Suddenlink Communications reported strong revenue and cash flow growth in the fourth quarter, fueled by gains in high-speed data customers and a double-digit increase in advertising revenue.
Revenue at the mid-sized MSO rose 7.1% to $525.6 million, boosted by an increase of 8,100 high-speed data customers and 1,900 phone subscribers. Ad sales, pumped up by political spending, rose 10.2% in the period. Video revenue, bolstered by a rate increase and a rise in digital customers increased by 2.4% in the period and HSD sales rose a steady 11.9%, according to the company. Telephony revenue increased a healthy 13.7% in the period.
Excluding one-time expenses in the period, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 12.1% to $212 million. Including those items, EBITDA would have been about $191.9 million, a 1.7% increase from the prior year.
Basic video customers declined by 16,100 in the period.
In November, Suddenlink completed a deal that brought in about $2 billion in new equity to the company from private equity fund BC Partners and Canadian pension fund CPIPB, which valued the MSO at about $6.6 billion.
"The fourth quarter capped off a tremendous year for our company," said Suddenlink Chairman and CEO Jerry Kent in a statement. "We welcomed new partners. We generated year-over-year revenue growth of 6.4% and Adjusted EBITDA growth of 8.8%, excluding non-recurring expenses that were primarily associated with financing and closing the acquisition. We also accelerated our generation of free cash flow and grew customer relationships for the third consecutive year. As we celebrate the tenth year of our founding, the company is well positioned from a financial and strategic perspective."
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