Union of Hawaiian Telcom, Cincinnati Bell ‘going well’

It’s getting dissed by a competitor as no longer being a local company, but Hawaiian Telcom is doing well since Ohio-based Cincinnati Bell acquired the longtime kamaaina phone, internet and TV service provider in July.

Cincinnati Bell said Thursday that its integration of Hawaiian Telcom is progressing as planned and that its new Hawaii business added an unspecified number of internet and TV subscribers in the third quarter.

Hawaiian Telcom revenue slipped 4 percent to $87 million in the July-September period from $91 million a year earlier. The Hawaii company’s net loss was $500,000 in the recent quarter. That was an improvement from a $3.3 million loss in the same quarter last year excluding a noncash tax expense.

“Honestly, it’s going very well,” Leigh Fox, Cincinnati Bell’s president and CEO, told stock analysts on a conference call in response to a question about the status of the company’s integration of Hawaiian Telcom, especially given competition from Charter Communications, or Spectrum, which was formerly Oceanic Time Warner Cable in Hawaii.

“We’ve made great progress with the integration (efforts),” Fox said. “They’re going as expected, both financially and operationally.”

Connecticut- based Charter has made Cincinnati Bell’s acquisition of Hawaiian Telcom a focus in some local TV commercials by noting that Hawaiian Telcom is owned by the Cincinnati firm and therefore isn’t a local company.

Hawaiian Telcom has responded in its own advertising by describing its acquisition as a “partnership” with Cincinnati Bell and saying Charter crossed a line of appropriate business competition by claiming Hawaiian Telcom doesn’t have aloha.

Cincinnati Bell acquired Hawaiian Telcom for $650 million partly in cash and partly for stock.

The third quarter was the first quarter with Hawaiian Telcom as part of Cincinnati Bell. Revenue from Hawaiian Telcom helped boost Cincinnati Bell revenue to $387 million in the quarter from $256 million a year earlier. Cincinnati Bell also had a bigger loss: $17.7 million compared with $11 million in the same year-over-year period.

Cincinnati Bell said it is on track to start saving $11 million a year by July 2020 because of efficiencies of owning Hawaiian Telcom.

Shares of Cincinnati Bell, which are now owned by many former Hawaiian Telcom shareholders, fell $1.96 to close at $13.04 Thursday after the company released its financial report.

THIRD-QUARTER LOSS

$500,000

YEAR-EARLIER LOSS

$3.3 million

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