Portugal Telecom SGPS SA's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript - TheStreet

Portugal Telecom SGPS SA (PT)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

March 30, 2012 09:00 am ET


Zeinal Bava - CEO

Luís Pacheco de Melo - CFO


Georgios Ierodiaconou - Citi

Luigi Minerva - HSBC

Ivon Leal - BBVA

Tim Boddy - Goldman Sachs

John Daniel - Barclays Capital



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Greetings and welcome to the Portugal Telecom 2011 Full Year Results. At this time all participant are in a listen-only mode. A brief question-and-answer session will follow the formal presentation. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder this conference is being recorded.

It is now my pleasure to introduce your host Mr. Zeinal Bava, CEO of Portugal Telecom. Thank you. You may begin.

Zeinal Bava

Thank you very much. Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. On behalf of my team, thank you very much for being on this call. I am here with my CFO, Luís Pacheco de Melo, our IR Director, Nuno Vieira and our finance team as well.

Today, of course we will be discussing our 2011 numbers. In 2011 Portugal Telecom reported consolidated operating revenues of Euro 6.147 million while EBITDA reached Euro 2.188 million. Consolidated EBITDA margin was 35.6% and it was underpinned by solid margin of the Portuguese telecommunication businesses that reached 45.1%, which is an increase of about 1.1% point year-on-year and I will go through that in a lot more detail later on in my presentation.

Net income reached Euro 339 million and our basic earnings per share stood at about Euro 0.39. In 2011 our CapEx amounted to Euro 1.24 million that is about 20% of revenues. It is only a decrease compared to the previous year, very much in line with previous statements we made at the modernization program of Portugal Telecoms network and technology investments are coming to an end.

CapEx in Portuguese telecommunication businesses stood at about 647 million and was primarily directed to the investment in the rollout of new technologies and services mainly our fiber-to-the-home network and our TV service, as well as investments we have made in swapping our 2G network to deploy the LTE network as well and of course customer growth.

In 2011, EBITDA minus CapEx reached Euro 964 million, while EBITDA minus CapEx of the Portuguese businesses is amounted to Euro 659 million. In 2011 operating cash flow stood at Euro 1185 million. Free cash flow adjusted for the investment in Oi and Contax and the last installment that we received from Telefónica in relation to the Vivo transaction about Euro 2 million increased to Euro 533 million in 2011 and that compares with a negative of about 40 million in 2010.

Net debt adjusted for tax effect and so on, amounted to Euro 4.068 million and our cost of debt continues to be very competitive and very attractive, which today stands at about 3.3%. Our cost of gross debt was 4.3%.

The liquidity position of Portugal Telecom continues to be very strong. Cash, underwritten commercial paper lines and facilities was roughly [Euro 5095] million as at December 31, 2011.

Our company as previously stated is fully funded until the end of 2013 and my CFO, Luís Pacheco de Melo will take you through some of the financial information in a lot more detail later on during this call.

Let me now perhaps, still give you an overview of the operational performance at our company and perhaps start off by talking about the way that we are organized as a company, which in my view makes us pretty unique in that we believe that we have built in the last few years an organization structure that is customer-centric and it is well poised to take advantage, not just from the growth opportunities of traditional world but also maximizing synergies.

We are, as you know, organized along business segments. So our customer segment, residential, personal enterprise and with regard to our international footprint, the way Portugal Telecom has been managing this for the last three to four years, ensures that we can leverage our know-how and we can bring to bear the scale to generate benefits not just for Portugal Telecom in Portugal but for all the businesses where we have an investment abroad.

Portugal Telecom today has 93 million customers and we believe that we have a unique global profile. Our strategic focus is Portugal, Brazil and Africa. As you know, Portugal essentially gives us predictability of cash flow, especially now that the investments in the modernization of our network is coming to an end, Brazil gives us scale and Africa, and some of the investments we have in our Asian businesses is also giving us growth. We had in 2011, another year of growth. Our total revenue generating units grew by 9.2%.

As I mentioned, we have over 93 million customers. This is very much in line with our stated objective of having more than 100 million subs. When that objective was defined, of course the business profile of Portugal Telecom was very different and if we were to do the same math with the previous investments we’ve had, namely in Vivo and in Morocco the total number of Portugal Telecoms would have surpassed 100 million subs.

In Portugal across all our businesses we have also seen revenues generating unit growth and as well as in Brazil we have also had very strong RGU performance in Class I enterprises which are compensating for the loss that we are still seeing in the residential business.

Let me now start by discussing Portugal and then of course come back and discuss Brazil and our other international businesses as well. In Portugal, residential revenues were up 5.4%, personal revenues were down. So if we can think about customer revenues, we had a quarter where customer revenues were down 7.7% and enterprise revenues were down 9% and overall Portugal revenues were down 7.4%.

No doubt, you have saw in our press release that the fourth quarter top-line performance in all of our customer segments in Portugal improved, compared to the average yearly performance. In the case of residential, for example at year-end our growth was 5.4%. The fourth quarter was 3.9. I will explain to you why it was 3.9 and not stronger than 5.4% and that has to do in our view, with the fact that we are still seeing significant, competitive pressure, particularly underpinned by price promotions, especially from the cable operators in this market.

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