News

Liberty Latin America Reports First Quarter 2019 Results

Rebased1 Revenue Growth of 4% to $943 million

Record Q1 RGU Additions of 73,000; Improving Mobile Subscriber Trend

Operating Income of $113 million, Improved by 15% Year-over-Year

OCF2 of $366 million, 9% Higher YoY; Driven by Puerto Rico
Recovery

On-Track to Achieve FY 2019 Guidance

DENVER, Colorado–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Liberty Latin America Ltd. (“Liberty Latin America” or “LLA”) (NASDAQ:
LILA and LILAK, OTC Link: LILAB) today announced its financial and
operating results for the three months ended March 31, 2019 (“Q1”).

CEO Balan Nair commented, “Our first quarter performance reflects a good
start to the year. We delivered record Q1 RGU additions of 73,000, with
subscriber growth across all reporting segments. In particular, C&W
added 32,000 RGUs, its best quarter since our 2016 acquisition, and we
continued to add RGUs in Puerto Rico following the restoration of our
network in 2018. We see relatively low penetration of high-speed
connectivity across our markets and further potential for fixed
subscriber growth as we deliver leading product propositions and expand
our high-speed footprint. In Q1, we added or upgraded over 80,000 homes
and are on-track to meet our full-year targets.”

“In mobile, we added 11,000 subscribers, with gains in both C&W and
Chile. In fact, our enhanced customer value propositions in Panama
contributed to our best quarter in subscriber gains at C&W in two years.
Besides Panama, we rolled out refreshed campaigns in the Bahamas in Q1,
as well as Jamaica and other markets in April. We expect these launches
to drive financial momentum in the coming quarters. High-speed
penetration continued to grow in the quarter as we reached 40% of our
subscriber base with LTE packages and invested in increasing our LTE
coverage.”

“Our rebased revenue and OCF growth of 4% and 9%, respectively, was
driven by the strong performance in Puerto Rico. We also generated $48
million of Adjusted FCF3 in Q1, a significant improvement
over the prior-year period.”

“We remain committed to a disciplined and diligent approach in
evaluating potential transactions and recently completed the accretive
acquisition of UTS. This expands our product portfolio in Curaçao,
creates a national champion, and enables us to deliver improved customer
experiences while achieving cost benefits through additional scale.”

“We continue to work on our five strategic priorities; driving financial
and operational performance, transforming our business, creating a
strong culture, driving inorganic growth, and optimizing our balance
sheet. We believe delivery of these priorities will create meaningful
value for our customers and shareholders.”

“As we look out to the remainder of 2019, our team is focused on
subscriber growth and operational efficiencies, which we anticipate will
benefit our financial results in the second half of the year.”

Business Highlights

  • C&W building operational momentum:

    • Record RGU growth driven by broadband, with 32,000 subscribers
      added in total
    • Mobile subscriber performance stabilizing, led by 21,000 additions
      in Panama
    • New customer value propositions launched across markets
  • VTR/Cabletica steady start to the year:

    • Broadband growth in both Chile and Costa Rica drove total RGU
      additions of 20,000
    • Cabletica delivered strong rebased revenue and OCF growth
    • VTR expanded its leading network, adding over 40,000 homes
  • Liberty Puerto Rico continuing to grow:

    • 22,000 RGUs added in the first quarter, growth across all products
      led by broadband
    • Ookla® Speedtest® Award Winner for second
      consecutive year
    • Expanding footprint with over 5,000 new homes passed

Acquisition of United Telecommunication Services (“UTS”)

  • On March 31, 2019, we completed the acquisition of an 87.5% interest
    in UTS for a cash purchase price of $161 million, subject to certain
    potential post-closing adjustments
  • UTS provides fixed and mobile services to the island nations of
    Curaçao, St. Maarten, St. Martin, Bonaire, St. Barths, St. Eustatius
    and Saba
  • The acquisition was funded through a $170 million draw on the C&W
    Revolving Credit Facility
  • Due to the timing of the acquisition, we did not record any revenue or
    earnings attributable to UTS in our condensed consolidated statement
    of operations for the three months ended March 31, 2019

Financial Highlights

 
 

Liberty Latin America

   

Q1 2019

   

Q1 2018

   

YoY
Growth/(Decline)*

 
(in millions, except % amounts)
Revenue $ 943 $ 910 4 %
OCF $ 366 $ 341 9 %
Property & equipment additions $ 139 $ 194 (28 %)
As a percentage of revenue 15 % 21 %
 
Operating income $ 113 $ 98 15 %
 
Adjusted FCF $ 48 $ (46 )
Cash provided by operating activities $ 188 $ 163
Cash used by investing activities $ (286 ) $ (188 )
Cash provided (used) by financing activities $ 39 $ (12 )

 

* Revenue and OCF YoY growth rates are on a rebased basis.

 

Subscriber Growth4

 
        Three months ended
March 31,
2019     2018
Organic RGU net additions (losses) by product
Video 14,900 2,400
Data 50,100 37,000
Voice 8,000   (6,100 )
Total 73,000   33,300  
 
Organic RGU net additions (losses) by segment
C&W 31,600 25,100
VTR/Cabletica 19,700 23,600
Liberty Puerto Rico 21,700   (15,400 )
Total 73,000   33,300  
 
Organic Mobile SIM additions (losses) by product
Postpaid 10,400 3,400
Prepaid 400   (14,400 )
Total 10,800   (11,000 )
 
Organic Mobile SIM additions (losses) by segment
C&W 800 (19,800 )
VTR/Cabletica 10,000   8,800  
Total 10,800   (11,000 )
  • Customer additions: Organic fixed
    customer additions of 36,000 in Q1 2019, more than double the
    additions in the prior-year period, including growth across all
    segments.
  • Product additions: Organic fixed RGU
    additions of 73,000 and organic mobile subscriber additions of 11,000
    in Q1 2019, both significantly improved as compared to the prior-year
    period.
  • C&W added 32,000 fixed RGUs during
    Q1; our best quarter since Q2 2016.

    • Broadband additions totaled 17,000, driven by success in our
      largest markets of Jamaica and Panama where we added 7,000 and
      6,000 RGUs, respectively, reflecting penetration on our expanding
      high-speed networks. Our broadband service levels continue to
      improve, particularly in Panama where we launched top speeds of up
      to 600 Mbps in the quarter and are now delivering up to 1 Gbps in
      certain areas.
    • Video RGU additions of 3,000 were flat year-over-year. Panama had
      another strong quarter, adding 5,000 RGUs, as we focused on our
      bundled propositions.
    • Fixed-line telephony RGU additions of 12,000 were driven by our
      successful bundling strategy, particularly in Panama, Jamaica and
      Trinidad.
    • Mobile subscribers grew by 1,000 in Q1, our first quarter of
      growth since Q1 2017.

      • Panama led this overall performance with 21,000 additions, as
        we started to see the benefits of recent marketing campaigns
        and customer retention activity.
      • In Jamaica, we recorded net subscriber losses of 14,000, as
        expected following increased activations during the holiday
        period (similarly, in Q1 2018 we lost 12,000 mobile
        subscribers in Jamaica). In April, we launched new customer
        value propositions, which we believe will drive subscriber
        additions and revenue growth.
      • In the Bahamas, we recorded our best quarterly result since
        the introduction of a new mobile competitor in 2016, with
        2,000 subscribers lost in the quarter.
  • VTR/Cabletica RGUs increased by 20,000
    during Q1, with additions across both markets. In Costa Rica,
    Cabletica added 13,000 RGUs, driven by broadband additions over our
    expanding high-speed network. VTR added 7,000 RGUs as broadband and
    video subscriber growth more than offset continued fixed-line voice
    attrition.

    • VTR’s mobile subscribers grew by 10,000 in Q1. At March 31, 2019,
      our mobile subscriber base totaled 266,000, of which 97% were on
      postpaid plans.
  • Liberty Puerto Rico added 22,000 fixed
    RGUs in Q1, continuing the momentum we had in H2 2018. This growth was
    driven by our compelling product propositions delivered over our
    leading network, which was recognized by Ookla® for the
    second consecutive year as the fastest in Puerto Rico.

Revenue Highlights

The following table presents (i) revenue of each of our reportable
segments for the comparative period and (ii) the percentage change from
period-to-period on both a reported and rebased basis:

    Three months ended     Increase/(decrease)
March 31,
2019     2018 %     Rebased %
in millions, except % amounts
 
C&W $ 569.8 $ 585.5 (2.7 ) (1.7 )
VTR/Cabletica 276.5 263.8 4.8 3.9
Liberty Puerto Rico 98.6 61.8 59.5 59.5
Intersegment eliminations (2.2 ) (1.2 )

N.M.    

N.M.    

Total $ 942.7   $ 909.9   3.6   4.0  
 

N.M. – Not Meaningful.

 
  • Our reported revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2019
    increased by 4%.

    • Reported revenue growth was primarily driven by (1) an increase of
      $37 million at Liberty Puerto Rico, mainly driven by the favorable
      comparison against the prior-year quarter resulting from the
      recovery following the 2017 hurricanes and (2) an increase of $33
      million related to the acquisition of Cabletica, partially offset
      by a negative foreign exchange (“FX”) impact of $32 million,
      primarily related to a depreciation of the Chilean peso in
      relation to the US dollar.

Q1 2019 Rebased Revenue Growth – Segment Highlights

  • C&W: Rebased revenue declined by 2%
    year-over-year.

    • Mobile revenue attrition of 13% on a rebased basis was partly
      offset by rebased revenue growth of 5% in residential fixed and 2%
      in B2B.
    • The reduction in mobile revenue was primarily attributable to
      lower ARPU in Panama and the Bahamas and reduced subscribers
      across our markets as compared to the prior-year period.
    • Fixed revenue growth was driven by volume as we added 103,000
      fixed RGUs over the last twelve months, reflecting an improvement
      from 60,000 net additions in the preceding twelve months. Overall,
      growth in broadband and video revenue more than offset a decline
      in fixed voice revenue.
    • B2B growth was driven by increased managed services revenue in
      Panama, our LatAm operations and Jamaica. Our subsea operations
      also grew, driven by increasing demand for bandwidth. Performance
      in the quarter was negatively impacted by $5 million as compared
      to the prior-year period due to a change in the timing of revenue
      for directory services recognized within the year.
  • VTR/Cabletica: Rebased revenue growth of
    4% was primarily driven by improvement in (1) residential fixed
    subscription revenue from increases in ARPU per RGU and (2) B2B
    service revenue, driven by growth in subscribers.
  • Liberty Puerto Rico: Rebased revenue
    increased by $37 million to $99 million, driven by the favorable
    comparison against the prior-year quarter resulting from the recovery
    following the 2017 hurricanes. On a sequential basis, compared to Q4
    2018, revenue increased by 5% or $5 million.

Operating Income

  • Operating income was $113 million and $98 million for the three months
    ended March 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively.

    • Operating income increased during Q1 2019, as compared with Q1
      2018, primarily due to the net effect of (i) higher OCF, as
      further described below, (ii) an increase in depreciation and
      amortization and (iii) lower restructuring charges, primarily at
      C&W.

Operating Cash Flow Highlights

The following table presents (i) OCF of each of our reportable segments
and our corporate category for the comparative period and (ii) the
percentage change from period to period on both a reported and rebased
basis:

    Three months ended     Increase/(decrease)
March 31,
2019     2018 %     Rebased %
in millions, except % amounts
 
C&W $ 222.5 $ 229.1 (2.9 ) (2.0 )
VTR/Cabletica 106.9 105.0 1.8 3.2
Liberty Puerto Rico 47.9 18.0 166.1 166.1
Corporate (11.5 ) (11.3 ) 1.8   1.8  
Total $ 365.8   $ 340.8   7.3   8.5  
 
OCF Margin 38.8 % 37.5 %
  • Our reported OCF for the three months ended March 31, 2019 increased
    by 7%.

    • Reported OCF growth was driven by (1) an increase of $30 million
      at Liberty Puerto Rico, primarily related to our strong recovery
      from the 2017 hurricanes and (2) an increase of $12 million from
      the inclusion of Cabletica, partially offset by a negative FX
      impact of $12 million, primarily related to the Chilean peso.

Q1 2019 Rebased OCF Growth – Segment Highlights

  • C&W: Rebased OCF was 2% lower, driven
    by the aforementioned revenue decline (including the $5 million
    negative impact due to a change in the timing of revenue for directory
    services), partly offset by a net decrease in costs, despite higher
    bad debt and collection expenses as compared to the first quarter of
    2018 where we benefited from a $3 million recovery related to the
    release of provisions established following the impacts of the 2017
    hurricanes.
  • VTR/Cabletica: Delivered rebased OCF
    growth of 3%, driven by a strong performance at Cabletica. VTR’s
    rebased OCF performance was impacted by increased costs related to our
    digitization initiatives, higher sales and marketing, and increased
    call center volumes.
  • Liberty Puerto Rico: The increase of $30
    million was driven by our revenue performance, as the prior-year was
    negatively impacted by the 2017 hurricanes.
  • Corporate: Costs were in-line
    year-over-year.

Net Loss Attributable to Shareholders

  • Net loss attributable to shareholders was $42 million and $45 million
    for the three months ended March 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively.

Property and Equipment Additions and Capital Expenditures

The table below highlights the categories of the property and equipment
additions for the indicated periods and reconciles those additions to
the capital expenditures that are presented in the condensed
consolidated statements of cash flows included in our Form 10-Q.

    Three months ended
March 31,
2019     2018

in millions, except % amounts

 
Customer Premises Equipment $ 71.9 $ 65.5
New Build & Upgrade 21.6 80.3
Capacity 10.9 7.2
Baseline 23.3 27.7
Product & Enablers 11.4   13.3  
Property and equipment additions 139.1 194.0
Assets acquired under capital-related vendor financing arrangements (10.9 ) (20.7 )
Assets acquired under finance leases (0.1 ) (0.6 )
Changes in current liabilities related to capital expenditures 31.5   15.5  
Capital expenditures1 $ 159.6   $ 188.2  
 
Property and equipment additions as % of revenue 14.8 % 21.3 %
 
Property and Equipment Additions of our Reportable Segments:
C&W $ 63.6 $ 67.2
VTR/Cabletica 54.1 57.0
Liberty Puerto Rico 19.8 69.8
Corporate 1.6    
Property and equipment additions $ 139.1   $ 194.0  
1.   The capital expenditures that we report in our condensed
consolidated statements of cash flows do not include amounts that
are financed under capital-related vendor financing or finance lease
arrangements. Instead, these amounts are reflected as non-cash
additions to our property and equipment when the underlying assets
are delivered and as repayments of debt when the principal is repaid.
 

Segment Highlights

  • C&W: Property and equipment additions
    of $64 million represented 11% of revenue in Q1, in-line with the
    prior-year period. In Q1 2019, new build and upgrade initiatives
    delivered over 35,000 new or upgraded homes.
  • VTR/Cabletica: Property and equipment
    additions of $54 million represented 20% of revenue in Q1, a reduction
    compared to 22% in the prior-year period. The reduction in Q1 2019 was
    driven by the inclusion of Cabletica. In Q1 2019, new build and
    upgrade initiatives delivered over 40,000 new or upgraded homes.
  • Liberty Puerto Rico: Property and
    equipment additions of $20 million represented 20% of revenue in Q1, a
    significant reduction compared to the prior-year period, primarily due
    to a decline in property and equipment additions together with an
    increase in revenue following the recovery from the 2017 hurricanes.
    In Q1 2019, new build and upgrade initiatives delivered over 5,000 new
    homes passed.

Leverage and Liquidity (at March 31, 2019)

  • Total principal amount of debt and finance leases:
    $6,789 million.
  • Leverage ratios: Consolidated gross and
    net leverage ratios of 4.3x and 3.9x, respectively.

    • These ratios were calculated on a latest two quarters annualized
      (“L2QA”) basis and therefore include the $64 million of positive
      contribution from the insurance settlements of Hurricanes Irma,
      Maria and Matthew in Q4 2018. This contribution decreased our
      gross and net leverage ratios by approximately 0.3x and 0.4x,
      respectively.
    • These ratios also include $170 million of Revolving Credit
      Facility drawings at C&W related to the acquisition of UTS,
      without any corresponding OCF contribution as the transaction was
      completed effective March 31, 2019.
  • Average debt tenor5: 5.4
    years, with approximately 92% not due until 2022
    or beyond.
  • Borrowing costs: Blended, fully-swapped
    borrowing cost of our debt was approximately 6.4%.
  • Cash and borrowing availability: $569
    million of cash and $896 million of aggregate unused borrowing capacity6
    under our revolving credit facilities.

Forward-Looking Statements and Disclaimer

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the
meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995,
including statements with respect to our strategies, priorities,
financial performance and guidance, operational and financial momentum,
and future growth prospects and opportunities, including B2B
opportunities and inorganic growth opportunities (like our acquisitions
of Cabletica and UTS) and the potential benefits from such
opportunities; our expectations with respect to subscribers, customer
data usage, revenue, ARPU, OCF and Adjusted FCF; statements regarding
the development, enhancement, and expansion of, our superior networks
(including our plans to deliver new or upgraded homes in 2019 and our
plans to expand LTE coverage and usage), our customer value propositions
and the anticipated impacts of such activity including increased
subscribers and revenue; our estimates of future P&E additions and
operating expenditures, each as a percentage of revenue; statements
regarding the establishment of a new Operations Center in Panama and the
strength of our balance sheet and tenor of our debt; and other
information and statements that are not historical fact. These forward
looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that could
cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or
implied by these statements. These risks and uncertainties include
events that are outside of our control, such as hurricanes and other
natural disasters, the ability and cost to restore networks in the
markets impacted by hurricanes; the continued use by subscribers and
potential subscribers of our services and their willingness to upgrade
to our more advanced offerings; our ability to meet challenges from
competition, to manage rapid technological change or to maintain or
increase rates to our subscribers or to pass through increased costs to
our subscribers; the effects of changes in laws or regulation; general
economic factors; our ability to obtain regulatory approval and satisfy
conditions associated with acquisitions and dispositions; our ability to
successfully acquire and integrate new businesses and realize
anticipated efficiencies from acquired businesses; the availability of
attractive programming for our video services and the costs associated
with such programming; our ability to achieve forecasted financial and
operating targets; the outcome of any pending or threatened litigation;
the ability of our operating companies to access cash of their
respective subsidiaries; the impact of our operating companies’ future
financial performance, or market conditions generally, on the
availability, terms and deployment of capital; fluctuations in currency
exchange and interest rates; the ability of suppliers and vendors
(including our third-party wireless network provider under our MVNO
arrangement) to timely deliver quality products, equipment, software,
services and access; our ability to adequately forecast and plan future
network requirements including the costs and benefits associated with
network expansions; and other factors detailed from time to time in our
filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our most
recently filed Form 10-K and Form 10-Q. These forward-looking statements
speak only as of the date of this press release. We expressly disclaim
any obligation or undertaking to disseminate any updates or revisions to
any forward-looking statement contained herein to reflect any change in
our expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions
or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

About Liberty Latin America

Liberty Latin America is a leading telecommunications company operating
in over 20 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean under the
consumer brands VTR, Flow, Liberty, Más Móvil, BTC, UTS and Cabletica.
The communications and entertainment services that we offer to our
residential and business customers in the region include digital video,
broadband internet, telephony and mobile services. Our business products
and services include enterprise-grade connectivity, data center, hosting
and managed solutions, as well as information technology solutions with
customers ranging from small and medium enterprises to international
companies and governmental agencies. In addition, Liberty Latin America
operates a subsea and terrestrial fiber optic cable network that
connects over 40 markets in the region.

Liberty Latin America has three separate classes of common shares, which
are traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbols “LILA”
(Class A) and “LILAK” (Class C), and on the OTC link under the symbol
“LILAB” (Class B).

For more information, please visit www.lla.com.

Footnotes

1.  

The indicated growth rates are rebased for the estimated impacts
of an acquisition and FX. See Revenue and Operating Cash Flow
for information on rebased growth.

 
2.

For the definition of Operating Cash Flow (“OCF”) and required
reconciliations, see OCF Definition and Reconciliation
below.

 
3.

For the definition of Adjusted Free Cash Flow (“Adjusted FCF”) and
required reconciliations, see Adjusted Free Cash Flow
Definition and Reconciliation
below.

 
4.

See Footnotes for Operating Data and Subscriber Variance Tables
for the definition of RGUs. Organic figures exclude RGUs of
acquired entities at the date of acquisition and other nonorganic
adjustments, but include the impact of changes in RGUs from the
date of acquisition. All subscriber/RGU additions or losses refer
to net organic changes, unless otherwise noted. Cabletica is only
included in the Q1 2019 period. UTS is not included in any periods
presented.

 
5. For purposes of calculating our average tenor, total debt excludes
vendor financing and finance lease obligations.
 
6. At March 31, 2019, we had undrawn commitments of $896 million. At
March 31, 2019, the full amount of unused borrowing capacity under
our subsidiaries’ revolving credit facilities was available to be
borrowed, both before and after completion of the March 31, 2019
compliance reporting requirements. For information regarding
limitations on our ability to access this liquidity, see the
discussion under “Material Changes in Financial Condition” in our
most recently filed Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.
 

Balance Sheets, Statements of Operations and Statements of Cash Flows

The condensed consolidated balance sheets, statements of operations and
statements of cash flows of Liberty Latin America are included in our
Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.

Rebase Information

For purposes of calculating rebased growth rates on a comparable basis
for all businesses that we owned during 2019, we have adjusted our
historical revenue and OCF for the three months ended March 31, 2018 to
(i) include the pre-acquisition revenue and OCF of Cabletica in our
rebased amounts for the three months ended March 31, 2018 to the same
extent that the revenue and OCF of Cabletica is included in our results
for the three months ended March 31, 2019, and (ii) reflect the
translation of our rebased amounts for the three months ended March 31,
2018 at the applicable average foreign currency exchange rates that were
used to translate our results for the three months ended March 31, 2019.

Contacts

Investor Relations
Kunal Patel, +1 786 274 7552

Corporate
Communications

Claudia Restrepo, +1 786 218 0407

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