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GCI REPORTS SECOND QUARTER 2015 FINANCIAL RESULTS

 GCI REPORTS SECOND QUARTER 2015 FINANCIAL RESULTS

Consolidated Revenue of $248 million

Adjusted EBITDA of $88 million

August 4, 2015, Anchorage, Alaska - General Communication, Inc. ("GCI") (NASDAQ: GNCMA) today reported record financial and operational performance for the second quarter of 2015.

Strong wireless and data performance drove consolidated revenues for the second quarter of 2015 to $248 million, an increase of $23 million or ten percent when compared with the second quarter of 2014. Compared with the first quarter of 2015, consolidated revenues are up $16 million or seven percent.

Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $88 million, after the deduction of $6 million in transition costs associated with the Alaska Wireless Network ("AWN") transaction.  Adjusted EBITDA grew $4 million or four percent compared with the second quarter of 2014 and grew $13 million or 17 percent compared to the first quarter of 2015.

"We are pleased with GCI's strong financial and operational performance during the second quarter. We remain on track for another record year at GCI," said Ron Duncan, GCI's president and chief executive officer. "I am particularly pleased with our team's efforts in managing the transition of our recently acquired wireless customers. With much of the AWN integration completed, we can now focus on simplifying our business and driving long-term growth. In addition, following the quarter we made strides in optimizing our capital structure by amending our term loan to reduce the company's annual interest expense."

Transition Highlights

The second quarter was an important quarter for GCI as we transitioned approximately 87,000 wireless subscribers from ACS. The operating teams worked diligently to make sure that our new customers were served well. Through the quarter we transitioned approximately one-third of the customers from the legacy billing platform and onto GCI's standard wireless billing platform.  We will continue the conversion over the next several quarters but are pleased with the progress to date.

 Operating and Financial Highlights

There are two factors that should be taken into account when comparing the second quarter with previous quarters:

  • AWN Transition Costs: During the first and second quarters of 2015 we had $7 million and $6 million in one-time transition costs that reduced adjusted EBITDA. There were no transition costs in the second quarter of 2014.
     
  • Equipment Installment Plans: Beginning in the first quarter of 2015 GCI began aggressively promoting equipment installment plans on wireless handsets.  These plans allow our customers to choose how frequently they would like to upgrade their handsets. However, moving a customer from the two-year contract device subsidy model to the equipment financing model does have a financial statement impact. Under the equipment finance model, the upfront handset revenue is higher and the monthly plan fee revenue is lower compared to the subsidy model. Thus, for the first couple of quarters as we move from the subsidy model to the equipment finance model the EBITDA will be substantially positively impacted by the equipment finance revenue. The equipment finance revenue was $4 million and $7 million in the first and second quarters of 2015 respectively.  

Wireless

The wireless segment posted revenues of $68 million for the quarter, representing a two percent decline over the second quarter of 2014 and a 15 percent increase over the prior quarter. The decrease in revenue year-over-year was related to a simplification in how we internally allocate revenues between segments, which became possible after the AWN transaction. Total wireless revenues, including wireless revenues generated in GCI's wireline segment, grew on a year-over-year basis by $7 million or 10 percent exclusive of equipment installment plan differences. Sequential quarter growth was due to the seasonal roaming trends.

The Wireless segment revenue detail is as follows:

($ millions) 2Q15 2Q14 1Q15
Wholesale Wireless 21 25 21
Roaming and Backhaul 34 30 24
USF Support 13 14 14
Total Wireless Revenue 68 69 59

Wireless segment adjusted EBITDA was $46 million for the quarter, an increase of $6 million or 14 percent over the second quarter of 2014, and a sequential increase of $8 million or 22 percent over the first quarter of 2015. Adjusted EBITDA growth was improved on a sequential and year-over-year basis by strong roaming revenue.

Wireline

The wireline segment posted revenues of $180 million, an $18 million or 11 percent increase over the second quarter of 2014 and a $5 million or three percent increase over the prior quarter when adjusted for equipment installment plan revenue.

Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $42 million. EBITDA declined by $2 million or five percent year-over-year and was up $4 million or 11 percent sequentially.

Wireline - Consumer

Consumer revenues were $89 million for the quarter, a year-over-year increase of $21 million or 30 percent, and a sequential increase of $5 million or six percent. Much of this growth was from the acquired ACS wireless subscribers and wireless equipment sales but there was still strong growth in data of $5 million and $1 million on a year-over-year and sequential basis.

The company's high-speed data product offerings remain a compelling choice in the marketplace, and annual revenue growth in this area remains strong. GCI remains on track to deliver 1 gigabit broadband service in Anchorage before year end.

Wireline - Business Services

Business Services revenues, which include broadcast and cable advertising revenues, were $53 million for the quarter, representing a $2 million or four percent decline over the second quarter of 2014 and a slight decline over the first quarter of 2015. 

On a year-over-year basis, there was a $3 million decline in video revenues, driven in large part by a decline in advertising revenues as 2014 was a strong political year that drove elevated advertising spending.

Wireline - Managed Broadband

Managed broadband revenues were $37 million for the quarter, representing a $6 million or 21 percent increase year-over-year and a $3 million or 10 percent increase sequentially. Managed broadband is benefiting from significant investments in building infrastructure in rural Alaska. 

SG&A

SG&A expenses were $83 million in the second quarter of 2015, up $13 million or 19 percent from a year ago and down one percent sequentially. The increase year-over-year is a result of transition costs and additional staffing both on the front line and in technical roles. 

Significant Events

The conversion of former ACS customers to GCI's network continues. Transition costs year-to-date total $13 million and represent the majority of the expected costs, which were originally estimated to be approximately $30 million. 

On June 23rd, GCI launched a repricing of the company's $275 million term loan B. The amendment closed on August 3, and will provide $2 million per year in interest savings.

Capital expenditures for the quarter totaled $40 million and remain in line with expectations.

During the quarter, GCI repurchased 1.2 million shares of its Class A common stock, at a cost of $19.7 million. This brings the total shares repurchased in 2015 to 2.3 million.

GCI completed the issuance of $450 million of senior notes due 2025 on April 1, and used the proceeds to repay and retire all outstanding senior notes due 2019. As a result of this refinancing, GCI recorded a $28 million loss on extinguishment of debt in the second quarter of 2015. This amount represents $20 million in call premiums to redeem the 2019 notes and $8 million in unamortized deferred loan costs and original issue discounts.

During the quarter GCI recorded a net loss of approximately $8 million from the write down of one investment and the sale of another investment.

2015 Guidance

  • Revenues are unchanged and in the range of $920 - 970 million.
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $310 - $335 million. Previously this had been with the caveat that it would be less approximately $30 million in one-time transition costs.  However, one-time transition expenses have totaled only $13 million thus far and are expected to be approximately $20 million for the year. Additionally, we are having good success with equipment installment plans which improved EBITDA by approximately $11 million on a year-to-date basis.
  • Core capital expenditures are unchanged and will be approximately $170 million.

Conference Call

The company will hold a conference call to discuss the financial results on Wednesday, August 5, at 2:00 p.m. (Eastern). To access the call, call the conference operator between 1:45-2:00 p.m. (Eastern) at 844-850-0551 (International callers should dial +1-412-902-4197) and identify your call as "GCI".

In addition to dial-up access, GCI will make available net conferencing. To access the call via net conference, log on to gci.com and follow the instructions.

A replay of the call will be available for 72-hours by dialing 877-344-7529, access code 10069357 (International callers should dial +1-412-317-0088).

Forward-Looking Statement Disclosure
The foregoing contains forward-looking statements regarding GCI's expected results that are based on management's expectations as well as on a number of assumptions concerning future events. Actual results might differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements due to uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside GCI's control. Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements is contained in GCI's cautionary statement sections of Forms 10-K and 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

About GCI

GCI is the largest Alaska-based and -operated, integrated telecommunications provider, offering wireless, voice, data, and video services statewide. Learn more about GCI at www.gci.com.

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Source: GCI

Contacts:
Peter Pounds, 907.868.6952; ppounds@gci.com

David Morris, 907.265.5396, dmorris@gci.com


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