UPDATE 3-Canada's Telus beats rivals with profit growth, shares rise

Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:55pm EST
 
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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO Feb 13 (Reuters) - Telus Corp, one of Canada's biggest telecom companies, outpaced its main rivals with a 13-percent jump in fourth-quarter profit and ambitious targets for 2014, helped by expansion in both its wireless and fixed-line businesses.

Its shares advanced more than 1 percent earlier on Thursday as investors cheered higher bills and more customers in wireless and an Internet-fueled recovery in the landline segment.

"Those who feared a very weak wireless quarter after Rogers' results (on Wednesday) should be relieved," Canaccord Genuity analyst Dvai Ghose wrote in a note, referring to a disappointing report from rival Rogers Communications Inc.

Vancouver-based Telus competes against cable company Shaw Communications Inc for television and Internet customers in Western Canada, and against Rogers and BCE Inc's Bell for wireless subscribers across the country.

Telus said it signed up 113,000 net contract wireless subscribers, who typically pay more to use high-end smartphones. Bell had previously said it added almost 120,000, while market leader Rogers only added 34,000 in the quarter.

Rogers has some 9.5 million wireless customers while Telus and Bell, which share a national network, have slightly less than 8 million each.

Telus said its average wireless customer paid C$61.86 a month for service, compared to Bell's C$57.92 and Rogers at C$58.59. The Telus figure does not include its recent Public Mobile acquisition, whose 222,000 mostly low-end customers will skew the numbers lower once they are counted.   Continued...