BCE profit falls but operating results improve

Thu Nov 1, 2012 8:57am EDT
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(Reuters) - BCE Inc (BCE.TO: Quote), Canada's biggest telecom provider, reported on Thursday lower profit compared with a year earlier, when lower income tax expenses had boosted earnings, but revenue rose, thanks in part to wireless growth.

Operating results at Bell Canada's parent were lifted by its media segment and wireless, where the company won new customers and upgraded more subscribers to lucrative smartphone contracts.

Bell added 148,502 net postpaid subscribers, 17.1 percent more than in the same quarter last year, and more than rival Rogers Communications Inc (RCIb.TO: Quote), which said last week it had added 76,000 net postpaid subscribers.

Postpaid customers, who often sign multi-year contracts, typically pay more each month than prepaid subscribers.

Like Rogers, BCE raised the proportion of its postpaid customers using smartphones, to 60 percent at the end of the quarter from 43 percent a year earlier.

Smartphone growth helped boost revenue as BCE's wireless customers paid an average of C$57.30 each month, up from C$55.01 a year earlier.


Overall, BCE's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 4.0 percent.

Net income attributed to shareholders for the third quarter fell to C$569 million ($569 million), or 74 Canadian cents a share, compared with C$642 million, or 83 Canadian cents a share, a year earlier.   Continued...