November 8, 2012 / 12:37 PM / in 5 years

UPDATE 1-Manitoba Tel profit up on higher demand for telecom services

Nov 8 (Reuters) - Canada’s Manitoba Telecom Services Inc , which has said it may sell its Allstream business, reported a rise in quarterly profit on demand for wireless, broadband and IPTV services.

Net earnings rose 10 percent to C$40.8 million ($40.97 million), or 61 Canadian cents a share, in the third quarter from C$37 million, or 56 Canadian cents, a year earlier.

Revenue fell 4 percent to C$424.3 million, hurt by lower sales in its Allstream business, as it is looks to shift existing customers to IP-based services.

Manitoba has two operating divisions - MTS is a regional provider of wireless, Internet and television services, while Allstream operates nationally and provides telecom services to businesses.

The company attributed lower revenue in its Allstream business to the Manitoba government’s decision to change its procurement policy on telecommunications services, and said it will lose revenue of $12 million in 2012 on this regard.

The change would continue to hurt IP revenues in 2013.

Manitoba said in September that it may sell Allstream, which owns fiber optic networks across the country.

The Globe and Mail newspaper said in June that the company hired Morgan Stanley to attract a foreign buyer for Allstream.

Canada’s federal government said in March that it will loosen curbs on foreign investment in telecoms, allowing non-Canadians to take control of carriers such as Manitoba Telecom.

MTS Reported a 3.5 percent increase in the number of postpaid customers in the quarter.

Postpaid subscriber numbers are watched closely because those customers, who often sign multi-year contracts, typically pay more each month than prepaid subscribers.

Churn, or the average proportion of subscribers who cancel their service, changed slightly to 0.89 percent, from 0.87 percent, a year earlier.

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