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Q4-2015: Charter reports growth in video customers, revenue up 6.4%

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BENGALURU: Charter Communications, Inc (Charter) reported quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) net addition of 29,000 residential video subscribers for the quarter ended 31 December, 2015 (Q4-2015, current quarter). Last quarter (Q3-2015), the company had added 16,000 residential video subscribers as compared to Q2-2015. As a result, Charter closed the year ended 31 December, 2015 (FY-2015, current year) with 43.22 lakh residential video subscribers, just 2,000 less than the 43.44 lakh residential subscribers that the company had closed Q4-2014 and FY-2014 with.

As has been reported earlier, both Comcast Communications Inc and Time Warner Cable, Inc had closed the current quarter and year with the best video numbers over eight years and 10 years respectively. It seems that the current quarter has retarded or reversed the video subscriber slide in the US for now. Charter says that 2015 marks the first full year in over a decade in which it grew its total video customers, including 33,000 video net additions in the fourth quarter, and 11,000 for the full year 2015.

Note: 100,00,000 = 100 lakh = 10 million = 1crore

Charter reported Q4-2015 revenues of $2,512 million, which grew 6.4 per cent YoY as compared to $2,360 million. Charter reported residential revenue growth of 7.2 per cent YoY ($,2,083 million as compared to $1,943 million) and commercial revenue growth of 12.3 per cent YoY ($294 million as compared to $262 million). Q4-2015 Adjusted EBITDA grew by 7.5 per cent YOY. Excluding transition costs of $22 million for Charter's pending transactions, fourth quarter Adjusted EBITDA grew by 8.4 per cent YoY. The company reported a higher loss of $122 million in the current quarter as compared to $48 million in Q4-2014.

FY-2015 revenues increased 7.1 per cent YoY to $9,754 million as compared to $9,108 million. Adjusted EBITDA rose 6.8 per cent YoY to $3,406 million in FY-2015 as compared to $3,190 million. Excluding transition costs for the pending transactions, 2015 Adjusted EBITDA increased 8.5 per cent. Charter’s net loss in FY-2015 increased to $271 million as compared to $83 million in the corresponding year ago quarter.

Company Speak

“Our consumer-focused product and service strategy continued to drive Charter's accelerating customer growth in 2015, including positive video net additions,” said Charter Communications president and CEO Tom Rutledge. “Charter remains the fastest growing cable company in the United States because it provides highly-competitive consumer-friendly products at attractive price points, in simple packages, with quality customer service. We look forward to bringing Charter Spectrum to the Time Warner Cable and Bright House footprints following the close of our transactions, offering consumers better products, prices and service, driving greater growth for our new company and our business partners, and creating value for shareholders.”

Customer relationships and performance

Charter reported 4.9 per cent YoY growth in residential customer relationships in Q4-2015 at 62.84 lakh as compared to 59.90 lakh and increased 1.3 per cent QoQ as compared to 62.02 lakh. Small and medium business customer relationships increased 17.5 per cent YoY in Q4-2015 to 3.9 lakh from 3.32 lakh and increased four per cent from 3.75 lakh in the immediate trailing quarter. Total customer relationships increased in the current quarter 5.6 per cent YoY to 66.74 lakh from 63.22 lakh and increased 1.5 per cent from 65.77 lakh in the previous quarter.

Combined video, internet and voice (VIVE) revenue in the current quarter grew 7.2 per cent YoY at $2,083 million as compared to $1,983 million and increased 2.1 per cent QoQ as compared to $2,040 million.

Average revenue per residential customer (ARPU) in Q4-2015 increased by $0.50 to $111.19 from $110.69 in Q3-2015. In Q4-2014, Charter reported residential ARPU of $108.67.

Video

Video subscription numbers have been mentioned above. Video revenue in Q4-2015 grew 2.9 per cent YoY to $1,167 million as compared to $1,134 million and increased 2.1 per cent QoQ as compared to $1,143 million. Charter’s non-video residential customer relationships increased to 31.2 per cent as compared to 27.8 per cent in Q4-2014 and 30.8 per cent in Q3-2015.

Internet

Internet subscription numbers in the current quarter increased 9.2 per cent YoY to 51.12 million from 47.85 lakh and increased 0.7 per cent QoQ from 42.93 million. Internet revenue in the current quarter increased 16.6 per cent YoY to $781 million from $670 million and increased 2.5 per cent QoQ from $762 million.

Voice

Voice subscription numbers in the current quarter increased 6.5 per cent YoY to 25.98 lakh from 24.39 lakh and increased 1.8 per cent QoQ from25.51 lakh. Voice revenue reduced 2.9 per cent YoY to $135 million from $135 million and was flat QoQ at $135 million.

Residential Multiplay

Residential single play subscribers increased 4.6 per cent YOY to 24.58 lakh from 23.50 lakh and increased 0.5 per cent from 24.45 lakh. Residential double play subscribers increased 3.9 per cent YoY to 17.90 lakh from 17.22 lakh and increased 1.7 per cent from 17.60 lakh. Residential triple play subscribers in Q3-2015 increased 6.2 per cent YoY to 20.36 lakh from 19.18 lakh and increased two per cent QoQ from 19.97 lakh.

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