Rogers profit surges, but wary of U.S. economy

Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:43pm EST
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By Wojtek Dabrowski

TORONTO (Reuters) - Rogers Communications Inc (RCIb.TO: Quote) reported a 44-percent rise in fourth-quarter profit on Friday as growth in its wireless subscriber base and higher revenue from mobile-phone users helped results.

Despite the solid results, Rogers, Canada's biggest wireless carrier and cable-TV company, will move to rein in costs and tighten its spending as it keeps a close eye on the woes of the U.S. economy, Chief Executive Ted Rogers said.

"These are troubling times," Rogers told analysts during a conference call.

"While we aren't seeing slowing in our markets, I've asked our team to be extremely diligent about our controlling costs and exercising restraint around spending so that we can react quickly if softness does spread across the border in a meaningful way," he said.

Rogers said it earned C$254 million ($251 million), or 40 Canadian cents a share, in the three months ended December 31, up from a profit of C$176 million, or 27 Canadian cents a share, in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue rose to C$2.69 billion from C$2.37 billion.

Analysts were expecting the company to earn 42 Canadian cents a share before one-time items on revenue of C$2.68 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

Rogers said it added 158,000 postpaid wireless subscribers in the quarter -- fewer than the 189,000 it added in the same quarter a year earlier.   Continued...

<p>A live video image of actor William Shatner appears on a Rogers video phone in Toronto April 2, 2007. REUTERS/J.P. Moczulski</p>