DAILY NEWS Jan 10, 2013 8:02 AM - 0 comments

Astral Reports Q1 Financial Results

TEXT SIZE bigger text smaller text
2013-01-10

Astral Media Inc. today reported its financial results for the first quarter ended November 30, 2012, which saw continued growth in net earnings1, EPS1, EBITDA2, revenues and cash flow from operations2.

In the first quarter, consolidated net earnings1 rose 7% to $59.6 million from $55.8 million for the same period last year, while diluted earnings per share1 increased by 5% to $1.05 from $1.00 last year. EBITDA2 grew 4% to $93.7 million from $90.4 million last year, while consolidated revenues totalled $274.5 million, an increase of 1% over the $271.1 million recorded last year for the same period. Cash flow from operations at $69.2 million is slightly above last year's figure of $69.0 million.

"I am very pleased with our Company's consolidated and segmented performance in the first quarter of Fiscal 2013, marking the single largest quarter in the Company's history" said Ian Greenberg, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our relentless focus on delivering better value to advertisers and consumers combined with the discipline that defines Astral's decision-making approach provide us with the optimal strategy to reach our objectives and continue to deliver balanced growth across our diversified asset portfolio."

BELL-ASTRAL TRANSACTION3

On March 16, 2012, the Company announced that it entered into a definitive agreement with BCE Inc. for the sale of its business through the acquisition of all of its issued and outstanding shares. Following the October 18, 2012 decision of the CRTC to deny Bell's application to acquire the control of the Company, the Company and Bell announced on November 19, 2012 that they have amended the arrangement agreement signed on March 16, 2012 and submitted a new proposal to the CRTC for approval of Bell's acquisition of the Company.

As a result of the amendments made to the terms of the arrangement agreement: (i) the outside date for the closing of the transaction has been extended to June 1, 2013, with each of the Company and Bell having a further right to postpone it to July 31, 2013, (ii) Bell's regulatory covenants have been modified, and (iii) the Company's Board of directors has declared a cash dividend of $0.50 per share on its class A non-voting shares and class B subordinate voting shares, payable on February 1, 2013 to shareholders of record at the close of business on January 15, 2013. The consideration payable to the Company's shareholders remains unchanged under the amended arrangement agreement. The Bell-Astral Transaction is subject to closing conditions, including regulatory approvals from the CRTC and the Competition Bureau. There can be no assurance that the Bell-Astral Transaction will occur, or that it will occur on the terms and conditions currently contemplated.

SEGMENTED FINANCIAL AND OPERATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

Television

Revenue growth of 2%;

EBITDA2 growth of 5%;

EBITDA margin2 of 39.3%, up from 38.2% for the same period last year.

Radio

Revenue growth of 1%;

EBITDA2 growth of 1%;

EBITDA margin2 of 31.3%, consistent with last year;

Prior to the beginning of the first quarter, rebranding of two stations in London and Winnipeg to the prestigious Virgin Radio brand, bringing the total of Astral Virgin Radio stations to seven;

On November 23, inauguration of Canada's largest private radio broadcasting centre with five Astral French- and English-language stations under the same roof in Montréal.

Out-of-Home

Revenue growth of 2%;

EBITDA2 growth of 1%;

EBITDA margin2 of 40.0%, consistent with last year;

In September, launch of a brand new network of 30 urban Digital Columns in the heart of downtown Montréal;

Announcement of the addition of 6 new Digital faces by February 2013 on Toronto's Gardiner Expressway, bringing Astral's popular national Digital Network to 49 faces.

Corporate

Over the course of the first quarter, the Company repaid $7.0 million of its long-term debt, bringing its Net Debt and leverage ratio just below $356.0 million and 1.1 respectively;

Astral announced in November a cash dividend of $0.50 per share on its class A non-voting shares and class B subordinate voting shares, payable on February 1, 2013.

The unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements and related notes and Management's Discussion and Analysis are available on the Company's website: astral.com.

 1. Excluding Bell-Astral transaction costs. See "Additional IFRS and Non-IFRS Measures" in Appendix 1.

2. For more details, see "Additional IFRS and Non-IFRS Measures" in Appendix 1.

3. For more details, see the "Bell-Astral Transaction" section in the Management's Discussion and Analysis for the periods ended November 30, 2012 and 2011 and the press release issued by the Company on November 19, 2012.

ASTRAL MEDIA INC.

Interim Consolidated Statements of Earnings

for the three months ended

(in thousands of Canadian dollars except for per-share data)

(unaudited)

November 30

2012 2011

Revenues $ 274,465 $ 271,100

Operating expenses 180,811 180,699

Depreciation of property, plant and equipment 6,931 7,506

Amortization of other intangible and non-current assets 2,363 1,962

Financial expense, net 2,836 3,953

Bell-Astral Transaction costs 660 -

Earnings before income taxes 80,864 76,980

Income tax expense 21,759 21,224

Net earnings $ 59,105 $ 55,756

Earnings per share

- Basic $ 1.06 $ 1.01

- Diluted $ 1.04 $ 1.00

ASTRAL MEDIA INC.

Interim Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income

for the three months ended

(in thousands of Canadian dollars)

(unaudited)

November 30

2012 2011

Net earnings $ 59,105 $ 55,756

Item that is never subsequently reclassified to statements of earnings

Actuarial loss on employee future benefit plans, net of income tax recovery of

$1.8 million and $2.4 million respectively (4,830) (6,772)

Item that may be subsequently reclassified to statements of earnings

Change in fair value of derivatives designated as cash flow hedges, net of

income tax expense (recovery) of ($0.2 million) and $0.1 million respectively (663) 110

Other comprehensive loss (5,493) (6,662)

Comprehensive income $ 53,612 $ 49,094

ASTRAL MEDIA INC.

Interim Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows

for the three months ended

(in thousands of Canadian dollars)

(unaudited)

November 30,

2012 2011

OPERATING ACTIVITIES

Net earnings $ 59,105 $ 55,756

Non-cash items:

Stock-based compensation costs 2,098 2,152

Depreciation and amortization 9,294 9,468

Imputed interest, net 288 259

Amortization of deferred financing costs 281 205

Deferred tax expense (recovery) (1,902) 1,122

Cash flows from operations 69,164 68,962

Net change in non-cash operating items (44,841) (45,111)

Cash provided by operating activities 24,323 23,851

INVESTING ACTIVITIES

Additions to property, plant and equipment (9,708) (5,574)

Additions to other intangible and non-current assets (999) (952)

Cash used for investing activities (10,707) (6,526)

FINANCING ACTIVITIES

Repayment of long-term debt (7,000) (10,000)

Deferred financing costs - (2,011)

Stock options exercised 1,702 3,110

Shares repurchased - (7,757)

Cash used for financing activities (5,298) (16,658)

Net change in cash 8,318 667

Cash - beginning of period 20,892 22,653

Cash - end of period $ 29,210 $ 23,320

ASTRAL MEDIA INC.

Interim Consolidated Balance Sheets as at

(in thousands of Canadian dollars)

(unaudited)

November 30,

2012 August 31,

2012

ASSETS

Current

Cash $ 29,210 $ 20,892

Accounts receivable 193,823 174,384

Program and film rights 123,080 114,753

Prepaid expenses and other current assets 41,861 29,007

387,974 339,036

Program and film rights 52,588 51,208

Property, plant and equipment 209,824 210,035

Broadcast licences 1,631,307 1,631,307

Goodwill 118,489 118,489

Other intangible and non-current assets 63,178 64,750

Non-current financial assets 15,491 16,084

Deferred tax assets 40,530 34,582

$ 2,519,381 $ 2,465,491

LIABILITIES

Current

Accounts payable and accrued liabilities $ 150,184 $ 141,729

Provisions 3,208 5,319

Income taxes payable 20,408 15,531

Program and film rights payable 74,744 63,619

248,544 226,198

Long-term debt 383,419 390,138

Deferred tax liabilities 133,422 131,377

Program and film rights payable 9,877 7,446

Provisions 6,305 6,717

Other non-current liabilities 80,935 76,556

Other non-current financial liabilities 9,351 8,466

871,853 846,898

SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY

Capital stock 783,133 778,548

Contributed surplus 19,199 20,445

Retained earnings 845,729 819,470

Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) (533) 130

845,196 819,600

1,647,528 1,618,593

$ 2,519,381 $ 2,465,491

ASTRAL MEDIA INC.

Business Segments

for the three months ended November 30,

(in thousands of Canadian dollars)

(unaudited)

2012 2011

REVENUES

Television $ 155,827 $ 153,552

Radio 88,786 88,291

Out-of-Home 29,852 29,257

$ 274,465 $ 271,100

EBITDA(1)

Television $ 61,251 $ 58,608

Radio 27,773 27,591

Out-of-Home 11,935 11,835

Corporate (7,305) (7,633)

$ 93,654 $ 90,401

(1) See Appendix 1.

ASTRAL MEDIA INC.

Appendix 1

Additional IFRS and Non-IFRS Measures

for the periods ended November 30, 2012 and 2011

(unaudited)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In addition to discussing earnings measures in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS"), this press release provides the following additional IFRS and non-IFRS measures which are also factors used by the Company's management and Board of Directors in monitoring and evaluating the performance of the Company and its business segments:

Additional IFRS Measure

Cash flow from operations is defined as cash provided by operating activities before the net change in non-cash operating items. This measure provides an indication of the Company's ability to generate cash flows without considering certain timing and other factors causing variations in non-cash operating items.

Non-IFRS Measures

EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) is provided to assist investors in determining the ability of the Company to generate cash flow from operating activities and to cover financial charges. Other items such as Bell-Astral Transaction costs are also excluded from earnings in the determination of EBITDA as they are not considered to be in the ordinary course of business. EBITDA is also an indicator widely used for business valuation purposes. EBITDA margin is defined as the ratio obtained by dividing EBITDA by revenues. The following table reconciles IFRS measures disclosed in the unaudited interim consolidated statements of earnings for the periods ended November 30, 2012 and 2011 to EBITDA:

November 30

(in thousands of $) 2012 2011

("Fiscal 2013") ("Fiscal 2012")

Earnings before income taxes 80,864 76,980

Depreciation and amortization 9,294 9,468

Financial expense, net 2,836 3,953

Bell-Astral Transaction costs 660 -

EBITDA 93,654 90,401

Net earnings and diluted earnings per share before Bell-Astral Transaction costs. These measures provide an indication of the Company's ability to generate earnings from its ongoing operations, by excluding some items such as Bell-Astral Transaction costs as they are not considered to be in the ordinary course of business.

The following tables reconcile IFRS measures disclosed in the unaudited interim consolidated statements of earnings for the periods ended November 30 2012 and 2011 to net earnings and diluted earnings per share before Bell-Astral Transaction costs:

November 30

(in thousands of $) 2012 2011

Net earnings 59,105 55,756

Bell-Astral Transaction costs, net of income taxes 484 -

Net earnings before Bell-Astral Transaction costs 59,589 55,756

November 30

(in dollars) 2012 2011

Diluted earnings per share 1.04 1.00

Bell-Astral Transaction costs, net of income taxes 0.01 -

Diluted earnings per share before Bell-Astral Transaction costs 1.05 1.00

The above additional IFRS and non-IFRS measures do not have a standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS and may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies.

SOURCE: Astral Media Inc.


Horizontal ruler
Horizontal Ruler

Post A Comment

Disclaimer
Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that BroadCaster Magazine has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published and those that are published will not be edited. However, all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Your Name (this will appear with your post) *

Email Address (will not be published) *

Comments *



* mandatory fields