Liberty Puerto Rico reported $105 million in revenue, representing a 3% growth during the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. The company added some 9,000 customers to its broadband division in the recent three-month term.
Liberty Latin America CEO Balan Nair said during an earnings call with analysts that the local subsidiary “continues to deliver with another growth quarter. We delivered on these numbers even with the earthquake that hit the island in January. We are used to adversity and always come out stronger.”
The company provided some $2 million in credits to customers following the quake, Liberty Latin America CFO Chris Noyes confirmed.
Liberty Puerto Rico is currently dealing with two significant events — the COVID-19 lock-down and the completion of its acquisition of AT&T’s Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Island assets.
Regarding the lock-down, Liberty Puerto Rico President Naji Khoury said, “We’re being very cautious about the future. We’re focused on managing the situation with the coronavirus quarantine and the governor’s lockdown and curfew measures.”
“Most important for us right now are the health and safety of our employees and customers, while providing reliable communication services so our customers can continue to work, learn and entertain themselves at home,” he said.
“We continue taking necessary measures to ensure service continuity as the situation evolves. At the same time, we are planning a responsible, organized and phased return to the office as it becomes feasible and necessary to expand the services we are providing under the current state,” Khoury said.
Through the lock-down, Liberty Puerto Rico has “continued to see demand for residential products, and collections have remained consistent. With nearly 90% of our business in Liberty Puerto Rico tied to residential consumers, our broadband products are most popular of the bundle and predominantly digital collection channels. We remain cautiously optimistic about our near-term prospects,” said Noyes during the call.
As for the acquisition, Noyes confirmed the company has completed the debt financing for the transaction that represents a $1.95 billion investment.
“We borrowed 50% of [the money] in March, totaling $467 million across our three primary credit silos, and this cash resides in our balance sheet today. This was principally a precautionary move to preserve financial flexibility and ensure access to capital as well as to fund a portion of the AT&T acquisition,” Noyes said.
“We have the funding in place to complete the transaction, and we remain confident that it will significantly enhance our U.S. dollar cash flows in the coming years. We will maintain ample financial flexibility and we will be disciplined in how we utilize any excess capital to drive returns for our shareholders,” he said.
The transaction should be completed during the second semester of this year, officials have said.