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UPDATE 1-Com Hem Q3 profit beat expectations, to increase dividend
October 18, 2016 / 6:45 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Com Hem Q3 profit beat expectations, to increase dividend

(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

* Q3 EPS 0.56 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)

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