UPDATE 1-Canada's BCE posts better-than-expected profit

Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:29am EDT
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April 28 (Reuters) - Canadian telecom and media company BCE Inc reported a slightly better-than-expected quarterly profit as it added more wireless customers and earned more for each one.

Bell, as the company is known to customers, is locked in a fight for wireless market share with national rivals Rogers Communications Inc and Telus Corp as well as smaller regional players.

The company said it added nearly 26,000 valuable postpaid wireless customers in the seasonally weak first quarter. Rogers added 14,000, and spent heavily to do so, it said last week.

BCE's blended average revenue per user increased by 3.6 percent to C$63.02, helped in part by a greater mix of smartphone postpaid customers in the total subscriber base.

The company also said it was on track to meet its 2016 revenue growth target of 1 percent-3 percent and adjusted earnings forecast of $3.45-$3.55 per share.

Net income attributable to shareholders rose to C$707 million ($562 million), or 82 Canadian cents a share, in the period, from C$532 million, or 63 Canadian cents, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned 85 cents per share. Analysts on average had expected a profit of 84 Canadian cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Operating revenue rose marginally to C$5.27 billion. ($1 = C$1.26) (Reporting by Alastair Sharp and Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Ted Kerr)