UPDATE 2-Canada's Telus adds wireless customers; revenue up 5.1 pct

Fri Aug 7, 2015 12:56pm EDT
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(Recasts with focus on subscriber growth; adds analyst's comment, stock reaction)

By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO Aug 7 (Reuters) - Telus Corp, one of Canada's three big telecoms providers, reported a 5.1 percent rise in quarterly revenue on Friday, while gaining wireless, Internet and television customers during a tumultuous period for the industry.

Telus said that in the second quarter it added 76,000 contract wireless customers, who typically spend much more per month for wireless service than those who prepay.

BCE Inc's Bell service, which shares a national wireless network with Telus, added more than 61,000 such customers in the quarter, while market leader Rogers Communications Inc added 24,000 after two quarters of net defections.

Telus improved on its industry-leading sub 1 percent postpaid churn rate, the portion of those valuable customers who drop the service each month. Its monthly rate dropped 4 basis points to 0.86 percent year-over-year.

The lower churn rate was achieved during a period of competitive upheaval for the industry caused by rule changes that meant more wireless contracts than usual were up for renewal.

Desjardins analyst Maher Yaghi said the results "underscore the company's strength in attracting and retaining profitable clients to its networks".

Quarterly net income, however, fell to C$341 million ($260 million), or 56 Canadian cents per share, from C$381 million, or 62 Canadian cents, a year earlier, hurt by the cost of closing a retail photography chain and higher taxes in Alberta.   Continued...