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Redundancy payments hit BCE

4 Nov 2004

Canadian telecoms group BCE has seen its third-quarter income hit by charges related to job cuts aimed at reducing its overheads. BCE’s main operating subsidiary Bell Canada took a one-off charge of CAD1.08 billion in the period ending 30 September, the bulk of which was to cover severance payments for more than 5,000 employees which are being axed as part of a CAD1 billion cost-cutting programme. BCE’s third-quarter operating income stood at CAD25 million, down from CAD1.05 billion in the same period last year. Although sales were up 3.3% to CAD4.78 billion, the group’s president and chief executive, Michael Sabia, said the revenue growth was “not satisfactory”.

BCE is Canada’s largest telecoms company. It saw a 27% rise in the number of ADSL customers over the twelve months to the end of September, ending the period with 1.77 million high speed users, while the number of PSTN connections fell by 1% to 12.96 million. BCE also claimed 4.71 million wireless customers, up 11.5% year-on-year.

Canada, BCE (old)

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