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Hawaiian Telcom’s parent narrows loss in quarter

Hawaiian Telcom’s parent posted a narrower fourth- quarter loss and reiterated that its $2.9 billion sale to a subsidiary of Macquarie Infrastructure Partners remains on track to close in the first half of this year.

Cincinnati Bell reported Thursday a narrower loss of $5.6 million, or 16 cents a share, compared with a loss of $20.6 million, or 46 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.

Revenue in the quarter rose 5.1% to $410.3 million from $390.4 million in the year-earlier period.

For the year, Cincinnati Bell’s loss narrowed to $55.6 million, or $1.30 a share, from $66.6 million, or $1.53 a share, in 2019. Revenue edged up 1.5% to $1.56 billion from $1.54 billion.

Hawaiian Telcom contributed $75 million of the parent company’s revenue in the fourth quarter and $300 million for the year.

“2020 was a unique and volatile year, and I am incredibly proud of the Cincinnati Bell team and their focus to overcome the challenges resulting from COVID- 19,” Cincinnati Bell President and CEO Leigh Fox said in a statement. “Our continued investments in dense metro fiber and strategic IT solutions produced incredible results and were critical to achieving both year-over-year revenue and adjusted EBITDA growth (which grew 4% from a year ago).”

EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, is a measure of a company’s overall financial performance and sometimes is used as an alternative to net income.

The Ohio company said fiber-to-the-premise activations — the installation and use of optical fiber from a central point directly to residences, apartment buildings and businesses for high-speed internet access — is now available to 38% of Hawaii, or 184,300 addresses. FTTP internet subscribers in Hawaii increased by 1,200 in the quarter to 59,800 from the previous quarter.

Cincinnati Bell’s shares fell 4 cents to $15.28 after the results were released. Cincinnati Bell shareholders, which include former shareholders of Hawaiian Telcom, will receive $15.50 a share when the deal closes with MIP, a fund managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Asset. The deal was announced March 13.

As of Sept. 30, MIRA had $146.1 billion in assets under management, of which $116 billion was invested in infrastructure assets.

Cincinnati Bell has owned Hawaiian Telcom since July 2018, when it bought the Honolulu-based company for $650 million in stock and cash.

Hawaiian Telcom, which has about 1,200 employees, has been heavily investing in its fiber-optic network to provide high-speed internet as well as video services through Hawaiian Telcom TV.

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