January 23, 2018 / 7:09 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Sweden's Com Hem Q4 underlying EBITDA just beats forecasts​

(Adds detail, background)

Jan 23 (Reuters) - Cable TV firm Com Hem, which recently announced it will be bought by Tele2, posted on Tuesday fourth-quarter earnings slightly above expectations and kept its forecast of annual mid-single digit underlying EBITDA growth.​

* Q4 ‍revenue increased by 1.4 pct to SEK 1.81 bln ($225 mln )for group, with Com Hem segment increasing by 4.2 pct to SEK 1.39 bln​

* Q4 ‍underlying EBITDA increased by 3.8 pct to SEK 722 mln for group, with Com Hem segment increasing by 5.3 pct to SEK 650 mln

* Reuters poll: Com Hem Q4 adjusted EBITDA was seen at SEK 717 mln, revenue at 1.81 bln​

* Says ‍today we reiterate our guidance for 2018 and mid-term as we aim to deliver mid-single digit underlying EBITDA growth for entire group annually​

* Says ‍we expect growth to be skewed toward Com Hem segment in 2018 as we continue necessary efforts to execute on turnaround of Boxer​

* Says ‍we expect capex for entire group to be in range of SEK 1.0-1.1 bln annually​

* Says ‍we aim to maintain our leverage within interval of 3.5-4.0x underlying EBITDA LTM

* Says we remain confident that we can reach our target of at least 3.0 mln households by 2020. In Q4 Com Hem reached 2.8 million households

* Repeats intends to propose 50 pct increase in cash dividend to 6.00 SEK/share, to be paid out semi-annually in March and July of 2018

* Tele2 has agreed a $3.2 bln takeover of Com Hem in a Swedish instalment of a global wave of mergers reshaping the telecoms and media sector

* Com Hem shares, which closed at 133.40 on Monday, reached a record high of SEK 144.80 on Jan. 10 when the Tele2 deal was announced ​ Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: ($1 = 8.0373 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Helena Soderpalm, editing by Johannes Hellstrom)

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