February 22, 2008 / 12:56 PM / 10 years ago

Rogers Communications profit jumps 44 percent

<p>A live video image of actor William Shatner appears on a Rogers video phone in Toronto April 2, 2007. REUTERS/J.P. Moczulski</p>

TORONTO (Reuters) - Rogers Communications Inc RCIb.TO reported a 44-percent rise in its fourth-quarter profit on Friday as additional wireless subscribers helped results.

Rogers, Canada’s biggest wireless carrier and cable-TV company, said it earned C$254 million ($251 million), or 40 Canadian cents per share, in the three months ended December 31, up from a profit of C$176 million, or 27 Canadian cents a share, in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue rose to C$2.69 billion, compared with C$2.37 billion a year earlier.

Analysts were expecting the company to earn 42 Canadian cents per share before one-time items on revenue of C$2.68 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

Rogers said it added 158,000 postpaid wireless subscribers in the quarter, while customer turnover fell to 1.17 percent from 1.24 percent. Average revenue per wireless user was up 6 percent at C$73.33.

The company’s cable Internet subscribers rose by 46,000 in the quarter to 1,465,000.

Rogers and rivals BCE Inc (BCE.TO) and Telus Corp (T.TO) are girding themselves for more competition in Canada’s lucrative wireless market as the federal government prepares to auction off spectrum in late May.

Spectrum essentially refers to the airwaves over which wireless services are delivered. The government has set aside a chunk of the available space exclusively for bidding by new entrants.

($1=$1.01 Canadian)

Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Scott Anderson

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