Press release details


For immediate release
COGECO maintains growth in radio and cable
Montréal, December 16, 2009 – COGECO Inc. (TSX: CGO) today announced financial results that
surpass projections for fiscal 2009 despite a write-down in the value of its European subsidia ry.
Consolidated operating revenue for 2009 grew by $144 million to total $1,252.8 million, a 13%
increase over the previous year. Consolidated operating income before amortization
was up 18.5%
to $532 million. This performance is due mainly to growth in revenue-generating units (“RGU”), rate
increases and recent acquisitions in Canada.
The Company recorded a net loss of $78.5 million for fiscal 2009. Net loss was affected by the
impairment loss of $399.6 million recorded on Cogeco Cable’s investment in Cabovisão. Net of
related income taxes and non-controlling interest, the impairment loss reduced net income by
$124 million. Furthermore, the net loss in the cable sector includes an unfavourable impact of $2
million from the utilization of Cabovisão’s pre-acquisition tax losses and a favourable impact from the
reduction of withholding and stamp tax contingent liabilities in the amount of $5.2 million, also related
to Cabovisão, both net of non-controlling interest, and a favourable impact of $5.3 million from the
Part II licence fee settlement agreement net of related income taxes and non-controlling interest.
Excluding the effect of the impairment loss, adjusted net income for fiscal 2009 amounted to
$37 million compared with $35 million in 2008.
Free cash flow
reached $101 million, up 0.6 % over the previous year. Operating margin increased
to 42.5% from 40.5%.
Furthermore, Cogeco Cable recorded an increase of 175,364 RGU,
well above the 100,000
projected, due mainly to solid growth in Digital Television customers in both Canada and Europe.
“Our Canadian cable distribution operations are the picture of health and the radio sector continues to do
just as well. The recovery plan implemented in the spring by our European subsidiary has started to bear
fruit and we won more than 20,000 customers for the different lines in the fourth quarter of 2009, which
offsets losses incurred in the previous quarters. We foresee that the stock will reach a more representative
value in 2010 primarily thanks to our consolidation strategy in Portugal, an upturn in the economy and the
return of confidence in the markets, ” stated Louis Audet, President and CEO of COGECO.
Certain statements in this press release may constitute forward-looking information within the meaning of securities
laws. Forward-looking information may relate to COGECO’s future outlook and anticipated events, business,
operations, financial performance, financial condition or results and, in some cases, can be identified by terminology
such as “may”; “will’; “should”; “expect”; “plan”; “anticipate”; “believe”; “intend”; “estimate”; “predict”; “potential";
"continue"; "foresee"; "ensure" or other similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts. In
particular, statements regar ding the Company’s future o perating results a nd economic perf ormance and its objectiv es
and strategies are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on certain factors and assumptions
including expected growth, results of operations, performance and business prospects and opportunities, which
COGECO believes are reasonable as of the current date. While management considers these assumptions to be
reasonable based on information currently available to the Company, they may prove to be incorrect. The Company
cautions the reader that the current adverse economic conditions make forward-looking information and the
underlying assumptions subje ct to greater uncertainty and that, conseque ntly, they may not materialize, or the results
may significantly differ from the Company’s expectations. It is impossible for COGECO to predict with certainty the
impact that the current economic do wnturn may have on future results. For ward-looking information is also subject to
certain factors, including risks and uncertainties (described in the “Uncertainties and main risk factors" section in the
Company’s 2009 annual Management’s Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) that could cause actual results to differ
materially from what COGECO currently expects. These factors include technological changes, changes in market
and competition, governmental or regulatory developments, general economic conditions, the development of new
products and services, the enhanc ement of existing products and services, and the introduction of competing products
having technologic al or other adva ntages, many of which ar e beyo nd the Compan y’s control. T herefore, future events
and results may vary significantly from what management currently foresees. The reader should not place undue
importance on forward-looking information and should not rely on this information as of any other date. While
management may elect to, the Company is under no obligation (and expressly disclaims any such obligation), and
does not undertake to update or alter this inf ormatio n before the next quarter, except as required by Law.
This analysis should be read in conjunction with the Company’s consolidated financial statements, prepared in
accordance with Canadian generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”). Throughout this press release, all
amounts are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise indicated.
About COGECO Inc.
COGECO is a diversified communications company. Through its Cogeco Cable subsidiary, COGECO
provides its residential customers with Audio, Analogue and Digital Television, as well as HSI and
Telephony services using its two-way broadband cable networks. Cogeco Cable also provides, to its
commercial customers, data networking, e-business applications, video conferencing, hosting services,
Ethernet, private line, VoIP, HSI access, dark fibre, data storage, data security and co-location services
and other advanced communication solutions. Through its Cogeco Diffusion subsidiary, COGECO owns
and operates the RYTHME FM radio stations in Montréal, Québec City, Trois-Rivières and Sherbrooke, as
well as the FM 93 radio station in Québec City. COGECO’s subordinate voting shares are listed on the
Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: CGO). The subordinate voting shares of Cogeco Cable are also listed on
the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: CCA).
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Information: Marie Carrier
Director, Corporate Communications
Tel.: (514) 764-4700