Bell Aliant Reports Third Quarter Results



    HALIFAX, NS, Nov. 1 /CNW/ - Bell Aliant Regional Communications Income
Fund ("Bell Aliant" or the "Fund")(1) (TSX: BA.UN) today reported
distributions to its unitholders of $90.5 million or $0.705 per unit for the
quarter ended September 30, 2007.
    Bell Aliant Holdings LP's third quarter financial highlights(2) are as
follows:

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       Percen-                       Percen-
    (In millions    Actual  Pro forma    tage     Actual  Pro forma    tage
     of dollars)   Q3 2007    Q3 2006  Change   YTD 2007   YTD 2006  Change
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Operating
     Revenue        $837.9     $825.1     1.6%  $2,514.7   $2,461.9     2.1%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    EBITDA(3)        372.4      366.7     1.6%   1,080.0    1,082.8    (0.3%)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Capital
     Expenditures    140.2      132.2     6.1%     398.9      386.4     3.2%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Distributable
     Cash(4)
     (including
     fibre-to-the-
     node spending)  177.6      185.9   (4.5%)     531.9      536.1    (0.8%)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "Our third quarter results met our expectations and we are on track to
achieve our targets for 2007," said Stephen Wetmore, President and Chief
Executive Officer. "I am also pleased that this quarter marked the beginnings
of a more positive regulatory environment for local service. We have already
acted on this to bring new offers to our customers and they will continue to
benefit from our ability to more quickly and effectively meet their needs
within this environment."

    Highlights of the third quarter of 2007 include the following:

    - Operating revenue increased $12.8 million (1.6 per cent) in the third
      quarter of 2007 compared to the same period a year ago with strong
      growth in data and Internet revenues (9.0 per cent).

    - Internet revenue grew by $5.5 million in the quarter with high-speed
      Internet subscribers growing by 19.0 per cent from a year ago. Other
      data revenues grew by $9.6 million (10.6 per cent) compared to the same
      period last year.

    - Information Technology revenue increased by $3.7 million in the quarter
      compared to the same period last year with higher sales of computer
      hardware and software.

    - Local service and long distance revenue declined by $6.0 million
      (1.6 per cent) and $4.5 million (3.5 per cent), respectively, in the
      third quarter of 2007 compared to the third quarter in 2006. Network
      access services ("NAS") were 3.1 per cent lower than a year ago with
      net NAS declines of 20,676 in the quarter approximately 7.0 per cent
      lower than those experienced in each of the first two quarters of 2007.

    - Higher revenues, cost containment achieved through productivity
      improvements and lower provincial capital taxes resulted in an EBITDA
      increase of $5.7 million (1.6 per cent) in the third quarter of 2007
      from the same period a year ago.

    - In line with Bell Aliant's business plan, distributable cash decreased
      by $8.3 million (4.5 per cent) in the third quarter of 2007 from the
      same period 2006 as a result of the higher capital expenditures. Bell
      Aliant's continued accelerated rollout of fibre-to-the-node (FTTN)
      technology in the third quarter more than accounted for the increase in
      total capital expenditures of $8.0 million (6.1 per cent) over the same
      period in 2006.

    - In the first quarter of 2007, Bell Aliant initiated a normal course
      issuer bid (NCIB) which allows the purchase of up to 13.7 million
      outstanding Bell Aliant units at market prices through the TSX until
      February 27, 2008. At the end of September 2007, 10.5 million units
      were purchased for cancellation, substantially funded with the proceeds
      from the sale of Bell Aliant's share of the assets of Aliant Directory
      Services, completed earlier this year. At this time further purchases
      under the program have ceased.

    - During the third quarter, the CRTC released several decisions dealing
      with Bell Aliant's residential and business local service forbearance
      applications. The CRTC granted forbearance for a number of communities
      in Atlantic Canada, and in addition granted conditional forbearance for
      numerous communities in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada, contingent
      upon meeting specified competitor quality of service criteria.

    - During the quarter Bell Aliant recorded a $20.8 million restructuring
      charge below EBITDA related to cost reduction to advance the
      organization's productivity initiatives.

    Analyst conference call

    A conference call with the financial community is scheduled for Friday,
November 2, 2007 at 8:30 a.m. (Eastern). The dial-in numbers are
(866) 862-3915 or (416) 641-6110 for Toronto area participants. Media are
invited to attend in listen-only mode. A replay of the session can be heard
from November 2 to November 16, 2007. To access the replay, dial
(800) 408-3053 or (416) 695-5800 and enter the passcode 3238290#.
    A live audio webcast of the conference call can be accessed on
bell.aliant.ca by following the links under the Investor Relations section. A
replay of the webcast will be available on the website for one year.

    Forward-looking Statements

    This news release contains forward-looking statements concerning
anticipated future events, results, circumstances or expectations, including
the future anticipated impact of forbearance on our business. Unless otherwise
indicated, such forward-looking statements describe our expectations at
November 1, 2007. These statements are based on management's beliefs regarding
future events, many of which, by their nature are inherently uncertain and
beyond management's control. These statements are not guarantees of future
performance and are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties which are
difficult to predict and assumptions which may prove to be inaccurate,
including assumptions regarding the future impacts of forbearance on our
business. Assumptions made and risk factors considered in the preparation of
forward-looking statements are discussed in more detail in Bell Aliant
Regional Communications Holdings, Limited Partnership's management's
discussion and analysis for the period ended December 31, 2006, as updated by
its management's discussion and analysis for the first, second and third
quarters of 2007, copies of which can be found on the Bell Aliant Regional
Communications Income Fund website at www.bell.aliant.ca or at www.sedar.com.
Except as may be required by applicable law, we disclaim any intention and
assume no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement even if
new information becomes available, as a result of future events or for any
other reason. Readers should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking
statements.

    About Bell Aliant

    Bell Aliant (TSX: BA.UN) is one of North America's largest regional
communications providers. Through its operating entities it serves customers
in six Canadian provinces with innovative information, communication and
technology services including voice, data, Internet, video and value-added
business solutions. Through its xwave offices, Bell Aliant also provides IT
professional services in Canada and the US. Bell Aliant's 10,000 employees are
committed to deliver the highest quality of customer service, choice and
convenience.

    ------------------------
    (1) Bell Aliant commenced operations on July 7, 2006 following the
        completion of the plan of arrangement of Aliant Inc. ("Aliant") (the
        "Plan of Arrangement"), which was described in Aliant's management
        information circular, dated April 14, 2006. Bell Aliant derives all
        of its income from its indirect ownership in Bell Aliant Regional
        Communications Holdings, Limited Partnership ("Bell Aliant
        Holdings LP") and Bell Nordiq Trust. Bell Aliant Holdings LP's
        results combine Aliant's former wireline operation in Atlantic
        Canada, information technology and other operations and Bell Canada's
        former wireline operation in its regional territories in Ontario and
        Quebec, and indirect ownership in Telebec, Limited Partnership and
        NorthernTel, Limited Partnership.

    (2) In order to provide meaningful year over year comparisons,
        Bell Aliant has provided pro forma results with all periods restated
        to reflect the operation of Bell Aliant Holdings LP as if the Plan of
        Arrangement had been completed on January 1, 2006.

    (3) We define EBITDA, a non-GAAP measure, as earnings before interest,
        income taxes, depreciation and amortization expense, net benefit
        plans cost, and restructuring and other charges.

    (4) We define distributable cash, a non-GAAP measure, as cash from
        operating activities plus operating items funded through cash
        reserves or borrowings, such as working capital, pension deficit
        funding, restructuring costs and cash taxes in excess of normalized
        levels, plus amounts for current income tax provisions, less capital
        expenditures, and the portion of distributable cash attributable to
        minority holders (other than Bell Canada and BCE Inc.) in controlled
        subsidiaries.
    
    %SEDAR: 00023938EF




For further information:

For further information: Media Relations: Kelly Gallant, (866) 762-6540,
kelly.gallant@bell.aliant.ca; Investor Relations: Zeda Redden, (877) 487-5726,
zeda.redden@bell.aliant.ca

Organization Profile

Bell Aliant Inc.

More on this organization


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890