(Adds CEO comments, details)
Oct 18 (Reuters) - Swedish cable TV firm Com Hem on Tuesday reported higher third-quarter earnings than expected and said it would raise dividend in 2017 and lower buybacks of own shares.
* Com Hem plans to keep shareholder remuneration largely unchanged with higher dividends and lower buybacks of own shares, Chief Executive Anders Nilsson told Reuters
* “We have delivered strong cash flow for quite a long period of time and the board therefore intends to change the dividend policy.”
* Nilsson says Com Hem keeps mid-term forecasts of mid single digit growth for revenue, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), but to grow cash flow at a faster rate
* Q3 EBIT 227 million SEK
* Q3 underlying EBITDA rose 8.7 percent to 642 million SEK
* Says Q3 consumer churn rate at a record low of 12.7 pct, 0.4 percentage points decrease from Q2 2016.
* Nilsson says churn, the share of clients that leave the company, could possibly become lower ahead, but not this year
* Says change in 2016 capex guidance: lowers capex guidance for 2016 to a range of SEK 850-950 mln (including Boxer in Q4) compared to SEK 1.0-1.1 bln previously, as core business now runs at a sustainably lower capex level
* Says significantly increase dividend in 2017: Following consistently strong cash generation, the board intends to propose a change to the mix of the shareholder remuneration to increase the cash dividend from SEK 1.50 per share to SEK 4.00 per share to be paid out semi-annually in May and October, 2017.
* Says alongside the cash dividend we will also continue to do buybacks from time to time.
* Reuters poll: Com Hem Q3 revenue was seen at 1,306 mln SEK, adjusted EBITDA at 615 mln SEK Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Reporting By Olof Swahnberg; Editing by Daniel Dickson)