Barbados first to go with FLOW
Barbados is set to become the first country to experience Cable and Wireless Communications’ (CWC) transition to FLOW.
This announcement came today from the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Phil Bentley, during a teleconference to announce CWC’s 2015 annual results. He disclosed that the company had recorded a strong financial year.
Explaining that the rebranding process on the island had begun since April 1, Bentley broke the news that Barbados would be the first regional country to witness the roll-out.
“I think I’ll probably give away a secret but Barbados is the first country that we are going to rebrand,” he told reporters from Barbados, Trinidad and Jamaica locked into the teleconference.
“We are going to rebrand to FLOW across all the markets, but in terms of Barbados, there is a lot of work going on now, and we’re looking at all the networks. Essentially the process has begun since April 1, so we are six weeks into it. We’re looking at our stores, which stores should we invest in and modernize . . . so I think in the next few months, we are going to see market by market the LIME brand disappearing and quite a bit of a song and dance about getting the message over about new FLOW.”
The CEO also hinted that Barbados could be in line to be the new home of a 200-seat call centre.
He said that while the call centre had been previously outsourced to El Salvador, he had made it a priority to establish a call centre in either Barbados or Jamaica.
“Before I arrived, we outsourced our call centre to El Salvador, and you probably know as well as I do that El Salvador is not in the Caribbean. I have committed to bringing back a 200-seat call centre from El Salvador to either Jamaica or Barbados. We’ve got to make sure that we get the right company and the right flexibility in terms of the work force, but we will be setting up a new call centre to serve the Caribbean people with Caribbean people,” Bentley stated.
Additionally, he disclosed among other improvements scheduled for Barbados, would be internet speeds of up to 100 megabits per second as well as the introduction of an LTE (Long Term Evolution) network.
“In Barbados we are putting fibre into every home. We will be offering 100 megabits per second. That’s faster than what we get here in the UK, I can assure you. And we’re also hopefully in time, going to be launching LTE, so Barbados will have an absolutely top-rate network,” he added.
Speaking on the company’s performance over the past financial year which ended on March 31, 2015, Bentley said CWC had recorded a profit growth of seven per cent, while its topline grew by four percentage points.
He said while operating costs fell by US $15 million, their operating costs to revenue ratio fell by two percentage points to 41 per cent.
“I’m pleased to say that we’ve actually shown some good progress. For the first time in a long time, and probably as long as you can remember, we’ve actually seen some growth in Cable and Wireless Communications. Revenue, our topline growth, grew by four percentage points and that was encouraging to see,” the CEO pointed out.
Bentley continued: “Actually if you took into account the Jamaican dollar devaluation and equalized that, it would have been five percentage points. In terms of profit, we saw a profit growth of seven percent to US$585 million in terms of Earnings Before Interest Tax Depreciation (EBITDA).”
He said the company’s performance was encouraging, especially considering they had spent $442 million within the last 12 months upgrading their networks.
The telecommunications executive noted that it had been a year of transformation and growth for CWC, highlighted by the company’s US$3.025 billion acquisition of Columbus International.
Bentley said one of their main strategic goals over the course of the next three years would be to record annual mid to high single digit revenue growth and significant EBITDA growth.