Vonage Holdings Corporation (
Deutsche Bank 20th Annual Media & Telecom Conference
February 28, 2012 3:00 PM ET
Barry Rowan – CFO
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Good afternoon everyone. I know it’s kind of late in the day. With us today we’ve got Barry Rowan, the CFO of Vonage and he’ll kick-off the presentation with a brief slide show over the company in a video and then we’ll get into Q&A.
With that I’ll give you Barry.
Thank you, Prem (ph) and thanks to all of you for joining us today. Let me remind you of the Safe Harbor statement which cautions investors regarding forward-looking statements that I’ll be referring today in today’s presentation. For those of you in the room who are not familiar with Vonage, let me take a moment to just provide an overview of the company for you and who we are.
We are a leading provider of high-quality voice and messaging services delivered over broadband network. We have 2.4 million customers and serve residential and small and home office customers in the U.S., Canada and the U.K currently. We’ve expanded our product offering to target mobile and international callers around the world. Over the last few years, we hope you’ll see, we’ve completely transformed our business, operationally, financially and strategically.
And let me touch briefly on each of these areas of progress. Operationally, we’ve upgraded systems, streamlined processes, improved the customer experience and stabilized the customer base. We’ve increased average revenue per user as we added more value to our offer and drove structural cost reductions throughout the company. These actions enabled us to absorb the cost of dramatic growth in international long distance minutes, while improving our direct margins to 58% in 2011.
Let me take a minute discussing the operational improvements in a little bit more detail with you. Over the past three years, we increased service revenue per user by 9% cumulatively. We lowered our international and domestic termination rates by more than 25%, cut the cost of our devices by more than a, excuse me, nearly a third and reduced customer care cost for 2011 by 29% notably while improving customer satisfaction ratings. The decline in customer care cost combined with the other operational improvements helped to drive the reduction in SG&A of $87 million, that’s a decline of 27% since 2007.
We’ve also strengthened our customer base by adding high quality, lower churning international long distance callers. By lower insurance which had reached the high of 3.4% it reduced customer losses from 155,000 in 2009 to 30,000 in each of the past two years. These operational improvements have provided a foundation for us to achieve significant financial results as you can see here. We’ve reduced our cost structure to the lowest level in six years and we’ve grown EBITDA and net income and free cash flow each by about $200 million since 2007.
It wasn’t that long ago that our business was unprofitable and burning significant amounts of cash. Building on our sustained financial performance we completed two comprehensive refinancing in a span of eight months lowering interest rates from a high of 20% to less than 4%. And we cut our overall debt by two-thirds saving $43 million in annual interest expense.
In the fourth quarter reflecting our strong profitability and expectations for continuing future income, we determine it with appropriate account to our $800 million in net operating losses as the deferred tax asset. Equally important to this financial progress we’ve made meaningful strategic shift in our business. In 2009 we identified an opportunity to leverage our technology to deliver compelling value to international long distance calls and if it is Vonage World, our unlimited calling plan to more than 60 countries.
Vonage World has since grown into a flagship product representing more than 70% of new customer additions. About half of our customers are now on the Vonage World plan and 35% of our entire customer base are international long distance callers. And just this month, we launched the new Vonage Mobile platform, which leverages our success in international long distance and it became the foundation for building the mobile services business going forward.
While we have largely offset general market trends and declining home phone service, meaningful revenue growth has not materialized as quickly as we planned frankly. The quality growth is our top priority in 2012.
I would like to share a comment with you for executing on that priority. With the company now on a solid foundation operationally and financially, the time is right to accelerate the level of investment and our strategic growth initiatives as you’ll see.
In 2012, we will invest in two areas that form the foundation of our growth strategy. First is international long distance where we will continue to penetrate ethnic calling segments and grow subscribers through our retail channels including Advanti (ph).
The second is mobile services, which builds on a Vonage Mobile platform we just introduced and I will describe more in a minute. And the third is international expansion, as we plan to enter a new geographic market outside of North America and the UK
As you can see on the right side of slide, these are very large market. Consistent with our heritage, we’ll deploy disruptive technology and pricing to capitalize on these large existing revenue streams where we can make a difference.