(Reuters) - Rogers Communications Inc (RCIb.TO), Canada’s largest wireless telecommunications company, posted a 15 percent rise in quarterly profit as new smartphone subscribers pushed up wireless revenue.
The Toronto-based telecom and media company said its adjusted net income rose to C$414 million ($403 million), or 80 Canadian cents per share, in the first quarter from C$360 million, or 68 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.
Rogers, which also owns television stations, magazines and sports teams, said operating revenue rose 3 percent to C$3.02 billion.
Revenue in its wireless business rose 3 percent to C$1.76 billion.
Rogers said it added 32,000 net postpaid wireless subscribers, a closely watched metric, given those customers often sign multi-year contracts and typically pay more each month than prepaid subscribers.
The company activated and upgraded about 673,000 smartphones in the first quarter, compared to about 642,000 a year earlier.
The percentage of postpaid subscribers using smartphones rose to 71 percent by the end of the quarter from 60 percent a year earlier.
“The positive operating trends which we achieved during 2012 are carrying into the new year,” Chief Executive Nadir Mohamed, who is set to retire in January, said.
Rogers has not yet named a successor to Mohamed, who has led the company since early 2009 following the death of Ted Rogers, its founder.
Rogers said last week it would buy Blackiron Data for C$200 million to beef up its data center unit serving business customers.
Rogers has long boasted the highest average wireless bills in Canada but its biggest rivals have been improving their shared network over recent quarters and new entrants have been offering discount service.
The company’s stock closed at C$52.08 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday. They have risen 15 percent so far in 2013.
Reporting by Alastair Sharp in Toronto and Ankur Banerjee in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian