BCE profit climbs on strength in its wireless business

Wed Aug 8, 2012 7:56am EDT
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(Reuters) - BCE Inc (BCE.TO: Quote) reported a surge in its quarterly profit on Wednesday, as strong results from its wireless and media arms spurred Canada's largest telecom player to also lift its full-year earnings outlook and dividend payout.

Montreal-based BCE, the parent of Bell Canada, said it now expects growth in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to be at the high-end of a previously forecast range of 2 percent to 4 percent for 2012.

BCE said it expects adjusted earnings in the year of between C$3.15 a share and C$3.20 a share, slightly higher than its previously forecast range of C$3.13 to C$3.18.

The company also raised its annual dividend payout to C$2.27 a share from C$2.17 a share.

"Bell's strong year-to-date operating and financial performance, and the positive outlook for the balance of the year, enables the dividend increase and increased 2012 financial guidance," said Chief Executive George Cope in a statement.

Net income in the period rose to C$773 million ($775.5 million) or C$1.00 a share, compared with C$590 million, or 76 Canadian cents, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items related to severance, acquisition and other costs, earnings in the quarter rose to C$788 million, or C$1.02 a share. That compared with earnings of C$663 million, or 86 Canadian cents.

(Reporting by Euan Rocha and Allison Martell; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)