26.3 million in the comparable quarter of the prior year. Free cash flow decreased in the first quarter over the prior year due to the increase in current income tax expense, the acquisition costs related to ABB acquisition, the defined benefit pension plans contributions as well as the increase in acquisition of property, plant and equipment, partly offset by the improvement of operating income before depreciation and amortization;-- A quarterly dividend of $0.19 per share was paid to the holders of subordinate and multiple voting shares, an increase of $0.01 per share, or 5.6%, when compared to a dividend of $0.18 per share paid in the first quarter of fiscal 2012;-- In the Cable segment, primary service units ("PSU")(2)grew by 15,080 in the quarter. At November 30, 2012, the total consolidated PSU amounted to 2,478,887 of which 494,674 comes from the conclusion of the acquisition of ABB on November 30th;-- On December 21, 2012, the Corporation's subsidiary, Cogeco Cable Inc, announced an agreement to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of PEER 1 Network Enterprises Inc. ("PEER 1") by way of takeover bid (the "offer") valued at approximately $635 million. The offer is supported by a committed financing from the National Bank of Canada in the amount of $650 million. PEER 1 is one of the world's leading internet infrastructure providers, specializing in managed hosting, dedicated servers, cloud services and co-location. This acquisition combined with Cogeco Cable's existing data centre facilities will increase the scale and scope by adding the capability to serve approximately 10,000 additional businesses worldwide through 19 data centres and 21 points-of- presence across North America and Europe. PEER 1's primary network centre and head office are located in Vancouver. The offer will be subject to usual closing conditions and Cogeco Cable expects the transaction to be completed in the second quarter of fiscal 2013;-- On November 30, 2012, the Corporation's subsidiary, Cogeco Cable Inc., completed the acquisition of Atlantic Broadband ("ABB"), an independent cable system operator formed in 2003, serving about 495,000 PSU's and providing Analogue and Digital Television, as well as HSI and Telephony services. The transaction, valued at US$1.36 billion, was financed through a combination of cash on hand, a draw-down on its existing Term Revolving Facility of approximately US$588 million and US$660 million of borrowings under a new committed non -recourse debt financing at ABB. Ranked the 12th-largest cable television system operator in the United States, ABB operates cable systems in Western Pennsylvania, Southern Florida, Maryland, Delaware and South Carolina.(1) The indicated terms do not have standard definitions prescribed by IFRS and therefore, may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. For more details, please consult the "Non-IFRS financial measures" section of the Management's discussion and analysis.(2) Represents the sum of Television, High Speed Internet ("HSI") and Telephony service customers.