Rogers seals key iPhone deal as profit soars

Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:46pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Wojtek Dabrowski and Jonathan Spicer

TORONTO (Reuters) - Rogers Communications Inc, the owner of Canada's biggest wireless firm, said on Tuesday its first-quarter profit more than doubled and that it secured a key deal with Apple Inc to bring the iPhone to Canada later this year.

Rogers, as has been the case in recent quarters, ascribed its strong performance to growth in its wireless, Internet and digital cable subscriber base. It gave no further details on the iPhone.

Rogers had been widely expected to be the Canadian carrier to offer the iPhone, a multimedia-heavy handheld that has been pegged as a potential challenger to Research In Motion Ltd's BlackBerry in the booming smartphone market.

"By far the most important news for the stock today is that Rogers has signed a deal to launch the Apple iPhone later this year," National Bank Financial analyst Greg MacDonald wrote in a note to clients.

He added: "It is safe to assume the launch will be before the important holiday season and possibly before the back to school third-quarter period."

Rogers earned C$344 million (C$340 million), or 54 Canadian cents a share, in the three months ended March 31. That's up from a profit of C$170 million, or 26 Canadian cents a share, a year earlier.

Consolidated revenue was up 14 percent at C$2.6 billion.

Analysts had expected Rogers to earn 44 Canadian cents a share before one-time items on revenue of C$2.61 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.   Continued...

<p>Rogers Communications CEO Ted Rogers attends a news conference before a annual general meeting in Toronto April 25, 2006. REUTERS/Peter Jones</p>