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Windstream Reports First-Quarter Results

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., May 8, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Windstream (Nasdaq:WIN) today reported first-quarter results highlighted by improved year-over-year revenue trends and strong adjusted free cash flow.

"Total revenue trends improved both year-over-year and sequentially as wholesale pressures began to abate," said Jeff Gardner, president and CEO. "We are very focused on improving business revenue trends and are taking many proactive steps to accelerate sales and strengthen our competitive position. In addition, we are investing in both the business and consumer network to drive growth opportunities and improve the customer experience."

Pro Forma Financial Results

Total revenues and sales were $1.5 billion in the first quarter, a decline of 2 percent from the same period a year ago.

Excluding carrier service revenue, business service revenue was $748 million, largely flat year-over-year. Data and integrated services grew 3 percent in the first quarter from the same period a year ago to $414 million due to sales of IP-based solutions and next generation data. Data center and managed services revenues, which total approximately $30 million, increased 23 percent from the same period a year ago.

Enterprise customer locations grew 3 percent from the same period a year ago, and average revenue per business customer increased 8 percent year-over-year.

Windstream implemented new initiatives during the quarter to enhance business sales and productivity. The company also launched an expanded advertising campaign to increase brand awareness and highlight its integrated value proposition and customized service.

"We are seeing positive momentum as the new marketing program gains traction. This momentum, combined with pricing initiatives planned for mid-year, should result in improving business revenue trends," Gardner said.

Carrier revenue was $162 million, down 3 percent from the same period a year ago, pressured by wireless carriers decommissioning legacy circuits and other transport related network grooming. The decline was partially offset by solid growth in fiber-to-the-tower revenues. Windstream deployed fiber to 95 towers during the quarter, bringing the total number of towers completed to date to almost 4,600 with another 300 under construction.

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