Telus profit rises 23 percent on wireless, TV strength
By Alastair Sharp
TORONTO (Reuters) - Telus Corp (T.TO: Quote), one of Canada's three biggest telecom companies, reported a 23 percent rise in quarterly profit on Friday, helped by strength in its wireless business and a surprising burst of growth from its fixed-line unit.
Telus shares rose to their highest-ever level on Friday as the Vancouver company also gave a robust outlook for the current year.
The company said fixed-line earnings rose for the first time in two years, thanks to a strong performance at its Optik TV product, which sends content to customers' television screens and other devices via the Internet.
"It's good to see Telus finally get some financial traction from all their investment in broadband and TV," said Canaccord Genuity analyst Dvai Ghose.
Telus competes against cable company Shaw Communications Inc (SJRb.TO: Quote) for television and Internet customers in Western Canada and against Rogers Communications Inc (RCIb.TO: Quote) and BCE Inc's (BCE.TO: Quote) Bell for wireless subscribers across the country.
The growth in the fixed-line business bucks a broad industry trend of customers relying increasingly on mobile devices for communication and entertainment.
"There are not many telcos on the planet that are growing wireline revenue," Telus' chief executive, Darren Entwistle, said in an telephone interview.
Telus said net income rose to C$291 million, or 89 Canadian cents a share, in the three months to the end of December, compared with C$237 million, or 76 cents, a year earlier. Continued...