TORONTO (Reuters) - Telus Corp T.TO, one of Canada’s three dominant telecom companies, posted a 23 percent rise in quarterly profit on Friday, helped by strong growth in its wireless business.
The Vancouver-based company said net income rose to C$291 million, or 89 Canadian cents a share, in the three months to the end of December, compared to C$237 million, or 76 cents, a year earlier.
Operating revenue rose 6 percent to C$2.85 billion.
Analysts had on average expected Telus to earn 87 Canadian cents a share on revenue of C$2.8 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Telus competes against cable company Shaw Communications Inc SJRb.TO for television and Internet customers in Western Canada and against Rogers Communications Inc RCIb.TO and BCE Inc’s BCE.TO Bell for wireless subscribers across the country.
Telus signed up 123,000 net new postpaid wireless subscribers, who typically pay more to use high-end smartphones.
By comparison, Bell said it added 144,000 postpaid customers in the same period while Rogers added 58,000.
Telus’ wireless customers on average paid C$60.95 a month for service, as booming data usage more than offset falling voice calls.
Telus, unlike its rivals, has not acquired companies producing the content distributed over its network. But it has moved forcefully to grow revenues in its fixed-line business, on the back of its Optik TV product.
Optik, which sends content via Internet connections to customers’ television screens and other devices, is challenging Shaw’s dominant cable television position.
Telus said it added 41,000 TV customers in the quarter.
The pair have backed away from aggressive pricing promotions that had threatened margins at both operators, though Telus is still offering a free high-definition television set for people who sign up for three years of Optik and home Internet service.
Shaw last month said higher rates had offset slipping TV subscriber numbers.
Telus expects revenue growth of between 4 and 6 percent in 2013, and earnings per share of between C$3.80 and C$4.20.
Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama