UPDATE 1-Canada's BCE posts profit rise on wireless spending

Thu Nov 5, 2015 8:02am EST
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(Adds data on wireless customers, fixed-line businesses)

TORONTO Nov 5 (Reuters) - BCE Inc posted a solid rise in third-quarter profit on Thursday, helped by its wireless customers spending more for service, the Canadian telecommunications company said.

Bell, as the company is known to customers, added 77,655 postpaid wireless customers, who typically spend more than those who prepay for service, it said.

The Montreal-based company said its wireless customers on average spent C$65.34 a month, up 6.1 percent, although it also paid more to court them amid tough competition.

A greater number of wireless customers are free to switch providers this year due to regulatory changes.

Its rival and network-sharing partner Telus added 69,000 such postpaid customers, while wireless market leader Rogers Communications said last month that it added 77,000 in the same period.

Revenue in its fixed-line business declined as its services to business were hit by pricing pressure and reduced customer spending due to slow economic growth.

BCE said it had net income attributable to shareholders of C$739 million ($562 million), or 87 Canadian cents a share, compared to C$600 million, or 77 cents, a year ago. Revenue rose 2.9 percent to C$5.35 billion.

On an adjusted basis that excluded severance, acquisition and other costs, the company earned 93 cents a share.   Continued...