Cincinnati Bell Fioptics revenue rises 43 percent to $31 million, drives up wireline segment results

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Cincinnati Bell's Fioptics fiber-based broadband continued its successful run in the first quarter of 2014 as revenues rose 43 percent year-over-year to $31 million.

The rise in Fioptics results were driven by an uptick in both Fioptics video and Internet subscribers. It added 5,900 new Fioptics high-speed Internet and 3,300 Fioptics video subscribers in the quarter, to end with a total of 91,600 and 77,500 subscribers, respectively.

During the quarter, Cincinnati Bell also passed an additional 12,000 units with Fioptics, making the service available to about 36 percent of Greater Cincinnati. Fioptics APRU was also a factor during the quarter, rising 4 percent year-over-year. Video ARPU totaled $74 and Internet ARPU totaled $36 during the quarter.

Leigh Fox, CFO of Cincinnati Bell, said during the earnings call that the telco also continued to extend higher speeds of 10 Mbps and above to more customers in its territory.

"As of the end of the first quarter, we were able to deliver at least 10 Megs of speed to more than 440,000 addresses and 38 percent of our customers subscribed at this speed or higher," Fox said.

One of the significant moves that Cincinnati Bell made during the quarter to bolster its focus on being a fiber-based telco was the move to sell its wireless assets to Verizon for $210 million.

While Fioptics is a key revenue driver, the telco also saw positive gains in its IT services and hardware segment, where revenue rose 21 percent year-over-year to $102 million. It also saw gains in both strategic managed/professional services and hardware revenue, which rose 22 percent and 19 percent to $33 million and $68 million, respectively.

The gains in consumer Fioptics and business services helped to drive up total wireline revenue 2 percent year-over-year to $184 million. Wireline strategic revenue was up 26 percent compared to the prior year and now accounts for about 40 percent of all wireline revenue. 

Overall first quarter consolidated revenue was $323 million, up $12 million from the first quarter of 2013. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $106 million, up $1 million after excluding mark-to-market adjustments on compensation plans indexed to changes in its stock price.

Shares of Cincinnati Bell were listed at $3.75, up 3 cents or 0.81 percent, in late Friday morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

For more:
- see the earnings release
- and the earnings transcript (sub req.)

Special report: Wireline telecom earnings in the first quarter of 2014

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