Cost-cutting programmes at Canadian telco Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) helped deliver a first quarter profit increase, even as revenues dipped amid increasing competition. MTS’s 1Q net income was CAD44 million (USD39.8 million), up from CAD42.5 million in the same period of last year, whilst revenues fell to CAD488.8 million from CAD495.1 million. MTS’s earnings per share (EPS) stood at CAD0.65 for the quarter, beating analysts’ estimates of CAD0.61, according to Thomson First Call. Its shares rose 5.4% or CAD2.30 to CAD45.10 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. In November 2005 the Winnipeg-based company launched a programme to cut 800 jobs, and by the end of March 2006 it had shed just over 500 staff.