November 6, 2014 / 12:57 PM / 3 years ago

CORRECTED-Canada's Telus grabs lion's share of new wireless customers

3 Min Read

(Removes reference to iPhone exclusive in paragraph 2)

TORONTO, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Telus Corp, one of Canada's largest telecommunications companies, posted a 5.4 percent rise in operating revenue as it added an unexpectedly large number of wireless subscribers and its revenue per user rose.

Telus said it signed up 113,000 net contract wireless subscribers, who typically pay more to use high-end smartphones. By comparison, wireless market leader Rogers Communications Inc won just 17,000 such customers in the same period.

The third major national wireless provider, BCE Inc's Bell, is also due to report its quarterly earnings on Thursday.

"Telus reported strong (third quarter) results, but wireless margin was below expectations due to stronger than expected subscriber loading," Canaccord Genuity analyst Dvai Ghose wrote in a note. He expects BCE to add 76,000 postpaid wireless users.

Telus also competes against cable company Shaw Communications Inc for television, phone and Internet customers in Western Canada.

Telus added 23,000 TV customers and 22,000 Internet subscribers in the quarter, helping its landline unit post increased revenue for a second straight quarter despite an industrywide decline in voice telephony demand.

Revenue from the company's wireless business rose 6.6 percent in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, while revenue from its wireline business increased 2.5 percent.

Operating revenue rose to C$3.03 billion from C$2.87 billion, a year earlier.

However, the Vancouver-based company's net income fell slightly to C$355 million, or 58 Canadian cents per share, from C$356 million, or 56 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, Telus said it earned 64 cents a share.

Analysts had on average expected Telus to earn 61 cents a share on revenue of C$3.01 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Drew MvReynolds said the strong subscriber growth boosted wireless while landline revenue grew slightly slower than expected with improved margins.

Telus said its average wireless customer, excluding those acquired in a deal for budget operator Public Mobile, paid C$64.51 a month for service, a 3.2 percent increase.

The company said it was raising its dividend for the fourth quarter by 4 Canadian cents to 40 Canadian cents a share. (Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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