CALGARY -- Shaw Communications Inc. announces consolidated financial and operating results for the quarter and year ended August 31, 2016. Consolidated revenue from continuing operations for the quarter and year-to-date of $1.3 billion and $4.9 billion increased 15.5% and 8.9% over the comparable periods, respectively. Operating income before restructuring costs and amortization1 for the quarter and year-to-date of $549 million and $2.1 billion improved 4.6% and 3.8% over the comparable periods, respectively. Excluding the results of Wireless, acquired on March 1, 2016, and the Media division, sold on April 1, 2016, revenue and operating income before restructuring costs and amortization for the quarter from the combined Consumer, Business Network Services and Business Infrastructure Services divisions were up 2.2% and down 1.0% in the quarter over the comparable period, respectively. On a full year basis, the combined three divisions reported revenue and operating income before restructuring costs and amortization, up 2.6% and 0.9% over the comparable period, respectively.
Chief Executive Officer, Brad Shaw said, "Fiscal 2016 marks a very deliberate pivot in the strategic direction for Shaw towards long-term, sustainable growth. This exciting new era builds on our wireline network advantage and extends our position into wireless and an enhanced connectivity company, delivering significant value to both our customers and our shareholders. Strong execution in fiscal 2016 resulted in solid financial results through this period of significant change. Our growth segments, comprised of Wireless, Business Network Services and Business Infrastructure Services, will continue to play a key role as we work towards building a stronger future for Shaw that drives long-term growth for all stakeholders."
"Wireless delivered another strong quarter with revenue of $148 million increasing over 12% compared to the previous quarter. In the fourth quarter we added nearly forty thousand net new wireless subscribers and increased Average Revenue Per Unit ("ARPU") by over 3% compared to the third quarter as customers continue to choose higher value plans. This subscriber and ARPU growth demonstrates the impact of our wireless network investments, which started this year with 3G upgrades in Western Canada, improving customer value and instilling trust and confidence among our subscribers. We are making excellent progress towards our LTE Advanced network, and the Wireless team is executing well against their business plan." said Mr. Shaw.
Net income for the quarter was $154 million or $0.31 per share compared to $276 million or $0.57 per share for the prior year quarter. The decrease in net income is primarily attributed to a non-recurring gain on the sale of spectrum licenses recorded in the fourth quarter of 2015. Net income for fiscal 2016 was $1.2 billion or $2.51 per share compared to $880 million or $1.80 per share for fiscal 2015. The improvement was driven mainly by the gain on the sale of the Media division partly offset by various other non-operating costs and the prior year gain on the sale of spectrum licenses.
Consolidated free cash flow for the three and twelve month periods of $9 million and $482 million, respectively, compares to $35 million and $653 million for the comparable periods. The reduction for the quarter and year-to-date was largely due to lower free cash flow from Media which was sold during the third quarter and higher planned capital expenditures from continuing operations.
In the current quarter, total revenue generating units ("RGU"s) grew by approximately 8,000. This significant and positive shift in subscriber trends was driven by Wireless and Consumer Internet. In aggregate, Consumer RGUs in the fourth quarter declined approximately 37,000 RGUs, a significant improvement over the fourth quarter 2015 where the RGU loss was approximately 76,000.
"We are pleased with the Internet results this quarter as WideOpen Internet 150, which launched in mid-July, became available to a wide customer base and delivers the right balance between speed and affordability. Combining WideOpen Internet 150 with our attractive two-year Value Plans has provided price certainty to our customers and is having a positive impact on our business." said Mr. Shaw.
Shaw is also introducing its fiscal 2017 guidance, which includes consolidated operating income before restructuring and amortization to range between $2.125 - $2.175 billion. In regards to consolidated capital, as previously disclosed, investment in fiscal 2017 is expected to be $1.3 billion and free cash flow is expected to exceed $400 million.
Brad Shaw concluded, "We have entered fiscal 2017 with the necessary foundation in place to execute on our strategic initiatives. We will continue to improve our wireline network through the implementation of DOCSIS 3.1 and use this strength to our advantage. We are currently monitoring and reviewing the results of our in-home trials of the X1 set-top box and are still on track for launching a best-in-class next generation video product. As the LTE Advanced upgrade progresses, we will combine our hybrid fibre-coax, WiFi and wireless infrastructure to create a seamless converged network that is more efficient and cost effective. We are focused on consistent and successful execution of our plan and thank our 14,000 employees who have leaned in to our strategic shift and are prepared to deliver an enhanced connectivity experience for our customers."