Among SureWest Communications’ fourth-quarter and year-end earnings highlights was a 35 percent increase, to $58.9 million, in revenue year-over-year for the quarter that ended Dec. 31.
SureWest credited its revenue growth to a significant broadband segment performance, as well as the positive impact of an acquisition in Kansas City, Kan. (story here). Those improvements helped offset declining telecom revenue in Sacramento, Calif.
SureWest said that broadband accounted for 59 percent of full-year revenue.
Broadband business revenues increased 19 percent to $34.6 million in 2008, and for the fourth quarter increased 19 percent year-over-year to $9.1 million. Customer counts increased 12 percent year-over-year to 6,500, and total business ARPU grew 6 percent from the prior year and declined 5 percent sequentially to $467.
In the Sacramento market, telecom segment revenues declined 10 percent to $95 million in 2008, and for the fourth quarter declined 16 percent to $22 million year-over-year due to an expected revenue loss in telecom residential and telecom access accounts.
SureWest’s net income decreased to $18.9 million from $62.9 million, primarily due to 2008’s gain on the sale of wireless assets compared to 2007’s greater gain on the sale of the directories subsidiary.
Steve Oldham, SureWest’s president and chief executive officer, said: “2008 was an important year for SureWest. Despite the economic downturn, our results were in line with the goals we set for the year. It is evident that by focusing on growing our core broadband business, we can produce superior results for our shareholders. Our efforts in driving broadband revenue growth and cost management, while decreasing expenses in the declining telecom segment, have created a structure that allows for current and future EBITDA margin growth.”