Charter Communications continued on its roll, reporting fiscal 2013 increases in subscriber numbers, an increase in revenue, and its first profit since 2010.
The company put Time Warner Cable in to play, and walked away with nothing as erstwhile takeover partner Comcast decided to bid on its own, but Charter president and CEO Tom Rutledge said in the company’s conference call that Charter is still interested in growth through acquisition.
For the full year, Charter added 172,000 residential customers, compared to growth of 120,000 residential customers in 2012. The company attributed the improvements to a better product (including more HD channels), better customer service, and more effective sales and marketing.
The overall increase in customers was despite a loss of basic video customers. Charter ended 2013 with 4.17 million video subs, down from 4.28 million at the end of 2012. That was balanced by growth in broadband subscribership, from 4.05 million at the end of the year prior to 4.38 million at the end of the year just completed. Charter also added 200,000 voice customers to reach a total of 2.27 million.
The company reported that at the end of 2013, it had completed approximately 15 percent of its all-digital initiative, with customers in these markets generally having access to over 170 HD channels. Charter said it expects to complete its all-digital roll out across its footprint by year end 2014.
Once that rollout is completed, the company said that most of its residential customers will have access to Charter Spectrum, the company’s suite of video, data, and voice services that will include over 200 HD channels, in addition to minimum offered Internet speeds of 60 Mbps.
“Our 2013 results show the early success of our strategies to drive accelerated customer growth. We now deliver a competitive, highly valuable suite of products and services to our customers, and we are beginning to execute at a high level, evidenced by improving trends through the year,” said Rutledge.
“We will continue that momentum in 2014, and plan to complete our all-digital initiative this year, allowing us to deliver a superior set of services across the vast majority of our footprint. Combined with improved service capabilities and higher customer satisfaction, these strategies are expected to result in greater market share and improving cash flow per home passed, as we position Charter for long-term growth and value creation,” Rutledge continued.