Cable & Wireless increases investment expenditure

Cable & Wireless Communications, the parent company of LIME in the Caribbean, announced it will increase investment in its networks in the Caribbean and Central America to drive revenue growth and improve earnings. 

CWC plans to invest more than US$1 billion in its fixed and mobile networks over the next three years. CWC will increase its capital investment program by 30 percent by adding $250 million to its standard level capital expenditure. 

Chief Executive Phil Bentley, who joined Cable & Wireless from Centrica’s British Gas in January, said “We have developed a new strategic plan to drive top line growth, reversing our historical revenue decline, to leverage our existing networks enhanced by the US$250 million increased investment of Project Marlin, and to drive further operating efficiencies across the portfolio.” 

The new strategy under Project Marlin focuses on investments in new networks and services such as 4G and LTE mobile networks, Wi-Fi hotspots, TV services and business-to-business solutions across its operations in the Caribbean and Latin America. Investment will also aim to integrate fixed and mobile networks to enable customers to switch seamlessly between wi-fi and 4G mobile. 

CWC said it will support the strategy with an increased focus on key stakeholder relations with governments, regulatory and union partners, and seek to improve its internal processes and culture to increase focus on serving its customers.  

CWC announced its new strategy after posting a better-than-expected 5 percent increase in full-year core earnings to $608 million at the group level. Like-for-like revenue of $1.87 billion was down 1 percent. 

In the Caribbean, the business showed an 8 percent rise in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) – the company’s core profit measure. Mobile data revenue jumped 53 percent in the Cayman Islands and 13 percent in the Bahamas after the launch of LTE services.  

The number of TV customers across the Cayman Islands and Barbados rose by 21 percent. 

Operating costs were down by US$48 million or 8 percent, following good progress on outsourcing services, exiting non-core property assets and introducing initiatives to reduce power consumption, the company said.  

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