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MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS

Management’s discussion and analysis

In this management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations (MD&A), we, us, our, BCE and the company mean, as the context may require, either BCE Inc. or, collectively, BCE Inc., Bell Canada, their subsidiaries, joint arrangements and associates. Bell means, as the context may require, either Bell Canada or, collectively, Bell Canada, its subsidiaries, joint arrangements and associates.

All amounts in this MD&A are in millions of Canadian dollars, except where noted. Please refer to section 10.2, Non-GAAP financial measures and key performance indicators (KPIs) on pages 106 to 109 for a list of defined non-GAAP financial measures and key performance indicators.

Please refer to BCE’s audited consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2016 when reading this MD&A.

In preparing this MD&A, we have taken into account information available to us up to March 2, 2017, the date of this MD&A, unless otherwise stated.

You will find additional information relating to BCE, including BCE’s audited consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2016, BCE’s annual information form for the year ended December 31, 2016, dated March 2, 2017 (BCE 2016 AIF) and recent financial reports, on BCE’s website at BCE.ca, on SEDAR at sedar.com and on EDGAR at sec.gov.

This MD&A comments on our business operations, performance, financial position and other matters for the two years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015.

 

CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

BCE’s 2016 annual report, including this MD&A and, in particular, but without limitation, section 1.3, Key corporate developments, section 1.4, Capital markets strategy, section 2, Strategic imperatives, section 3.2, Business outlook and assumptions, section 5, Business segment analysis and section 6.7, Liquidity of this MD&A, contains forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to BCE’s 2017 annualized common share dividend and common share dividend payout policy, the expected improvement of BCE’s net debt leverage ratio and return thereof within BCE’s target range, the sources of liquidity we expect to use to meet our anticipated 2017 cash requirements, our expected 2017 post-employment benefit plans funding, our network deployment and capital investment plans, the expected timing and completion of the proposed acquisition of Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. (MTS) and of the proposed divestitures to TELUS Corporation through one or more of its subsidiaries (collectively, the TELUS Group) and Xplornet Communications Inc. (Xplornet) of certain assets, certain synergies and other benefits expected to result from the proposed acquisition of MTS, and BCE’s business outlook, objectives, plans and strategic priorities. Forward-looking statements also include any other statements that do not refer to historical facts. A statement we make is forward-looking when it uses what we know and expect today to make a statement about the future. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by the words assumption, goal, guidance, objective, outlook, project, strategy, target and other similar expressions or future or conditional verbs such as aim, anticipate, believe, could, expect, intend, may, plan, seek, should, strive and will. All such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbour provisions of applicable Canadian securities laws and of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Unless otherwise indicated by us, forward-looking statements in BCE’s 2016 annual report, including in this MD&A, describe our expectations as at March 2, 2017 and, accordingly, are subject to change after that date. Except as may be required by Canadian securities laws, we do not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Forward-looking statements, by their very nature, are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties and are based on several assumptions, both general and specific, which give rise to the possibility that actual results or events could differ materially from our expectations expressed in, or implied by, such forward-looking statements and that our business outlook, objectives, plans and strategic priorities may not be achieved. As a result, we cannot guarantee that any forward-looking statement will materialize and we caution you against relying on any of these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are presented in BCE’s 2016 annual report, including in this MD&A, for the purpose of assisting investors and others in understanding our objectives, strategic priorities and business outlook as well as our anticipated operating environment. Readers are cautioned, however, that such information may not be appropriate for other purposes.

We have made certain economic, market and operational assumptions in preparing the forward-looking statements contained in BCE’s 2016 annual report and, in particular, but without limitation, the forward-looking statements contained in the previously-mentioned sections of this MD&A. These assumptions include, without limitation, the assumptions described in the various sections of this MD&A entitled Business outlook and assumptions, which sections are incorporated by reference in this cautionary statement. We believe that our assumptions were reasonable at March 2, 2017. If our assumptions turn out to be inaccurate, our actual results could be materially different from what we expect.

Important risk factors including, without limitation, regulatory, competitive, economic, financial, operational, technological and other risks that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the previously-mentioned forward-looking statements and other forward-looking statements contained in BCE’s 2016 annual report, and in particular in this MD&A, include, but are not limited to, the risks described or referred to in section 9, Business risks, which section is incorporated by reference in this cautionary statement.

We caution readers that the risks described in the previously-mentioned section and in other sections of this MD&A are not the only ones that could affect us. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or that we currently deem to be immaterial may also have a material adverse effect on our financial position, financial performance, cash flows, business or reputation. Except as otherwise indicated by us, forward-looking statements do not reflect the potential impact of any special items or of any dispositions, monetizations, mergers, acquisitions, other business combinations or other transactions that may be announced or that may occur after March 2, 2017. The financial impact of these transactions and special items can be complex and depends on facts particular to each of them. We therefore cannot describe the expected impact in a meaningful way, or in the same way we present known risks affecting our business.

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