Telus profit steams ahead, BCE trails on flat revenue

Thu May 9, 2013 11:48am EDT
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian telecoms provider Telus Corp (T.TO: Quote) promised three more years of dividend growth on Thursday as it reported a 13 percent rise in quarterly profit, results that outshone cross-Canada rival BCE Inc (BCE.TO: Quote).

Both companies scored in the fast-growing wireless space as consumers grasp for the latest smartphones to stream video and other data. But Telus also managed to increase its fixed-line business on the back of its Optik TV product and it raised its 2013 dividend by 11.5 percent.

BCE profit rose 6.6 percent, and the company said it remains on track to hit its full-year earnings targets.

Telus shares were up 1.8 percent at C$37.35 on Thursday morning, while BCE shares were down 0.4 percent at C$47.72.

Vancouver-based 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's Bell for wireless subscribers across the country.

"Things are going exceptionally well at Telus," said Canaccord Genuity analyst Dvai Ghose. "Bell is obviously at a much earlier stage both in terms of subscribers as well as profitability" for its fixed-line unit.

Telus and Bell both signed up some 59,000 net new postpaid wireless subscribers, who typically pay more to use high-end smartphones on multiyear contracts. Market leader Rogers added 32,000 in the quarter.

Telus said its wireless customers paid an average of C$60.04 a month for service, as booming data usage more than offset falling voice calls. Bell's average bill was C$55.92.   Continued...

A pedestrian is reflected in the window of a Telus store while using a mobile phone in Ottawa February 11, 2011. REUTERS/Chris Wattie