May 6, 2009 / 2:25 PM / 8 years ago

REFILE-UPDATE 1-Manitoba Tel reports Q1 profit; to cut 160 jobs

(Corrects currency in paragraph 7 to Canadian dollars)

* Q1 EPS C$0.57 vs C$0.83 year-ago

* Q1 EPS cont ops C$0.71 vs C$0.84 year-ago

* Q1 rev flat at C$483 mln

* sees achieving lower end of 2009 outlook

* sees 160 addnl headcount cuts at MTS Allstream

May 6 (Reuters) - Canada’s Manitoba Telecom Services MBT.TO posted lower first quarter profit and said it would implement further cost reductions allowing for additional 160 headcount cuts at MTS Allstream.

The company also said it expects to achieve at least the lower end of its 2009 forecasts even though it said the economic outlook had deteriorated since December 2008, when it issued the forecast.

The regional telecom services provider earned C$37 million ($31.49 million) or 57 Canadian cents a share for the quarter, compared with C$54.2 million or 83 Canadian cents a share, a year ago.

Earnings per share from continuing operations were down to 71 Canadian cents a share, compared with 84 Canadian cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue rose nearly 1 percent to C$483 million.

Analysts were expecting the company to earn 76 Canadian cents a share, excluding items on a revenue of C$473.6 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

The company said it increased its cost reduction target for 2009 to between C$50 million and C$60 million, up from the previous target of C$35 million to C$45 million for the year.

“Looking forward, we continue to believe we will achieve at least the lower end of our guidance ranges for key metrics over the full-year even though the economic outlook has deteriorated since our 2009 outlook call,” chief executive Pierre Blouin said in a statement.

On Dec 17, 2008, the company said it it expects earnings per share of between C$2.90 and C$3.20 for 2009. [ID:nN17331682]

Shares of the company were trading down 44 Canadian cents at C$33.91 in morning trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange. ($1=1.175 Canadian Dollar) (Reporting by Ashutosh Joshi in Bangalore; Editing by Vikram Subhedar)

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