Profit at Canada's BCE powered by wireless growth
TORONTO (Reuters) - BCE Inc (BCE.TO: Quote) posted a 25 percent jump in second-quarter profit as its mobile business grew, offsetting lower advertising revenue at its media arm, Canada's largest telecommunications company said on Thursday.
Bell, as the company is known to customers, added more than 61,000 postpaid wireless customers, who typically spend more than those who prepay for service, it said.
Wireless market leader Rogers Communications Inc (RCIb.TO: Quote) last month added 24,000 such customers after two quarters of net defections.
Montreal-based Bell reported net income attributable to shareholders of C$759 million, or 90 Canadian cents a share. That compared with a year-earlier profit of C$606 million, or 78 Canadian cents. Revenue rose 2 percent to C$5.33 billion.
Excluding investment losses, severance, acquisition and other costs, profit was 87 Canadian cents a share, up from 82 cents a year earlier and in line with analyst expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Bell added 18,606 net Internet connections and signed up more than 50,000 customers for its Internet-based TV product. It shed close to 34,000 satellite TV customers amid tough competition.
"Most financial and operating metrics met our expectations and consensus in what is a seasonally weaker quarter," RBC Capital Market analyst Drew McReynolds wrote in a note.
BCE said Bell Media`s advertising revenue was hit by the loss of broadcast rights for the National Hockey League playoffs, tougher competition in social media, and broad softness in the conventional TV market.
(Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jeffrey Benkoe)
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