Tuesday, December 17, 2002
Aliant Outlines 2003 Guidance
Saint John, New Brunswick - December 17, 2002 -
Aliant Inc. (TSX: AIT) today outlined 2003 financial guidance for the Company. Management provided consolidated guidance for revenue, EBITDA1
(earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), earnings per share (EPS), capital investments and free cash flow from operations2
. Management also provided 2003 revenue and EBITDA guidance for its telecommunications, information technology, and remote communications lines of business, and capital investment guidance for its core telecommunications business.
On a consolidated basis, Aliant expects 2003 revenues will be in the range of $2.63 billion to $2.73 billion, and it anticipates EBITDA will be in the range of $950 million to $1.0 billion. The Company anticipates generating earnings per share of between $1.60 and $1.80, and free cash flow from operations of $250 million to $300 million. Capital investments will be between $350 million and $400 million.
"Through our concentrated focus on our core telecommunications business, and our plan to exit from non-core assets, we look forward to generating substantial positive free cash flow from operations and improving shareholder return," said Jay Forbes, President and CEO of Aliant.
Mr. Forbes continued, "The underlying growth in profitability and continued focus on attaining synergies across our business are reflected in our EBITDA range of guidance which takes into consideration the negative impact on 2003 resulting from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's Price Caps Decision and changes in pension assumptions."
In the coming year, management's practice will be to provide revised information on 2003 expectations when a significant change in the business occurs which materially impacts the financial guidance as outlined above.
Aliant Inc. 2003 Guidance:
| 2003|| 2003|
| Low|| High|
| Telecommunications|| $1,825|| $1,880|
| Information Technology|| $420|| $430|
| Remote Communications|| $560|| $585|
| Consolidated Revenues|| $2,630|| $2,730|
| Telecommunications|| $840|| $870|
| Information Technology|| $30|| $38|
| Remote Communications|| $115|| $125|
| Consolidated EBITDA|| $950|| $1,000|
| Consolidated EPS|| $1.60|| $1.80|
| Capital Investments|
| Telecommunications|| $305|| $350|
| Consolidated Capital Investments|| $350|| $400|
| Consolidated Operating FCF|| $250|| $300|
Aliant (TSX: AIT) is a recognized leader in communications and information technology. From its headquarters in eastern Canada, Aliant develops pacesetting telecommunications technologies for more than 2 million consumers and over 600,000 enterprises. Aliant complements its industry-leading telecommunications business with strengths in information technology and knowledge services applications. The company's 10,200 employees collaborate to deliver the highest quality of customer service, while consistently demonstrating innovative capabilities that drive growth in existing and new markets. Aliant is a TSX 100 company with a market capitalization of approximately $4 billion. More information about Aliant may be found by visiting www.aliant.ca.
Analyst conference call
A conference call with analysts is scheduled for December 17, 2002 at 5:00 p.m. (ET), (6:00 p.m. AT, 6:30 p.m. NFT). The dial in number is 1-800-446-4472. Media are invited to attend in a listen mode. A replay of the analyst session can be heard between Tuesday, December 17, 2002, 7:30 p.m. (ET) and Tuesday, December 24, 2002, 8:00a.m. (ET). To access the replay, dial 1-888-509-0082
The conference call will also be available via webcast: http://www.newswire.ca/webcast/pages/AliantInc20021217
This document contains statements and information about potential future circumstances and developments. Such statements and information are qualified by any of the inherent risks and uncertainties surrounding future expectations generally and may differ materially from Aliant Inc.'s actual future experience. Aliant Inc. disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements or information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
EBITDA is defined by the Company as operating income plus depreciation and amortization expense. The Company has included information concerning EBITDA because it believes it is used by certain investors as one measure of the Company's financial performance. EBITDA should not be construed as an alternative measure of liquidity.
Free cash flow from operations is defined by the Company as cash and cash equivalents from (used in) operations, less capital expenditures.
EBITDA and free cash flow from operations are not measures of financial performance under Canadian generally accepted accounting principles and are not necessarily comparable to similarly titled measures used by other companies
For more information:
Aliant Investor Relations
Aliant Communications and Public Affairs