Altice USA puts positive spin on Q2 after recording video, broadband and revenue losses

Altice USA put a positive spin on its second quarter results after slowing down the rate of loss of TV and broadband subscribers.

The company lost 68,300 video customers in the quarter, a higher rate than in the first quarter but lower than for the comparative period last year, when it lost 84,500 video customers.

Altice USA, which operates the Optimum brand, lost 36,800 broadband customers, a slightly lower rate of loss than the 39,600 for the same quarter last year, but higher than the 19,200 lost in the first quarter.

The company now has 2.312 million video customers and 4.227 million broadband subs.

Unlike most of its US peers, Altice has adopted a strategy of rolling out fibre rather than more widely upgrading its DOCSIS network, a strategy that has attracted criticism for being too costly. The company added 40,000 fibre customers in the quarter, which it hailed as its best quarter so far. Altice USA had 250,000 fibre custoemrs at the end of the quarter.

Total revenue was down 5.6% to US$2.32 billion, with residential revenue declining 5.7%. Adjusted EBITDA was down 8.5% to US$921.7 million.

Altice USA has been impacted by the scandal that recently engulfed Altice’s Portuguese operation. The company initiated a probe of its procurement activities after placing head of procurement Yossi Benchetrit on leave. Benchetrit is married to the daughter of Armando Pereira, the Altice co-founder arrested two weeks ago  in Portugul on suspicion of corruption, tax fraud and money laundering.

“I am pleased with the progress we are making as we act with discipline and focus to execute on our mission for Optimum to be the connectivity provider of choice across all the communities we serve. In the second quarter we achieved sustainable operational and financial improvements across the business, with significant achievements in our customer experience and field operations translating into higher customer satisfaction metrics and reduced call volume and service visits, said Altice USA chairman and CEO Dennis Mathew.

“Our focus on creating better experiences for our customers while driving down costs resulted in stronger broadband net add performance in the quarter compared to the prior year. Our best-in-class products and networks continued with the launch of our 8 Gig symmetrical Fiber Internet service, cementing Optimum as the nation’s largest 8 Gig internet provider. Our strategy to provide the best products, the best networks, and the best customer and employee experiences, through operational execution and financial discipline, is leading to better trends across the business, and I am optimistic that the achievements in the quarter are leading indicators of a return to sustainable broadband and cash flow growth.”

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