Publications

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Canal+ thinking positive

Vivendi’s pay-TV unit Canal+ posted flat revenues in 2009, as international growth balanced domestic erosion

Driven mainly by growth internationally, we anticipate recovery to annual revenue growth barely above 2% by 2012, with a slightly deteriorating EBITA margin

Canal+ could do better if it invests in the latest generation of set-tops and, possibly, free to air television

  • Canal Plus
Media, TV, Non-UK Media 16 March 2010
Canal+ vs. TPS

On 23 January, the French Competition Council dealt what is likely to be a deathblow to the ambitions of Canal+ Group to obtain exclusive rights to French Premier League football events. The Competition Council ruled in favour of TPS and ordered the 2002 competition suspended pending delivery of its final ruling.

  • Canal Plus
Media 30 January 2003
Canal+: things will get worse before they get better

Booming sales in Africa offset the steady decline of the Canal+/CanalSat subscriber base in France, delivering low but positive group revenue growth
 
Canal+’s management, now firmly under Vincent Bolloré’s control, is committed to reversing the French decline by investing €2 billion in new set top boxes and content – but production of original series is hampered by corporatist regulation and the market for sports rights is increasingly competitive

Earnings are slipping – under a high fixed cost model any revenue decline depresses profit margin. The trend will worsen under the weight of the increase in domestic football costs next year as well as the planned extra spend on content and set-top boxes 

 

  • Canal Plus
Media, TV 11 December 2015
Canal+’s options to revive domestic growth

France’s Canal+ faces an increasingly challenging domestic market, due to IPTV expansion, competition from Al-Jazeera’s beIN Sport and the threat of a Netflix launch – on top of sluggish consumer demand in a dull economy

Inflated promotional activity has brought rising churn and failed to stop subscriber base erosion, while denting profitability. Headline revenue growth comes from international channels, film production and FTA TV

Anxious to avoid interference from its owner Vivendi, Canal+ has followed a conservative investment policy that may have undermined growth. The spin-off of SFR and possible dissolution of the conglomerate would leave Canal+ free to contemplate more aggressive moves, in IPTV, set-top boxes and possibly through acquisitions

  • Canal Plus
  • Vivendi
TV, Media, Non-UK Media 28 November 2013
Canvas gets BBC Trust provisional approval

The BBC Trust has given its provisional approval to the BBC Executive’s proposals for Project Canvas, the JV between the BBC and five partners that aims to enable DTT homes with broadband connections to access IPTV content on their TV sets

Canvas promises to enrich greatly the DTT platform; however, it is likely to encounter fierce opposition during the coming consultation from equipment manufacturers and the pay-TV platform operators, Sky and Virgin Media, especially in relation to its attempts to prescribe the user experience (UX)

We think that the BBC Trust will give its final approval, subject to the conditions specified in its provisional statement, but further delays seem likely and we do not expect Canvas devices to appear in the shops before 2011

  • BBC
TV, Media, Internet 23 December 2009
Canvas offers future path for 'Free TV'

Project Canvas is the BBC/ITV/BT backed proposal for next generation Freeview and Freesat services that embraces IPTV reception, new EPG, home storage and HDTV applications

Setting up Canvas as a not-for-profit consortium and making it non-exclusive to content providers should avoid the competition issues which killed Kangaroo, but many questions remain and technical and regulatory delays could push back the launch to 2011

We do not expect Canvas to make a major difference to non-linear viewing of audiovisual content – its importance lies much more in future-proofing the ‘Free TV’ viewing experience on the terrestrial and satellite platforms

  • BT
  • BBC
  • ITV
Media, TV, Internet 27 February 2009
Canvas “drive digital Britain”

The BBC Executive has fleshed out many details of Project Canvas in response to questions raised by the BBC Trust: Canvas being the proposed joint venture between the BBC, BT, ITV and Five that aims to solve the challenge of realising the seamless convergence of linear broadcast TV and internet video to the TV screen in the living room

For Project Canvas to succeed, it is likely, in spite of its merits, to have to address competition concerns in the areas of company structure, stifling innovation and editorial controls over who gets to participate

Stifling innovation – whether to do with creative restrictions, marginalisation of competing players or undue prominence given to the traditional public service broadcasting (PSB) model – appears the most problematic issue facing Project Canvas, whose success will depend on its ability to convince the rest of the industry that it is stimulating, not stifling innovation

  • BBC
Media, TV, Internet 29 July 2009
Carphone Warehouse

Carphone Warehouse (CPW) has launched a broadband/telephony bundle which effectively offers free broadband to non-cable customers in urban areas 

O2’s purchase of Be may only have cost £50 million but its entry into UK broadband may ultimately prove an expensive distraction 

  • Carphone Warehouse
Telecoms 11 April 2006
Carphone Warehouse 2008/09 FY results

Carphone Warehouse’s distribution business had a slightly mixed year, with strong volumes and revenue mitigated by a sharp drop in margins and profit, with margin being sacrificed for market share

Given the very poor recession-hit market for handsets, Carphone Warehouse’s market share gains have been dramatic, so the sacrifice was at least not in vain

Although TalkTalk Group missed much of its guidance to March 2009, we now view new guidance as achievable, with the main risks related to the integration of Tiscali UK

  • TalkTalk
  • Carphone Warehouse
Telecoms, Mobile, Fixed Line, Non-UK Telecoms 6 June 2009
Carphone Warehouse 2010/11 interim results: US driven growth

CPW’s European handset business had a steady quarter, with growth dipping slightly on the previous quarter but still in line with full year guidance. Smartphone sales are surging, and CPW is orientating its business towards them, but their impact is not unambiguously positive in Europe

The US handset business continued to enjoy strong growth, with this side of their business benefitting strongly from smartphone growth, and this outperformance led the company to increase its full year EBIT guidance

The UK ‘big box’ roll-out is continuing, but no sales figures or indications have been given, and the full year operating loss guidance has been increased, eating up some (but not all) of the outperformance from the US. There appears to still be much experimentation involved at this stage, and even more uncertainty about the eventual success or failure of this new business

  • Carphone Warehouse
Technology, Telecoms, Mobile 8 November 2010
Carphone Warehouse acquisition of Tiscali UK: The Italian Job

Carphone Warehouse’s acquisition of Tiscali UK makes TalkTalk Group the second largest UK ISP and the largest in terms of residential broadband subscribers, just as market growth begins to stall

The company’s synergy target looks readily achievable, although integration challenges are significant and could make the acquired customer base difficult to stabilise

Nonetheless, TalkTalk Group now seems set to dominate the ‘value’ end of the UK residential telecoms market

  • TalkTalk
  • Carphone Warehouse
Telecoms, Fixed Line 9 May 2009
Carphone Warehouse December quarter results: Weak prepay hits revenue, but strong contract supports profits

Carphone Warehouse’s Q3 2011/12 volume and revenue was severely hit by a steep reduction in UK prepay volumes, with prepay subsidy cuts driving a drop in the UK market of as much as 40%

However, stronger volumes of higher margin contract handsets drove a small improvement in gross profit for the quarter

The unexpected prepay weakness means that Carphone Warehouse’s handset business will have roughly flat operating profit in its 2011/12 financial year at best, although given the negative external factors this would reflect a strong underlying performance

  • Carphone Warehouse
Mobile, Telecoms 26 January 2012
Carphone Warehouse December quarter: growth increasingly challenging, but downside protected

Distribution growth improved considerably (retail grew 13% versus 8% last quarter), with strong contract sales more than counteracting a relatively weak prepay performance

  • Carphone Warehouse
Telecoms, Mobile 22 January 2008
Carphone Warehouse Group interim results to September 2009: forging ahead

Fixed line revenue growth continued to decline excluding the impact of Tiscali UK, but at a manageable rate, and profitability continued to improve strongly. TalkTalk Group is performing well in the run-up to demerger, and management is sounding very confident. But there are some clouds on the horizon, not least the relaunch of Tesco Telecom

Sky+ HD is now manifestly the centre point of a three-pronged operational strategy that focuses on driving customer growth, selling more products into the customer base and seeking efficiencies in fixed costs

Sky 3D, due for residential launch in H2 2010, fits in well with the core Sky+ HD proposition and the satellite operator looks well placed to combat growing retail competition from other platforms, assuming Ofcom implements its wholesale pay-TV proposals for Sky premium subscription films and sports some time in spring 2010

  • Carphone Warehouse
Media 30 November 2009
Carphone Warehouse Group March 2010 quarter trading update: riding recovery?

CPW grew its core European mobile handset distribution business in underlying like-for-like revenue terms by 3% in the March quarter, and its profits grew by 18% in the 2009/10 year, although connection volumes and actual revenue fell during the quarter

Growth is improving with the recovery, but not dramatically, as its strong competitive performance during the recession is unwinding to some extent. Nonetheless, 2010/11 should see continued improvement, with handset trends still generally going in CPW’s direction

The company is currently more than covering the start-up losses at its ‘big box’ consumer electronics business in the UK through steady growth at CPW Europe and dramatic growth in the US, and should continue to do so in 2010/11. However, thereafter there is far more uncertainty, as the big box business will have to start trading well to prevent accelerating losses, and we have no visibility over its prospects as yet

 

  • Carphone Warehouse
Telecoms, Mobile, Non-UK Telecoms 28 April 2010
Carphone Warehouse H1 2011/12 results: Late handset launches hurt

Carphone Warehouse’s H1 2011/12 results were overshadowed somewhat by the announcements that it is shutting down its UK ‘big box’ consumer electronics venture and selling its share in the Best Buy US handset business

Its actual core business operating performance was grim, with drops of 12% in volume and 4.5% in like-for-like revenue in the September quarter, with the slashing of prepay subsidies in the UK hitting volumes, and the late arrival of the iPhone 4S hitting revenue

With the iPhone 4S having now launched, H2 is likely to be much better, with like-for-like revenue returning to growth, and a focus on the core business will help in weathering the economic headwinds to come

  • Carphone Warehouse
Mobile, Telecoms 16 November 2011
Carphone Warehouse interim results: calm before the storm?

Carphone Warehouse’s distribution side was very strong in revenue terms in the September quarter, with an underlying (ex-currency) growth of 11%

The company is right to be cautious about the Christmas trading environment, although we believe that it will continue to do well in relative terms at least, and even has a fighting chance of hitting the distribution revenue guidance made back in April

Fixed line revenue growth was hit by churn and spin down at AOL UK, and churn in the non-broadband base. Fixed line EBITDA grew encouragingly as cost savings from LLU kicked in, but overall financial performance was marred by the cost of free laptop and retention offers at AOL UK

  • Carphone Warehouse
Telecoms, Fixed Line 26 November 2008
Carphone Warehouse June quarter results: steady in Europe, strong in US

CPW saw growing revenue but falling volume in its core European handset retail business, as contract handset growth outperformed prepay

We believe that this is in line with a slightly subdued market, with consumer confidence quite weak across a number of European countries

CPW’s US business did much better, growing at 30%, and it is this strength that leaves us confident in the group’s ability to have a strong full year

  • Carphone Warehouse
Telecoms, Mobile, Non-UK Telecoms 27 July 2010
Carphone Warehouse June quarter trading update: on course

The distribution business experienced modest growth in connections and revenue, easily outpacing European market handset growth of -15%, as the company continues to build market share

At TalkTalk Group (TTG) net broadband additions for the quarter were relatively strong, given likely market growth, probably due at least in part to reduced subscriber loss at AOL UK

In our view cut-price business broadband, rather than IPTV, offers the best prospect of profitable revenue growth in fixed line

  • TalkTalk
  • Carphone Warehouse
Telecoms, Mobile, Fixed Line, Non-UK Telecoms 22 July 2009
Carphone Warehouse March quarter results: Prepay declines continue to weigh

CPW’s key operating metrics worsened again in the March quarter, with connection volume growth dropping to -19% and like-for-like revenue growth dropping to -5.5%

Weakness in the UK prepay market continued to affect CPW’s results, with volumes again down 30-40%, but contract sales did not mitigate this as much as last quarter, with growth in the UK but declines in continental Europe

Prepay is not likely to improve until the end of 2012, as the volume decline annualises out and more smartphones are available at prepay price points, and contract recovery is dependent on economic recovery

  • Vodafone
  • Telefonica
  • Orange
  • Carphone Warehouse
Mobile, Telecoms 9 May 2012

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