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Internet Gold Reports Fourth Quarter 2011 Financial Results

Bezeq Group’s Q4 and Full Year Financial Results

Revenues of the Bezeq Group in 2011 amounted to NIS 11.37 billion compared with NIS 12.0 billion in 2010, a decrease of 5.1%. Most of the erosion in the Bezeq Group's revenues is explained by a sharp reduction in cellular interconnect tariffs, which was partially offset by increased sales of cellular terminal equipment and by continuing growth in Internet and data.

The Bezeq Group's revenues in the fourth quarter of 2011 amounted to NIS 2.65 billion, a decrease of 13.3% compared with NIS 3.06 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010. The decrease stems from the lower interconnect fees mentioned above and from intensifying competition in the markets in which the Bezeq Group operates.

The Bezeq Group's operating profit, net profit and EBITDA for 2011 were adversely affected by a provision of NIS 361.5 million made for employee retirement expenses (of which NIS 80 million was recorded in the fourth quarter of 2011) and by a net expense of NIS 116 million in respect of employee stock option.

Operating profit in the Bezeq Group amounted to NIS 3.24 billion in 2011 compared with NIS 3.74 billion in 2010, a decrease of 13.4%.

EBITDA in 2011 was NIS 4.64 billion (EBITDA margin of 40.8%), compared with NIS 5.15 billion in 2010 (EBITDA margin of 43.0%), a decline of 10.0%.

Net profit attributable to Bezeq shareholders fell by 15.4% and amounted to NIS 2.07 billion in 2011 compared with NIS 2.44 billion in 2010.

Cash flow from operating activities in 2011 decreased by 13.8% and amounted to NIS 3.19 billion compared with NIS 3.70 billion in 2010. The decrease stems mainly from increased payments to suppliers and an increase in customer balances as a result of the sharp growth in the sale of higher priced smartphones.

Gross capital expenditures (CAPEX) amounted to NIS 1.94 billion in 2011 compared with NIS 1.65 billion in 2010, an increase of 17.9%. The increase is attributable to the Bezeq Group’s ongoing investment in the deployment of the NGN in fixed-line operations and the laying of a submarine cable by Bezeq International. The capex to sales ratio in 2011 was 17.0%, compared with 13.7% in 2010.

As a result of the erosion of cash flow from operating activities and the increase in capex, free cash flow decreased by 29.8% and amounted to NIS 1.55 billion in 2011, compared with NIS 2.20 billion in 2010.

On December 31, 2011, the gross financial debt of the Bezeq Group was NIS 9.58 billion, compared with NIS 5.72 billion on December 31, 2010. The increase compared with the prior year is attributable to the incurrence of NIS 4.64 billion of new debt while repaying NIS 835 million of debt.

Bezeq Group (consolidated)   Q4 2011   Q4 2010   Change       2011   2010   Change
(NIS millions)
Revenues 2,650 3,058 -13.3 % 11,373 11,987 -5.1 %
Operating profit 698 901 -22.5 % 3,242 3,744 -13.4 %
EBITDA 1,053 1,269 -17.0 % 4,637 5,153 -10.0 %
EBITDA margin 39.7 % 41.5 % 40.8 % 43.0 %
Net profit attributable to Company shareholders 524 575 -8.9 % 2,066 2,443 -15.4 %
Diluted EPS (NIS)   0.20     0.20     0.2 %   0.76     0.90     -15.6 %
Cash flow from operating activities 744 748 -0.5 % 3,186 3,696 -13.8 %

Capex payments, net 1

429 437 -1.8 % 1,637 1,489 9.9 %

Free cash flow 2

  315     311     1.3 %   1,549     2,207     -29.8 %

Net debt/EBITDA (end of period) 3

1.57 1.04 1.57 1.04
Net debt/shareholders' equity (end of period)   2.75     1.00             2.75     1.00      

1

 

Capex data reflects payments related to capex and are based on the cash flow statements.

2

Free cash flow is defined as cash flows from operating activities less net capex payments.

3

EBITDA in this calculation refers to the trailing twelve months.

To provide further insight into its results, the Company has provided the following summary of the consolidated financial report of the Bezeq Group’s quarter ended December 31, 2011. For a full discussion of Bezeq’s results for the quarter, please refer to http://ir.bezeq.co.il.

Notes:

   

A.

 

Convenience Translation to Dollars: For the convenience of the reader, certain of the reported NIS figures of December 31, 2011 have been presented in millions of U.S. dollars, translated at the representative rate of exchange as of December 31, 2011 (NIS 3.821 = U.S. Dollar 1.00). The U.S. Dollar ($) amounts presented should not be construed as representing amounts receivable or payable in U.S. Dollars or convertible into U.S. Dollars, unless otherwise indicated.

 

B.

Use of non-IFRS Measurements: We and the Bezeq Group’s management regularly use supplemental non-IFRS financial measures internally to understand, manage and evaluate its business and make operating decisions. We believe these non-IFRS financial measures provide consistent and comparable measures to help investors understand the Bezeq Group’s current and future operating cash flow performance.

 
These non-IFRS financial measures may differ materially from the non-IFRS financial measures used by other companies.
 
EBITDA is a non-IFRS financial measure generally defined as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. The Bezeq Group defines EBITDA as net income before financial income (expenses), net, impairment and other charges, expenses recorded for stock compensation in accordance with IFRS 2, income tax expenses and depreciation and amortization. We present the Bezeq Group’s EBITDA as a supplemental performance measure because we believe that it facilitates operating performance comparisons from period to period and company to company by backing out potential differences caused by variations in capital structure, tax positions (such as the impact of changes in effective tax rates or net operating losses) and the age of, and depreciation expenses associated with, fixed assets (affecting relative depreciation expense).
 
EBITDA should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for net income or other statement of operations or cash flow data prepared in accordance with IFRS as a measure of profitability or liquidity. EBITDA does not take into account our debt service requirements and other commitments, including capital expenditures, and, accordingly, is not necessarily indicative of amounts that may be available for discretionary uses. In addition, EBITDA, as presented in this press release, may not be comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other companies due to differences in the way that these measures are calculated.
 
Reconciliation between the Bezeq Group’s results on an IFRS and non-IFRS basis is provided in a table immediately following the Bezeq Group's consolidated results. Non-IFRS financial measures consist of IFRS financial measures adjusted to exclude amortization of acquired intangible assets, as well as certain business combination accounting entries. The purpose of such adjustments is to give an indication of the Bezeq Group’s performance exclusive of non-cash charges and other items that are considered by management to be outside of its core operating results. The Bezeq Group’s non-IFRS financial measures are not meant to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for comparable IFRS measures, and should be read only in conjunction with its consolidated financial statements prepared in accordance with IFRS.

About Internet Gold - Golden Lines Ltd.

Internet Gold is a telecommunications-oriented holding company which is a controlled subsidiary of Eurocom Communications Ltd. Internet Gold’s primary holding is its controlling interest in B Communications Ltd. (TASE and NASDAQ: BCOM), which in turn holds the controlling interest in Bezeq, The Israel Telecommunication Corp., Israel’s largest telecommunications provider (TASE: BZEQ). Internet Gold’s shares are traded on NASDAQ and the TASE under the symbol IGLD. For more information, please visit the following Internet sites:

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