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Astral shows continued growth in the second quarter of Fiscal 2012

Date : 04/11/2012 @ 7:55AM
Source : PR Newswire (US)
Stock : Astral Media Inc., CL A., Nv (ACM.A)
Quote : 49.99  0.0 (0.00%) @ 2:05AM
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Astral shows continued growth in the second quarter of Fiscal 2012

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  • 10% increase in net earnings1
  • 15% increase in diluted EPS1

MONTREAL, April 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Astral Media Inc. (TSX: ACM.A ACM.B) today reported its financial results for the second quarter ended February 29, 2012, which saw continued growth in revenues, EBITDA2, net earnings, EPS, and cash flow from operations2.

For the second quarter, consolidated revenues totalled $233.5 million, a slight increase over the $232.7 million recorded last year for the same period. For the second quarter, EBITDA2 rose by 3% to $66.0 million from $64.3 million for the same period last year. Consolidated net earnings for the second quarter grew by 10% to $38.2 million1 from $34.7 million for the same period last year, while diluted earnings per share grew 15% to $0.691 from $0.60 per share last year. Cash flow from operations2 rose by 3% to $50.2 million for the second quarter compared to $48.7 million for the corresponding period last year.

For the first half of the year, consolidated revenues totalled $504.6 million, an increase of 1% over the $499.8 million recorded last year for the same period. For the first six months of Fiscal 2012, EBITDA2 rose by 2% to $156.4 million from $153.4 million for the same period last year. Consolidated net earnings for the first six months of Fiscal 2012 grew by 7% over last year to $94.0 million1 from $87.7 million, while diluted earnings per share grew 10% to $1.681 from $1.53 last year. Cash flow from operations2 rose by 3% to $119.2 million for the first six months of the year compared to $115.4 million for the corresponding period last year.

"I am very pleased by the Company's growth in the second quarter and by our properties' continued ability to compete aggressively in a market environment that remains challenging," said Ian Greenberg, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Once again, consumers' and advertisers' appetite for our media brands, the soundness of our development strategy and the strength of our treasury management practices have enabled us to record Astral's 62nd consecutive quarter of profitable growth."

FINANCIAL AND OPERATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

Television

  • 4% advertising revenue growth for the quarter (2% growth for the six-month period) and 1% growth in subscriber-related revenues for the quarter (2% growth for the six-month period);
  • Sequential increase in the number of pay-TV subscribers for The Movie Network and Super Écran to 1.869 million from 1.868 million for the three-month period, up 1,000 subscribers (increase of 10,000 subscribers for the six-month period to 1.869 million from 1.859 million);
  • EBITDA2 growth of 3% for the quarter (2% growth for the six-month period2);
  • Announcement, on December 22, 2011, of the launch of the Disney XD and Disney Junior (French) services on the Cogeco Cable distribution network.

Radio

  • Revenue decline of 3% for the quarter (3% decline for the six-month period);
  • EBITDA2 decline of 3% for the quarter (5% decline for the six-month period);
  • On January 4, 2012, the Company completed the acquisition of all outstanding shares of Shore Media Group Inc., a radio broadcaster in Vancouver, British Columbia, for a cash consideration of $13.4 million;
  • On February 1, 2012, launch of an all-new digital music service across all of the Company's Top-40 format radio stations.

Out-of-Home

  • Revenue growth of 8% for the quarter (11% growth for the six-month period);
  • EBITDA2 growth of 19% for the quarter (16% growth for the six-month period);
  • On February 28, 2012, announcement of the introduction of the Near Field Communication technology to Astral Out-of-Home's street furniture structures in Toronto and Montréal.

Corporate

  • Company announcement, on March 16, 2012, subsequent to the end of the second quarter, that it has entered into a definitive agreement with BCE Inc. for the sale of its business through the acquisition of all of its issued and outstanding shares3 (the "Bell-Astral Transaction");
  • Following the announcement of the Bell-Astral Transaction, the Company's dividend payment scheduled for August 2012 and activity under the Normal Course Issuer Bid ("NCIB") have been suspended;
  • The repurchase of 191,900 Class A Shares for a consideration of $6.4 million in the second quarter under the Company's NCIB;
  • The appointment of Robert Fortier as the Company's Vice-President, Finance, and Chief Financial Officer.

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

There will be a conference call with analysts and media at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 11, 2012. To access the conference call dial 1-800-731-5319. The conference call will also be broadcast live and archived for a three-month period on the Astral website at www.astral.com.

Founded in 1961, Astral is one of Canada's largest media companies. It operates several of the country's most popular pay and specialty television, radio, out-of-home advertising and digital media properties. Astral plays a central role in community life across the country by offering diverse, rich and vibrant programming that meets the tastes and needs of consumers and advertisers. To learn more about Astral, visit www.astral.com.

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements concerning the future performance of the Company. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations. We caution that all forward-looking information is inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from the assumptions, estimates or expectations reflected or contained in the forward-looking information, and that actual future performance will be affected by a number of factors, including technological change, economic conditions, regulatory change, competitive factors and changes in accounting rules or standards, many of which are beyond the Company's control. Except as required under applicable securities regulations, we disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.

  1. Excluding the impact, for the second quarter of Fiscal 2012, of acquisition and other costs, totalling $4.3 million or $3.2 million net of income taxes ($0.06 per share, diluted) mainly related to the Shore FM acquisition. See details in the "Additional IFRS and Non-IFRS Measures" in Appendix 1.
  2. See "Additional IFRS and Non-IFRS Measures" in Appendix 1.
  3. See the "Acquisition of Astral" section in the Management's Discussion and Analysis.





ASTRAL MEDIA INC.

Interim Consolidated Statements of Earnings

for the periods ended February 29, 2012 and February 28, 2011

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

(unaudited)
    3 months   6 months
      2012     2011   2012     2011
                         
Revenues   $ 233,503   $ 232,678   $ 504,603   $ 499,771
                         
Operating expenses     167,459     168,403     348,158     346,390
Acquisition and other costs     4,311     -     4,311     -
Depreciation of property, plant and equipment     7,360     7,041     14,866     13,881
Amortization of other intangible and non-current assets     1,976     2,301     3,938     4,514
Financial expense, net     3,973     5,475     7,926     11,170
                         
Earnings before income taxes     48,424     49,458     125,404     123,816
                         
Income tax provision     13,419     14,768     34,643     36,071
                         
Net earnings   $ 35,005   $ 34,690   $ 90,761   $ 87,745
                         
Earnings per share                        
  - Basic   $ 0.63   $ 0.61   $ 1.64   $ 1.55
  - Diluted   $ 0.63   $ 0.60   $ 1.62   $ 1.53





ASTRAL MEDIA INC. 

Interim Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income

for the periods ended February 29, 2012 and February 28, 2011

(in thousands of Canadian dollars)

(unaudited)
    3 months   6 months
      2012     2011     2012     2011
                         
Net earnings   $ 35,005   $ 34,690   $ 90,761   $ 87,745
Other comprehensive income                        
Actuarial gain (loss) on employee future benefit plans, net of income tax expense (recovery) of

($1.3 million) and $0.7 million respectively for the three months, and ($3.7 million) and

$1.5 million respectively for the six months
    (3,591)     1,969     (10,363)     4,231
Change in fair value of derivatives designated as cash flow hedges, net of income tax expense of

$0.5 million and $0.5 million respectively for the three months, and $0.6 million and

$1.4 million respectively for the six months
    1,523     1,396     1,633     3,704
                         
Comprehensive income   $ 32,937   $ 38,055   $ 82,031   $ 95,680





ASTRAL MEDIA INC. 

Interim Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows

for the periods ended February 29, 2012 and February 28, 2011

(in thousands of Canadian dollars)

(unaudited)
    3 months   6 months
      2012     2011     2012     2011
                         
OPERATING ACTIVITIES                        
  Net earnings   $ 35,005   $ 34,690   $ 90,761   $ 87,745
                           
  Non-cash items:                        
    Stock-based compensation costs     1,872     1,723     4,024     4,216
    Depreciation and amortization     9,336     9,342     18,804     18,395
    Imputed interest, net     426     449     685     758
    Amortization of deferred financing costs     272     172     477     343
    Deferred tax expense     3,288     2,327     4,410     3,977
                           
  Cash flow from operations     50,199     48,703     119,161     115,434
  Net change in non-cash operating items     6,260     10,481     (38,847)     (20,056)
                         
Cash provided by operating activities     56,459     59,184     80,314     95,378
                         
                         
                         
INVESTING ACTIVITIES                        
  Additions to property, plant and equipment     (6,808)     (7,693)     (12,382)     (17,687)
  Additions to other intangible and non-current assets     (1,344)     (5,061)     (2,296)     (7,849)
  Business acquisition, net of cash acquired     (11,520)     -     (11,520)     -
Cash used for investing activities     (19,672)     (12,754)     (26,198)     (25,536)
                         
FINANCING ACTIVITIES                        
  Repayment of long-term debt     (20,000)     -     (30,000)     (10,000)
  Deferred financing costs     (6)     -     (2,017)     -
  Stock options exercised     14,166     7,787     17,276     12,603
  Shares repurchased     (6,369)     (31,440)     (14,126)     (31,440)
  Dividends     (27,919)     (21,371)     (27,923)     (21,375)
Cash used for financing activities     (40,128)     (45,024)     (56,790)     (50,212)
Net change in cash     (3,341)     1,406     (2,674)     19,630
Cash - beginning of period     23,320     29,769     22,653     11,545
Cash - end of period   $ 19,979   $ 31,175   $ 19,979   $ 31,175

 



ASTRAL MEDIA INC.  

Interim Consolidated Balance Sheets as at

(in thousands of Canadian dollars)

(unaudited)
  February 29,

2012
  August 31,

2011
  September 1,

2010
                 
ASSETS                
Current                
  Cash $ 19,979   $ 22,653   $ 11,545
  Accounts receivable   163,086     170,063     169,240
  Program and film rights   116,735     105,385     106,723
  Prepaid expenses and other current assets   33,817     29,096     29,451
    333,617     327,197     316,959
Program and film rights   53,074     51,058     41,640
Property, plant and equipment   192,893     195,508     180,616
Broadcast licences   1,650,410     1,639,785     1,661,949
Goodwill   121,067     116,016     116,016
Other intangible and non-current assets   66,484     70,543     64,162
Non-current financial assets   16,101     19,852     22,848
Deferred tax assets   62,234     60,747     64,683
                 
  $ 2,495,880   $ 2,480,706   $ 2,468,873
                 
LIABILITIES                
Current                
  Accounts payable and accrued liabilities $ 118,924   $ 142,627   $ 143,780
  Provisions   2,867     4,621     3,380
  Income taxes payable   10,643     13,560     16,654
  Program and film rights payable   77,915     77,033     64,908
  Other current financial liabilities   241     1,945     -
    210,590     239,786     228,722
Long-term debt   492,593     524,133     588,447
Deferred tax liabilities   153,314     152,455     144,424
Program and film rights payable   10,639     8,839     12,668
Provisions   5,876     5,453     5,244
Other non-current liabilities   70,435     57,124     63,820
Other non-current financial liabilities   8,741     10,116     20,311
    952,188     997,906     1,063,636
                 
SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY                
Capital stock   777,074     762,572     768,762
Contributed surplus   17,559     17,278     18,903
Retained earnings   748,836     704,360     624,609
Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss)   223     (1,410)     (7,037)
    749,059     702,950     617,572
    1,543,692     1,482,800     1,405,237
                 
  $ 2,495,880   $ 2,480,706   $ 2,468,873



ASTRAL MEDIA INC.

Business Segments

for the periods ended February 29, 2012 and February 28, 2011

(in thousands of Canadian dollars)

(unaudited)
  3 months   6 months
    2012     2011     2012     2011
                       
REVENUES                      
                       
Television $ 140,561   $ 138,879   $ 294,113   $ 288,563
Radio   74,197     76,396     162,488     168,027
Out-of-Home   18,745     17,403     48,002     43,181
                       
  $ 233,503   $ 232,678   $ 504,603   $ 499,771
                       
EBITDA(1)                      
                       
Television $ 49,665   $ 48,426   $ 108,273   $ 105,897
Radio   18,396     18,970     45,987     48,483
Out-of-Home   4,310     3,634     16,145     13,866
Corporate   (6,327)     (6,755)     (13,960)     (14,865)
                       
                       
  $ 66,044   $ 64,275   $ 156,445   $ 153,381



 
(1) See Appendix 1.





ASTRAL MEDIA INC.

Appendix 1

Additional IFRS and Non-IFRS Measures

for the periods ended February 29, 2012 and February 28, 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 MEASURE

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 acquisition and other 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 consolidated statements of earnings for the periods ended February 29, 2012 and February 28, 2011 to EBITDA:

  3 months   6 months
(in thousands of $) 2012   2011   2012   2011
               
Earnings before income taxes 48,424   49,458   125,404   123,816
Depreciation and amortization 9,336   9,342   18,804   18,395
Financial expense, net 3,973   5,475   7,926   11,170
Acquisition and other costs 4,311   -   4,311   -
EBITDA 66,044   64,275   156,445   153,381



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

The following tables reconcile IFRS measures disclosed in the consolidated statements of earnings for the periods ended February 29, 2012 and February 28, 2011 to net earnings and diluted earnings per share before acquisition and other costs:

  3 months   6 months
(in thousands of $) 2012   2011     2012   2011
               
Net earnings 35,005   34,690   90,761   87,745
Acquisition and other costs, net of income taxes 3,198   -   3,198   -
Net earnings before acquisition and other costs 38,203   34,690   93,959   87,745
               
          3 months   6 months
(in dollars) 2012   2011   2012   2011
               
Diluted earnings per share 0.63   0.60   1.62   1.53
Acquisition and other costs, net of income taxes 0.06   -   0.06   -
Diluted earnings per share before acquisition and other costs 0.69   0.60   1.68   1.53



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.

Copyright 2012 PR Newswire



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