Sunday, November 8, 2009

Charter Posts 3.8% Revenue Growth in Q3, ARPU at $115

Charter Communications, the fourth-largest cable operator in the United States, reported Q3 revenue of $1.693 billion, up 3.8% on a pro forma1 basis and 3.5% on an actual basis, driven by increases in telephone, high-speed Internet (HSI) and commercial revenues. Third quarter adjusted EBITDA of $606 million grew 7.8% on a pro forma basis and 7.6% on an actual basis.

Some operational highlights for Q3:

  • Total average monthly revenue per basic video customer (ARPU) for the quarter increased 8.2% year-over-year to $115.26, driven by increased sales of The Charter Bundle.

  • Charter served approximately 12.6 million revenue generating units (RGUs) as of September 30, 2009.

  • Approximately 56% of Charter's customers subscribe to a bundle, up from 52% in the third quarter of 2008. Charter's pro forma ARPU for the third quarter of 2009 was $115.26, an increase of 8.2% compared to third quarter 2008, primarily as a result of higher bundled penetration.

  • Digital video customers increased by approximately 22,800 and basic video customers decreased by approximately 46,500 during the third quarter. Video ARPU was $61.49 for the third quarter of 2009, up 4.1% year-over-year.

  • HSI customers grew by approximately 52,400 during the third quarter of 2009. HSI ARPU of $41.59 increased approximately 2.6% compared to the year-ago quarter, driven by customer upgrades to higher speeds of service and increased penetration of home networking service.

  • Third quarter 2009 net gains of telephone customers were approximately 55,300. Telephone penetration is now 14.5% of approximately 10.6 million telephone homes passed as of September 30, 2009. Telephone ARPU of $42.76 increased approximately 5.1% compared to the year-ago quarter.

  • As of September 30, 2009, Charter served approximately 5.3 million customers and the Company's 12.6 million RGUs were comprised of 4.9 million basic video, 3.2 million digital video, 3.0 million HSI and 1.5 million telephone customers.

"Third quarter and year to date revenue and adjusted EBITDA increases reflect continued growth of our high-speed Internet and telephone businesses, both residential and commercial," said Neil Smit, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We continue to provide value to our customers by enhancing our products and service and by leveraging our advanced technology. For example, we increased our upload and download speeds, making Charter's high-speed Internet service even more attractive to our customers and further strengthening our advantage over DSL. In what is proving to be a challenging environment, we continue to deliver solid results, thanks to our continued focus on enhancing the customer experience, promoting the value of the bundle and remaining disciplined in expense management."

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